This story was first published by Oxford Mail.

PROUDLY clutching their portals to a faraway land of adventure, these pupils know school books are not always boring. When the Oxford Mail visited Stephen Freeman Community Primary School in Didcot, the children were gallivanting around wearing scarlet hoods and scary masks. The activity on Friday was the culmination of a week-long series of classes about Little Red Riding Hood, to mark National Storytelling Week.

The event encourages people to embrace the important tradition of sharing tales. Headteacher Jess Butler said the school follows the so-called ‘storytelling curriculum’, which is a creative approach to developing literacy skills with primary pupils. She said: “It’s a way of teaching writing so that children become completely immersed in every story and know it inside-out, before starting to invent their own stories and characters. “There is a lot of drama and artwork, and the children totally understand the text they are reading about.” Parents were invited into the school in Freeman Road on Thursday and Friday to take part in some of the activities with their children.

Miss Butler said: “It was an incredible week and it was lovely to share the children’s hard work with the parents.” The 420-pupil school, which has grown in the past few years due to developments such as Great Western Park, started following the storytelling curriculum in September 2017.

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