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Fabulous storytime

When I use storytelling sessions with any Year group in key stage 2, I always maintain eye contact to build suspense or make a story seem real.

When teaching my Year 3 class about newspapers, I told a story of how a spaceship had landed in the school grounds and how two of my colleagues and I had investigated it. It was a simple story but I filled it with mystery using my eyes, voice and embellishments that came to mind as I talked, varying the pace of the plot.

I took them to the playground afterwards, to the "very spot" where the spaceship had landed (and where my colleagues and I had trampled down the grass).

Props and mime add to the story and help the children join in. Try a few notes from a musical instrument or an artefact from the history cupboard.

Start the Pied Piper by playing a recorder to grab attention and set the scene. A rosy red apple may be "full of poison", or a feather may be from Pegasus's wing.

The children love spreading out our "story blanket", a large piece of cloth they have decorated with book characters using wax crayon and dye.

Kate Lawrence, key stage 2 literacy co-ordinator, Redlands Primary School, Fareham, Hampshire

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