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Kidsgrove Primary School

Empowering Learners...Growing Minds

How we develop Storytelling at Kidsgrove

Our story time provision


Teachers regularly everyday with the children so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books.  This is in addition to the books that they bring home.  This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. At Kidsgrove vocabulary and language development is at the heart of all we do. 

All classrooms have attractive book corners where the children can access a small group of  appropriate books, both fiction and non fiction to help embed their love of books, stories and reading.


In EYFS  ‘Story Time’ is 5 x per day across all areas of learning. In addition children have flowerpot books (6 per half term) that are read repeatedly to  the children so that they begin to learn stories from memory and can comprehend verbally the reading domains. 


In Key Stage 1 Storytime is 2 x per day. The flower pot approach is 1 x per day (Same as EYFS) and the other story is related to their high quality text.


In Key Stage 2 Storytime is daily. This is the reading of their class novel, to ensure longer texts are read in their entirety and to support authors craft. 

What all of our teachers do as best practise during story time at Kidsgrove?


Seating Our teachers will sit on a low chair, so that all children can see the book easily, and make sure that everyone is comfortable.

Our teachers will choose the best voice for:

• the narrator: a neutral voice that won’t detract from the characters’ voices or a voice that gives away what the narrator is thinking

• the main characters: high- or low-pitched? quick or slow?


Not everyone can imitate accents successfully, but real life offers a multitude of voices to draw on: the needy ‘Could you make me a cup of tea?’; the ‘I’m so disappointed in your behaviour‘; the voice for interviews; the ‘furious’ voice when something goes wrong.


Our teachers remember, the voices have to be maintained for the whole story. if there are too many, it can be difficult for the children to identify them.

Pausing Pauses will take place; as they can build anticipation.
Word meanings

At Kidsgrove we wait until the second reading to explain words.

When initially discussing word meanings we tell the children the meaning:

if they already know it, there is no point in asking;

if they don’t, the question is pointless and encourages only guessing.

If only a few children guess, it will distract others from the story.

Even if some children do know the meaning, it might not be, in any case, the correct meaning in the context of the story.


*In shorter stories, that are repeated in Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Flower Pot Books)

When word meanings have been taught and repeated once again, teachers will then ask pupils the meaning of words at relevant pause points of the story. 


We will use short asides to explain a word or a specific use of a familiar word to avoid disrupting the flow, such as ‘leapt – that’s a big 85 jump’ or – in the context of the story – ‘a spin – that’s a fast ride in a car’.


Teachers will use asides to show reactions to particular events:

• ‘I can’t believe he did that!’

• ‘Oh, my goodness. He’s not happy.’

• ‘Whatever will he do next?’

Memorable words and phrases

These will feed into children’s vocabulary and increase their comprehension. Teachers use phrases from the story later in different contexts, when children know it well.

For example, when they recognise:

‘Is there room on the broom for a dog like me?’, they can enjoy being asked, ‘Is there room at the table for a teacher like me?’

Illustrations Decide which pictures to show – and when. If you have decided to show a picture, give the children enough time to look at it.


Our Teachers enjoyed story time training at Kidsgrove... we have videos to follow soon.

A Busy Day for Birds read by Ore Oduba

Snuggle up for a story. Watch Ore Oduba's brilliant Bookstart Storytimes reading of Lucy Cousins' A Busy Day for Birds, published by Walker Books. Filmed ex...