Berwickshire High’s tale-telling troupe

Berwickshire High School (BHS) has made a small contribution to the storytelling tradition by involving a group of pupils in the First Minister's Reading Challenge.
Berwickshire High School (BHS) has made a small contribution to the storytelling tradition by involving a group of pupils in the First Minister's Reading Challenge.

Stories have a fascination for all of us. Storytelling is an ancient art which has evolved from its cave-painting origins, through novels, into movies and beyond into the internet space.

Although the methods may have changed, the desire to tell and hear stories remains an important part of how we live our lives.

Berwickshire High School (BHS) has made a small contribution to the storytelling tradition by involving a group of pupils in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge. Their goal was to learn the skills which make for a good storyteller. The project was made possible through the Scottish Book Trust, Creative Workshop grant.

This enabled the bringing to the school two of contemporary storytelling’s leading lights – Bea Ferguson and Lea Taylor. These eminent practitioners, over several weeks passed, on their insights and techniques to the students, showing the fun and complexities of their art.

The stories the pupils chose came from the global village, including cautionary and morality tales, stories of animals versus humans and magical adventures in imaginary lands.

Their public performances were staged for the BHS first-year youngsters and enhanced provision unit, as well as Duns primary school. It is hoped to continue to offer this tale-telling treat in the coming year to other schools.

As a climax to the whole project, the BHS students attended the nationwide celebration of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge in Glasgow where they were one of over 1,000 groups who took part in the challenge this year.