CU Scarborough students hone teaching skills by storytelling in the park

Students from CU Scarborough’s Primary Education and Teaching Studies course have been honing their teaching skills by hosting storytelling sessions in a local park.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 12:12 pm

Earlier this month, pupils from Green Hedges Day Nursery and Wheatcroft Pre-school Playgroup visited different ‘story stations’ across Shuttleworth Gardens as students shared their love of reading with the next generation.

The students got to choose which books to read to the children and Jon Klassen’s ‘I Want My Hat Back’ was first-year student Minni Watson’s choice.

Minni used a hat prop to engage with the children and says storytelling will be a key part of her teaching style.

CU Scarborough tutor Jane Gill reads to her granddaughter Amelia Teddy Shepherd at the storytelling event. (CU Scarborough)

She explained how complex concepts or difficult events can be communicated to young audiences through storytelling.

Minni said: “Storytelling is all about engaging children’s imagination and appealing to their creative sides.

“This year we have studied a really clever picture book that explains Brexit to young children. Half the characters wanted to leave the book and the other half wanted to stay in. Then they had to discuss what they should do, stay in the book or leave.

“It just shows any subject can be taught or supported through the use of children’s literature – even Brexit!”

Minni’s tutor Jane Gill says the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how important learning experiences outside the classroom can be.

She said: “This was an opportunity for students and staff to share their passion for children’s stories.

“An enjoyment of stories and reading is so important for young children and their development – and we want to show that stories are everywhere.

“We have seen through the Covid-19 pandemic that just because children have not been in the classroom does not mean they have stopped learning.

“Learning experiences that happen outside the classroom – like this storytelling event - can be powerful and we are looking forward to running more.”

First-year student Sophie Jackson said the event was vital to her development as it was the first time she has been able to put her skills into practice, due to the pandemic.

She said: “Because I work full-time, I don’t have the opportunity to volunteer. So, this is the only chance I’ve had this year to interact with children and do activities.

“It was good to find ways of how to interact and build some confidence by putting some of the things I have learned into practice.”

CU Scarborough’s staff and acting degree students also supported the event. Find out how you can become a teacher by studying at CU Scarborough here.