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Minibeast Stories from Kemsley Primary Academy

Our minibeast theme during the summer term provoked lots of stories from the children in Cherry class.

Some of the children decided to create a story as part of a group when they were sat together at snack time:

The spider and the pretty butterfly

The spider founded a butterfly in the big broccoli tree. They spin webs. The butterfly flies and takes the spider home to the bush. They play hide and seek then they get in the bath of leaves and bubbles. They dry themselves and then they say goodbye.

The butterfly goes home into his cocoon and eats his dinner, he eats steak pie and gravy.

Lily the butterfly met a spider called Jack on a leaf. They get married, the girl will wear some clothes and the boy will wear some marrying clothes. Then they will marry. They will go on the stage. They will dance on the stage and make a spider web, people will come and break it.

Stories from Beecroft Garden Primary School

Here are a few Helicopter Stories that one of our Helicopter Centres of Excellence – Beecroft Garden Primary School, have collected so far this term:


Once upon a time there was a red angry bird called red and the black angry bird came and the black angry bird was bomb and then the white angry bird came and the white angry birds name was Matilda and the other angry bird was called the three blues and the pigs can be in it too and the pigs got the eggs and that the angry birds made and there was king pig and king pig he eats the eggs sometimes when the angry birds aren’t looking and that’s the end now.


There was a princess Sindi, a lady bug in the garden. Safi’s the lady bug. Um a prince, Graham’s the prince, Graham give the princess a ring.


Little red riding hood went to the forest to give her mother some cakes. And the big wolf came. He take grandma into his tummy.

*names have been changed


Kemsley Primary Academy spread the approach far and wide!

The spring term has been a busy one for Kemsley Primary Academy. News of Helicopter story acting and story telling seems to have been spreading in Kent and we have hosted visits from colleagues from schools in Maidstone and Deal. All our visitors went away with enthusiastic plans to start to develop the technique in their schools. We have also received an email from colleagues at a kindergarten in Washington USA who are planning a visit in the summer to find out more about Helicopter, exciting times!

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Closer to home the new starters in our nursery have enjoyed their experiences of storytelling and acting and we recently shared these with some of our families when they were invited in for sharing sessions as part of our parent consultation week.

Here are some of the stories told by some of the children last term.

“One day a lion was in the jungle and he looked behind the long grass and when he looked he seen five cows. The lion was going to eat all the cows. When the cows saw him they went in the house but one cow carried on playing, then the lion ate the last cow.”

By Habiba*

“Once upon a time there was a queen called Gemma and there was a king called Kevin and there is a little baby princess called Elsa and the sister is called Elsa and there’s another sister called Elsa.

A baddie comes and tries to take the sisters and the baby. Gemma and Kevin fight the baddie and then the baddie is dead….the end.”

By Sarah*

“Two trains were heading towards each other. They jack knifed and bashed up. Then there was a London train coming into the platform and there’s a Sheerness train coming that doesn’t have any coaches”

By Ben*

*names have been changed to protect their identity

Ofsted, Kemsley Primary Academy and Helicopter Stories

We are pleased and proud to hear that one of our Helicopter Centres of Excellence, Kemsley Primary Academy, has made a huge improvement since we first started working with them and last week was awarded as an Ofsted ‘good’ school, a fantastic result!

The Early Years provision is particularly glowing as Ofsted state that ‘children have a very good start to academy life in the Nursery and Reception classes’. Headteacher, Vicky Franks, says ‘Although not officially named they were very impressed with our Helicopter Storytelling and Story Acting!’

“The use of storytelling is outstanding. The youngest children in the Nursery enact their own stories. They use their imaginations vividly; for example, children decided that the giant in one version of ‘Jack and the beanstalk’ chases princesses away and eventually eats them!” – Ofsted Report, Kemsley Primary Academy, February 2015

Please visit: to read the full report.


On Thursday 12th February 2015, we awarded the UK’s sixth Helicopter Stories Centre of Excellence award to St Werburgh’s Park Nursery School, Bristol in recognition of their work with Story Square.

St. Werburgh’s Park Nursery School, funded by Bristol City Council since 1931, has a long history of successfully teaching young children. Every member of staff is qualified to work with young children and is passionate about children’s learning.

Helicopter Stories: Letting Imagination Fly is based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley. There are many different approaches that are based on this curriculum and one of them is Story Square. St. Weburgh’s Park Nursery School have been involved with Story Square for many years.

The presentation began with a short 15-minute demonstration of the approach followed by a presentation of the plaque by the MakeBelieve Arts Creative Director, Isla Hill.

“Thank you so much for a truly inspiring day! The day was just what we needed … you lifted us and enabled us once again to focus on Vivian’s work and how it so resonates with our children and families here at St. Werburgh’s.”

— Liz Jenkins, Head Teacher, St. Werburghs Park Nursery School

Language development of an EAL child at Beecroft Garden Primary School

‘M’ has been in the nursery class for a year now. He speaks Afghan at home and was silent for a long period when he started nursery and also after his summer holidays back in Afghanistan. ‘M’ prefers not to take part in the acting out of the stories. These are his stories over a year. He started with his name and moved on to his interests such as spiders and football. You can see the development from single words to sentences.
M’s stories over a year

‘M’ is my name, racing car, I think, spider


‘M’ playing football, ‘M’

Dinosaur, raah yeah, yup, Raah, eat. He is going eat crocodile eat. Dinosaur eat him. He eat dinosaur.

Kicking my brother. I kicking my house. I kicking up there. My daddy said “play football, my house, kicked up there.” Car his car going shopping and my brother lemon water in my house in my fridge.

I was sitting in my big seat. Doctor my tooth was hurting, he gave me Spiderman sticker. He put gold tooth there. Me take my watch and blaster.


(This boys name has been replaced with the letter ‘M’ throughout)