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National Storytelling Week at Wichelstowe

Mini worlds of imagination are popping up at Wichelstowe during National Storytelling Week 27 January - 4 February

It's National Storytelling Week from 27 January and 4 February 2024 and families across Swindon are being invited to share stories - and all the joy and benefits they bring - in new ways. And this year, Barratt David Wilson Homes have joined in the fun.

Barratt Homes Bristol and Barratt David Wilson Homes South West have joined forces with the National Literacy Trust (NLT), which is leading on the event, to create a fabulous collection of home-themed books and ideas for sharing stories within bespoke ‘cosy corners’ designed especially for National Storytelling Week in the marketing suite at Orchards Rise and Wichel Fields at Wichelstowe. They’ve also commissioned their apprentices to build a community street library on the development so residents can continue to read and share the books.


Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for Barratt Homes Bristol, said “We love the ambitions of the week and the way it encourages families to discover new ways to connect with each other over stories so they can reap the benefits - not least for their health and wellbeing - all year round. Creating communities and connecting people within them is at the heart of our own work in this region. We hope families will come in and share a moment together and explore the Words for Life website signposted on our resources so they can find out more.”  

Louise Ware, sales director for Barratt David Wilson Homes South West, added: “Our 'cosy corner' is a heartwarming space within our marketing suite designed to foster family connections through the magic of storytelling. It presents an ideal opportunity for families to visit the site and immerse themselves in the enchanting world of stories. We’re incredibly proud to support National Storytelling Week and we hope Swindon’s youngsters enjoy the haven we’ve created at Orchards Rise this week.”

National Literacy Trust has developed a host of ideas to help families interact with stories in new ways which Barratt David Wilson Homes is sharing on take away bookmarks (see ideas in the box below) and the NLT are hosting online events and are sharing a host of ideas families can adopt at home. For more details visit 



5 top tips for families

  1. Ask your children to make up a 'story sack' (a pillowcase will do the job) and to find three or more items around the house or garden connected to their favourite tale. Wrapping paper, leaves, soft toy, hat, musical instrument...let the story lead them! Then invite them to use the props as you share the story together. You could have some paper and crayons handy so they can draw their own illustrations as you read together...
  2. Build their imagination by all acting out parts of the story you're reading (choose a story they know well for this one), using different voices for different characters.  It's a great way to talk about emotions, too, as they think about, capture and express how their favourite characters are feeling....
  3. Find new ways to share and explore the story. Talk about the book's cover, its title, and the names of the people who wrote and illustrated the story and how they might have worked together. Explore the pictures inside - which ones they like best and why, or how they add to the story you've just read. Why not re-read letting your child hold the book and turn the pages. Children don’t always need to read or hear the words...looking at the illustrations on their own can be a great way to encourage a love of stories!
  4. Make a storytelling den at home? A sheet over a table with space for both of you to share and can become part of the story – a monster’s cave, a rocket ship, or a princess' tower... And while you are there, dream up new worlds inspired by the everyday objects around you. Could a teddy have unbelievable adventures while you sleep, or a pair of old shoes gives you magical powers when you wear them?!
  5. Read it over and over! Children love to do this with favourite stories, and it helps them to learn the word order and link the written word to the story – which are the first steps in learning to read! Tell them about the story you loved and re-read most as a child, and the adventures it inspired! They could create 'covers' of their favourite books to hang around the house.