short history of Storyline in Scotland
As has been
written in my introduction to this homepage Scotland is the home
of Storyline. It was designed over thirty years by the Staff Tutor
Team of the Inservice Department of Jordanhill College of Education
which became the Faculty of Education for the University of Strathclyde
in the mid 90s.
and teachers still use aspects of Storyline in their daily work
but as a model it has become more difficult to use in the primary
school because of changes in curriculum advice. More emphasis
is being placed in recent years on content and on the ability
to measure progress. This has led to more separation of subject
matter and to more time spent on testing.
At the first
International Storyline Conference in Aalborg, Denmark, held in
November 2000, which I chaired, three other Scots played a major
role in presenting papers and in giving courses. These were Sallie
Harkness, previously a Staff Tutor in the Jordanhill Inservice
Team and now a consultant, Barbara Frame, a lecturer in Curriculum
Studies at Moray House Institute, University of Edinburgh and
Ian Barr, recently retired Director of Curriculum for the Scottish
Consultative Council on the Curriculum. Their contributions were
highly regarded and added greatly to the success of the conference.
- latest at the top
Language Skills in Storyline Topics
year for the first time an option has been included in the B.Ed (Honours)
Degree in Primary Education Course at Strathclyde University under the
In-Depth Language Study Programme entitled Developing Language Skills
in Storyline Topics. The participants will experience two practical
workshops and be asked to give their views on the benefits of adopting
this way of working as a means of developing and practising language
skills with particular reference to the significance of the key questions...
The students are also asked to design a new topic or adapt an existing
one with a focus on language skill practice. This is a 15 hour course
presented by Sallie Harkness and Steve Bell.
Course in Larbert Village Primary School
The whole staff of Larbert Village Primary School and a few invited
guest teachers attended a one-day Storyline workshop course given by
Steve Bell on Tuesday 15th November 2005. As the curriculum focus changes
in Scotland to encourage more creative arts, imaginative thinking and
problem tackling, teachers are keen to explore strategies which will
help them involve pupils in these activities. The topic chosen was 'The
the Faroe Islands
final year students from the College of Education in Torshavn, Faroe
Islands, paid a study visit to Scotland during the week beginning 8th
November 2005. Part of their tour took them to Stirlingshire where they
met up with Steve Bell who presented a Storyline Seminar in Allans Primary
School, Stirling. before taking them to Aberfoyle Primary School where
they toured the classrooms to observe Storyline work in practice. They
are preparing for school practice visits in their own country and were
interested to get ideas for that purpose.
the last three years six Swedish educators from schools in the area
between Gothenburg and Malmo have been studying together as part of
a Government-sponsored management course for principals. Although the
official course finished last year they have continued to work together
whenever possible and recently they found funding for a short trip to
Scotland to study Storyline. Their programme included a visit to Glendale
Primary School in Glasgow where they enjoyed the opportunity to interview
Jean Campbell, the Head Teacher. They also met with Steve Bell for an
extended, informal seminar on Storyline.
Day at Edinburgh University
the BEd 3rd year students studying at the Moray House Campus of Edinburgh
University attended a one day Storyline workshop on Wednesday 21st September
2005. The day was organised by Barbara and John Frame,members of staff
at the university. They were assisted by Sallie Harkness and Steve Bell
of Storyline Scotland. Four classes of around 36 students were actively
engaged in working through four different topics. The last twenty minutes
of the day was spent in sharing the work by visiting each classroom.
This exercise will be repeated in November.
Visit to Scotland
February I had the privilege of travelling along with my five sisters
to England and Scotland. We were visiting one of my sisters who is working
with Mercy Ships in Newcastle, England. When I realised in our travels
to Scotland I would not be far from Glasgow, I decided that it would
be wonderful to visit Sallie Harkness and Steve Bell. I had met both
Steve and Sallie years earlier while taking a Storyline Design Class
in Portland, Oregon. They had both inspired me with their positive attitudes
and insight into integrating this method into subject matter. I have
been using the method for about 10 years now. It had been a few years
since I had taken any Storyline classes and I wanted to visit with both
Sallie and Steve and talk about education, Storyline, and the joys and
struggles that we face in teaching today.
Sarah Corrigan. Lochyside
13 is an art studio for children. It encourages them to express their
feelings through art. It is run by the students who are in the management
team. The management team are responsible for its up keep. Room 13 is
based in primary schools around the country. For More information please
see our website
to Lochyside Primary School
in Caol, near
Tuesday 1st February 2005 three members of the International Storyline
Conference Planning Team visited this very innovative arts project.
Like any visitors before us we were very impressed by the gallery of
work produced. To see a few examples from the gallery click here.
visit to Storyline Scotland
November Eva Marsh and Ylva Lundin visited Scotland to learn more about
Storyline. Eva works for The Swedish National Agency for School Improvement
and Ylva is a Storyline tutor and designer commissioned by Gothenburg
Road Traffic Department and the Municipal Consumer Guidance Office in
Gothenburg to design topics for road safety and about energy and environmental
issues. Both have a wide experience in organising inservice courses
on Storyline. Read a short report of their visit.
or go to their website
Storyline in Scotland
the curriculum focus changes in Scotland towards more emphasis on creative
work, problem tackling and imaginative thinking it is, once again, necessary
to promote Storyline as a strategy to meet these aims. With this in
mind designer, Bruce Bell, has produced a series of small cards highlighting
the approach and advised the targeting of the Storyline Scotland website.
The cards will be used to promote the effectiveness and relevance of
Storyline to Scottish teachers.
Education & Teaching with Technology (SETT)
Scottish Learning Festival organised by SETT was held in the Scottish
Exhibition Centre in Glasgow over Wednesday and Thursday 22nd &
23rd September. This major event attracts thousands of educational professionals
from all over the country and has the aim of preparing teachers for
the challenges of tomorrow by helping them connect with major educational
developments. It was therefore very exciting for Sallie Harkness &
Steve Bell to be invited to make a short presentation on Storyline
for Learning and Teaching under the general heading of National
Priorities in Education & Practice. Click here for more information
Careers: University of Strathclyde
and headteachers from a group of Foundation Schools in Holland visited
this Centre from 21st to 24th September on a study tour funded by the
European Platform. Linda Brownlow, depute Director of the Centre for
Enterprise, Career Development & Work, hosted this annual visit
which is now into its third year. School visits played a major role
in the programme. The Dutch group was led by Hans Kroes. The programme
focussed mainly on Enterprise Education but also included a Storyline
input. Over the years close links have been formed between the Strathclyde
Centre and Dr Piet Conijn of the Educatievestad in Holland.
Ranweg is a freelance Storyline Tutor working in the area around her
home town of Lulea in the north of Sweden. She is engaged by the University
to give courses for students and is also kept busy with courses for
teachers in her region. Her opinion is that Storyline is being adopted
more and more in Swedish schools, especially at the early stages and
in secondary school. Her work in the university has been greatly supported
by the publication of the recent Storyline handbook in Swedish. As part
of her own personal development she spent several days in early September
2004 visiting schools in Scotland observing classwork and interviewing
teachers and headteachers.
Trainers visit Glasgow
Marit Storhaug, August 2004
16th August a group of lecturers from Oslo University College Faculty
of Teacher Education visited the University of Strathclyde's Jordanhill
Campus. The main purpose of this visit was to meet Steve Bell and discuss
ways in which Storyline might be used as a tool in the initial and inservice
training of teachers. The group represented a variety of different subject
areas; geography, science, social studies, history and English. Several
members of this group already knew Steve and his work and use Storyline
in their own teaching. They felt it would be useful to introduce other
colleagues to the method.This
meeting inspired these "new" colleagues to return home and
start using what they had learned. They were particularly interested
in the possibilities the method offers for collaboration between colleagues
who teach different subjects as this is an area which is strongly emphasised
in the new plans for teacher education in Norway.
visitors in Aberfoyle Primary School
Wretman and Helena Moreau, editors from the Skolbarn (Schoolchildren)
teachers' magazine published in Sweden enjoyed a morning visit to Aberfoyle
Primary School last week, Tuesday 2nd March. They were especially interested
to see the Rain Forest storyline which filled the Primary 1/2 classroom.
After chatting to the children they spent some time interviewing the
teacher Linda Bancroft. Over the last year the school has become the
focus for several foreign visitors and Carol Omand, the headteacher,
has recently had an article published in the TES Scotland describing
visit to Strathclyde University
group of 14 headteachers who are following a two year course leading
to a Diploma in Management Studies visited the Faculty of Education
at Strathclyde University this week (starting Monday 16 February). Their
course leader Henny Lamme explained that they were very interested in
studying the Scottish system of primary education, recent developments
in schools and the latest forms of headteacher training here. The study
course was designed by Jim Allan, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of
Education, with input from members of staff. Visits were made to schools
in South Lanarkshire.
by Faroese Students
The Scottish wintery weather made four visitors to Aberfoyle Primary
feel at home. The foursome - Katrina Joensen, Friogero Olsen, Bergtora
Neilsen and Ester Poulsen - are from the Faroe Islands. And they are
in Aberfoyle working with the pupils as part of their four-year teaching
degree. The students are working with two classes at P1/2 and P2-3/4
and headteacher Carol Ormand said they had been having a wonderful time.
"They're delightful young people and it's been great having them
here." she said. Margaret Doran, Stirling Council's head of schools,
visited the students this week to welcome them to Aberfoyle.
[Article taken from Stirling Observer newspaper 30 January 2004, with
thanks to Donald Morton, Deputy Editor]
Summer School 2003: Portland, Oregon
This summer Barbara and John Frame of Edinburgh University were invited
to work with Jeff Creswell to run two courses at Parkrose Community
School in Portland, Oregon, from August 13th and 22nd.
The first course was the alumni course, specially organised for experienced
Storyline teachers and held over three days. The focus this year was
to explore the nature and use of key questioning. During the course
participants also produced articles for the Storyline Design newsletter
and designed topic outlines for the forthcoming semester. The newsletter
articles were broad ranging and stimulating and were indicative of the
depth of Storyline thinking experienced by the participants.
The second course was held over five days for teachers new to Storyline.
For the first two and a half days the participants worked on a restaurant
theme, bringing to life a whole mall of varied and stimulating eating
places. The remainder of the course was devoted to reflecting on learning
and teaching, examining their curricular targets and planning their
Both courses were characterised by high levels of enthusiasm, commitment
and creativity amongst the participants. Good humour was also in abundance.
Examples of the restaurants they produced can be accessed by clicking
Denmark meets Scotland!
teacher trainees using Storyline at Aberfoyle Primary School, Scotland.
Tutored by experienced Storyline educator and head teacher of Aberfoyle
Primary School, Carol Anne Omand, we: Anne Mette Linnet and Soren Birk
Jensen from Frederiksberg College of Education, Copenhagen, got the
chance to plan and teach a three week Storyline in a 3rd/ 4th form class.
We called it "Our village" focusing on the pupils local
village environment - an important community for everyone living in
and around it. The activities concentrated on buildings: what buildings
are in this village - and what purpose does each building serve? Apart
from extending the pupils´ knowledge and awareness, strengthening
their relationship to the village, our aim of the three week project
was to present the children with central aspects of teamwork. Therefore
we designed activities that made argumentation, compromise and decision
in the Times Educational Supplement (Scotland)
Magic Key and Aberfoyle Primary
Davis and her class of 5 and 6 year old pupils have recently been involved
in an exciting Storyline adventure. A series of letters, obviously very
old, were discovered hidden in the playground of the school. The letter
writer explained that he had lost the key to his castle in the woodland
behind the school building. An exciting search followed and the key
was discovered caught up in a tree.When the pupils replied to the 'Baron'
he promised to visit their 'castle' to collect it but he wondered how
their 'castle' looked and much work was done by the children to create
a castle in their school. The culminating event was the returning of
the key at a wonderful banquet with the guest of honour being Baron
The magnificent outfit worn by the visitor was designed and made by
Carol Omand, Headteacher in the school. If you are wondering how it
all looked please click below.
An article on
The Radio Station Topic