United Learning holds an annual StorySLAM competition for children in Years 5 and 6 in schools across the group to write and perform an original short story. Due to the pandemic, this year it is a virtual competition with each school sending one video of a child reading their story. This will be judged in February and we should know by the end of the month who the United Learning winners will be. There are 3 categories – ‘Best Story’, ‘Best Narration’ and ‘Best Line’. Last year Banstead Prep School won the ‘Best Line’ prize.

We held our own StorySLAM competition to identify our overall winner for Banstead Prep School. The children begin by reading and exploring short stories written by children their own age and identifying what makes a good story. By looking at visual prompts and story titles and openers, they looked at the structure of a short story, how it should begin in an engaging way and build up to an exciting climax. Children then planned their stories. They looked at hooking the reader in with engaging opening lines and how we can balance action, description and dialogue. Children then wrote their stories. Finally, they discussed what makes good narration e.g. clarity, expression and tone and recorded themselves reading their stories. Stories had to be around 3 minutes and approximately 300 words long.

All children did brilliantly, but Mrs Dziedziela, our English Subject Leader and Miss Perry, our English Specialist Teacher whittled the list down to a group of nominees, which went forward for Mr Chesworth to choose 6 overall winners, who will receive a prize from the school.  You can watch their story videos below.

Shreya (Y6) was chosen as Banstead Prep School’s overall winner and her story will be sent to United Learning’s StorySLAM competition. Shreya not only used excellent vocabulary and imagery, but she also built up the tension in her story incredibly well.  Congratulations Shreya!

Jon Chesworth, Headteacher said “Shreya used lovely imagery and her story was full of suspense.”

Well Done to all children in Year 5 and 6 for writing and presenting their incredible stories, and we wish the best of luck for Shreya!

Pradnya was chosen for the Best Line in Year 6, “As the years past the twinkle in her eyes faded and though her snow-white hair still swept in the wind her chin hung low as all her hope drained.”, which Mr Chesworth felt “had wonderful imagery and such emotion in one line”.

Logan was chosen for the Best Narration in Year 6, Mr Chesworth felt his story “had lovely use of tone and beautiful descriptions”.

Kabir was chosen for the Best Story in Year 5, which Mr Chesworth said about his story “it is exciting right to the end and built brilliantly”.

Sachin was chosen for the Best Line in Year 5, “Dad had outlawed going to the forest, but Clarissa wasn’t much of a listener.”, about which Mr Chesworth said “great line, made me laugh and took me into every house in the country”.

Devin was chosen for the Best Narration in Year 5.  Mr Chesworth felt that “Devin used a lovely range of voices, expression and tone. Made it very exciting to listen to.”