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Alec Williams - Professional Storyteller

On Tuesday 2nd February, Hodge Hill was visited by professional Storyteller Alec Williams. He was here to deliver a series of engaging assemblies and workshops to Y8 and Y7; these activities were designed to introduce traditional stories to the pupils, whilst also teaching them some interesting ways of telling tales.

I feel I was privileged to be in his workshop, talking to him was great as well. I really enjoyed it!”

Some of the stories that the pupils were treated to are thousands of years old, and featured: bored princes, lucky peddlers, talking skulls, curious dogs, vicious kings and magic unicorns. Often the stories that Alec told were written to explain how the world works, created at a time before answers could be found; the story of ‘How Dog found Man’ is a prime example. These stories were not only entertaining, but also an interesting look back at a different historical period, an era before scientific fact. Zayn in Y7 said of the day, “I feel I was privileged to be in his workshop, talking to him was great as well. I really enjoyed it!”

 

 

After the February half-term holiday Mr Berwick will be running a ‘Story Telling Club’ that will take place after school for the Y7 and 8 pupils who worked with Alec on that day. This club will ensure that we continue to develop all the excellent work that the children have done about storytelling, whilst also having fun and developing our speaking and listening skills in the process. Lots of pupils have already shown their desire in joining the club and enjoying themselves as much as Owais (Y7) had during the workshops, “I really enjoyed listening to the stories and creating my own story, I have learned that stories are very important for the World.”

After the workshops had been completed, a selection of Y7 pupils had an exciting opportunity to interview Alec Williams about his life, his stories, and how he became a storyteller in the first place.

How did you become a storyteller?

I used to tell stories to classes of children when I worked in a library, and I became more and more confident. I also used to tell stories to my son. I have been telling stories for 16 years.

What qualifications do you need?

I have a degree in Librarianship from University; however, the only qualification you really need to tell stories is a love of telling tales in the first place.

What is your favourite story to tell?

I think my favourite story is, ‘Why Dog lives with Man’. It’s a lovely story that explores the journey that a dog goes through until he decides to live with a human. I have lots of stories I really like, but that one is a personal favourite.

What props do you need to be a story teller?

I always have a bottle of water! I don’t always use props, other storytellers do however. It’s important that you do what you feel comfortable when you tell your stories.

Most interesting place you have told your story?

I once told a selection of stories in a park. That was exciting. It was very windy so I had to work hard to be heard. People were walking around, and so I had to really try to make sure that the children who were listening to the story were enjoying it. I have delivered stories in lots of other countries, I recently returned from Pakistan. I visited Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, when I tell stories to people who don’t always speak English I need to make sure that I use gestures and actions to help convey the story that I am trying to deliver.

Many thanks to Alec Williams for coming in to work with pupils here at Hodge Hill College, there are a lot of excited KS3 pupils looking forward to carrying on with the storytelling work that he started with them.