We are working hard to re-open our groups for families to enjoy, please bear with us in order to make sure families can enjoy groups safely

Story-Start is a new initiative to encourage families to read, tell stories, sing, rhyme, encourage imagination in a once a month book club.

Monthly sessions are delivered across West Somerset:

  • Stogumber Village Hall: Monday 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Luxborough Village Hall: Wednesday 10 to 11.30am
  • Williton, Children’s Centre House: Friday 9.30am to 11am
  • Dulverton Congregational hall, Chapel Street: Tuesday 10.00am to 12noon
  • Porlock Recreational Ground: Friday 9.30am to 11am
  • Watchet Community Centre: Thursday 9.30am to 11am
  • …with the hope of more Story Start sessions to come.

Time within the session is spent on Story-Start activities but it’s also a chance for families to meet up, have a chat, a cuppa, gain advice from others and for their children to play.

story start poster

The science bit behind this…

We want everyone reading!

Good story telling should incorporate the seven areas of learning and development within the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The 3 prime areas:

  • Communication and language – listening, understanding, asking ques discussing the story
  • Physical development actions with stories, moving with the story
  • Personal, social and emotional development, discussing feelings in the story, putting yourself into the story.

And four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  • Literacy – listening to adult speaking, being aware of how stories are structured, repetition of key phrases, beginning to recognise shapes of letters and words, etc.
  • Mathematics – numbers, quantities, shapes, etc.
  • Understanding the world – nature, cause, and effect, etc.
  • Expressive arts and design happens after the story – a child takes story into everyday play, acting out, drawing, re-enacting with small world toy, retelling, etc.
A Story-Start story time!

One story alone can’t do this, but in telling the story the adult can begin to engage their child, comment on story, use skills to cover the seven areas of learning and development, and these are the skills we hope to pass on in delivering our session.

This won’t be a tick list – that will put parents off. It must be a fun exercise, but we aim to enable parents to cover these areas through natural interaction with their child at story time. Each of these areas will be embedded in the modelling of the reading of the story, which the parent is encouraged to copy at home.

It must be fun. Our parents won’t want to stay engaged in the process if it becomes an onerous task. At the start of the process We will encourage parents to read books that appeal to them as well as their child.