Helicopter Stories: Letting Imagination Fly

What is Helicopter Stories?

Helicopter Stories: Letting Imagination Fly is based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of our patron Vivian Gussin Paley. MakeBelieve Arts has been pioneering this work in the UK since its conception in 2002.

“Helicopter Stories gives you a lot of information about the child as they’re dictating to you,showing you how they feel and how they’re doing.”
— Helen James, Chisenhale Primary School

In its simplest form children dictate their stories which are written down verbatim, exactly as they are told. The group then gathers around a taped out stage and the stories are acted out.

Alongside the simplicity of this approach is an ethos that is child-centred, creating a culture of curiosity and wonder at the dexterity of children’s imaginings during both the telling and the acting out of their stories.

This holistic approach uses the power of storytelling to develop key curriculum areas such as creativity, communication and language, personal, social and emotional skills in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 classroom.

“Absolutely inspirational, yet so simple to achieve”
— Teacher, Kent

The Benefits:

  • An inclusive, whole-class approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement;
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of story writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.
  • MakeBelieve Arts offers:  INSETS, Keynotes, in-class sessions and workshops with Parents. We work with Local Authorities, Early Years Settings, Nurseries and Primary Schools.

Want to see Helicopter Stories in action at your school?

Are you a parent or caregiver wanting to try Helicopter Stories?

Get more details and supporting materials

Read the expert evaluation from the Open University

Have any more questions? Please get in touch