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Open the Book is 20!

by Michael Ford last modified 29 Jan, 2019 03:26 PM

This year sees the 20th anniversary of the national Bible story telling programme ‘Open the Book’. To help celebrate this, our schools have been telling why they love this way of telling Bible stories.

Open the Book began life in 1999 when a small group of volunteers started going into a few schools in Bedford to read and act out biblical stories using the Lion Storyteller Bible. The project spread to Gloucestershire and then in 2007 a national charity was formed, with Open the Book joining forces with the Bible Society in 2013.

The storytelling is now done by nearly 17,000 volunteers and the programme reaches one in six schools in England and Wales. Here in the Diocese, 98 of our primary schools use Open the Book and here is just what some of them think.

Open the Book is 20_02 Bromham [Jan 2019]

Mrs Jo Lewis, Headteacher of St Nicholas CE VC Primary School, Bromham, is a fan of the programme:
“We really value our Open the Book sessions here at St. Nicholas as they bring alive Bible Stories for the children. The group are very much part of our school community and the children look forward to their visits.

Open the Book is 20_03_Bromham [Jan 2019]

"Their work really does underpin the School’s Christian values and ensure that they are part of our everyday lives.”

Open the Book is 20_04_Winterslow [Jan 2019]

Pupils and Staff at Winterslow C of E Primary School are also very grateful to the volunteers who tell the stories.

Tracey Reeves, the school’s admin officer says:
“Open the Book are a team of local volunteers who support collective worship in our school. Each fortnight they visit our pupils and re-enact a story from the Bible.

“Our pupils are given opportunities to participate actively in the worship and there are continuous opportunities to think, question and reflect on ideas and meanings of the stories they hear. Open the Book is enjoyed by all our pupils and is one of their favourite collective worship days.”

Open the Book is 20_05_Shaftesbury [Jan 2019]

Julia Stokes, Headteacher at Semley CE VA Primary School in Shaftesbury, shared that this week’s Open the Book story at her school was all about St Paul on the Road to Damascus:
“The children always look forward to our Open the Book assemblies and love to get involved.

“The team bring Bible stories to life for the children in an enjoyable, accessible and inclusive way.

Open the Book is 20_06_Shaftesbury [Jan 2019]

“As well as having the opportunity to reflect on the themes and messages of the stories, it is a lovely way for our children to engage with members of the community.”

Open the Book is 20_07 Gaunts Common [Jan 2019]

“Open the Book is absolutely fabulous, the amazing bank of volunteers go to so much trouble to bring the stories alive for the children, and they do!“
That’s the verdict of Kim Todd, Support services manager at St James' CE VC First School, Gaunts Common.

Open the Book is 20_08_Bishops Caundle [Jan 2019]

Ann Crumpler, Headteacher at All Saints Primary School in Bishops Caundle, Dorset said:
“We have a team that visit All Saints Primary School many times each term. The children say that ‘Open the Book’ is ‘cool and ace’.

“They all agree this is a great way to learn about the Bible, through having plays, which are fun.

Open the Book is 20_09_Bishops Caundle [Jan 2019]

“The children think that the school and church work very well together and that they enjoy visitors coming in for worship. They also say that learning about Jesus and the Bible is important in their lives. They love acting parts in playlets in worship and the messages they receive help them to be better people.”

Open the Book is 20_10_Semington [Jan 2019]

Finally, Pip Hunt, head of school at St George’s C of E Primary in Semington, described her Open the Book team as simply “amazing”.

Find out more about becoming an Open the Book storyteller and how to get a team together for your local schools. Join in!

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