Live Literature School Residency: Castlebay Community School
Writer, singer and storyteller Margaret Bennett will be writer-in-residence at Castlebay Community School, in Barra. Pupils from Primary 7, S1 and S2 will work with Margaret in Gaelic and English to celebrate the storytelling tradition of their local community and foster links between generations.
Margaret Bennett said:
‘I was delighted to be invited as storyteller-in-residence in Castlebay Community School and look forward to meeting the pupils and their teachers. Listening to stories has been such an important part of my own life, in teaching me not only about the wealth of tradition that became my lifelong passion, but also in shaping my career as a writer. As a child I was not a particularly good reader, struggled with essay-writing, and, as an islander, had little confidence in my own culture. I became a teacher, which I loved, but it was not until I trained as a folklorist and began to record stories that I realised the importance of storytelling to every aspect of life. If I were to choose one activity that might fill the demands of the Curriculum for Excellence, this is it – storytelling touches on every subject possible.
‘Barra is particularly rich in oral tradition and I’m looking forward to meeting the school pupils, to sharing stories with them and with folk in the community. Young and old, everyone has a story to tell, and you’d be amazed how much easier it is to write when we listen to the voice of a storyteller.’
Robert Rhodes, Teacher of English, said:
‘Having a Writer-in-Residence is a fantastic opportunity for Castlebay School's pupils (and staff!). To be able to experience first-hand a professional writer’s process and to participate in it will be a unique experience for many of us. The chance to pull together stories from around the community will help pupils to form close bonds between their heritage and their burgeoning skills as writers and readers.’