Ross Montgomery surprises Windmills Junior pupils with an afternoon story

A group of pupils from a Hassocks school were treated to an afternoon of professional storytelling.

Ross Montgomery, a children’s author, travelled to The Windmills Junior School, to amuse the pupils with a story for National Storytelling Week.

Ross Montgomery with some of the pupils with his new book

Ross Montgomery with some of the pupils with his new book

The event was organised by residential property developers Barratt Homes.

Set up in 2000 by The Society for Storytelling, National Storytelling Week has been used to increase public awareness of the art, practice and value of storytelling.

The society sees a story as the traditional medium of communication from generation to generation, a tool for expression and can be enjoyed by everyone.

Lynnette St-Quintin, sales director for Barratt Homes, said: “We were happy to support National Storytelling Week again this year.

“As part of our ongoing education programme, we actively promote learning experiences such as these and were delighted to arrange Ross’s visit to the school.”

Head teacher, Leila Murray, at The Windmills Junior School said: “The children had a great time.

“Storytelling awakens children’s’ imaginations and it has been an incredible treat for them.

“They were totally captivated by Ross and loved getting to know the characters he introduced to them.”

Professional storyteller, Ross said: “There is nothing better than being transported into another world with a great story.

“This passion for stories and being read to starts at home and needs to be encouraged throughout school life. It is fantastic to see companies like Barratt getting involved in the promotion of storytelling while encouraging more children to benefit from such valuable experiences.”

The storytelling activity took place as part of the Barratt Homes education programme thanks to the housebuilder building homes at the nearby Saxon Mills development.

Ross Montgomery is a first-time author. He started writing stories as a teenager, when he really should have been doing homework, and continued doing so at university.

After graduating, he experimented with working as a pig farmer and a postman before deciding to channel these skills into teaching at a primary school.

He wrote Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door when he really should have been marking homework.

This debut book, was nominated for the Costa Children’s Book of the Year and the Branford Boase Award, and selected as one of The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Modern Children’s Classics.