World Book Day with Storyteller Ben Haggarty

Friday 22nd March 2019

On World Book Day, Thursday 7 March, our Lower School students were joined by storyteller Ben Haggarty.

Ben is one of the world’s leading contemporary storytellers, creating and performing work inspired by international fairy tale, myth & epic.


He has been a frequent and popular visitor to Queen Anne’s School over many years, and his workshops and story sessions have always left our girls inspired and eager to write and perform their own stories. World Book Day this year was no exception!



Ben started his session by asking our girls to think about their ancestors. He described our families as like the rings of the tree, with ourselves in the very centre.


Then Ben asked, “What enabled our early human ancestors to evolve?” The answer from many of our students was – fire!

From the discovery of fire, humans were able to cook food and hunt at night, and so consuming more meat, and making their brains bigger. They were able to use fire to keep warm, and as a defence weapon, and so were able to live longer.

However, the discovery of fire also led to the development of stories. Sitting around the fire and talking about their day, their hunt for the food that they cooked on and ate around that fire, let to the development of the imagination of early humans.


“The words, sounds, pictures in your mind, they cause our brains to grow and grow!” Ben explained. “We’re the only species on the planet to tell such complex stories.”




It was time for Ben Haggarty to do what he does best – storytelling! When asked what sort of story they would like to hear, they answer was unanimous amongst our students – “a scary story!”


Ben told our girls a story of three courageous sisters, who were eventually able to fool and slay an evil prince. Ben’s storytelling was animated and engaging, yet also funny and entertaining. Our students were captured by his storytelling abilities all the way through to the end of the tale.





Ben ended his storytelling session with this thought:

“The work of a story teller is to see the world of the story, but select which parts to tell, and which parts the audience can colour in themselves.”


Thank you very much to Ben Haggarty for visiting Queen Anne’s School, and providing and performing such entertaining stories to our Lower School students.