PROUDLY clutching their portals to a faraway land of adventure, these pupils know school books are not always boring.

When the Oxford Mail visited Stephen Freeman Community Primary School in Didcot, the children were gallivanting around wearing scarlet hoods and scary masks.

The activity on Friday was the culmination of a week-long series of classes about Little Red Riding Hood, to mark National Storytelling Week.

The event encourages people to embrace the important tradition of sharing tales.

Headteacher Jess Butler said the school follows the so-called 'storytelling curriculum', which is a creative approach to developing literacy skills with primary pupils.

She said: "It's a way of teaching writing so that children become completely immersed in every story and know it inside-out, before starting to invent their own stories and characters.

"There is a lot of drama and artwork, and the children totally understand the text they are reading about."

Parents were invited into the school in Freeman Road on Thursday and Friday to take part in some of the activities with their children.

Miss Butler said: "It was an incredible week and it was lovely to share the children's hard work with the parents."

The 420-pupil school, which has grown in the past few years due to developments such as Great Western Park, started following the storytelling curriculum in September 2017.

Miss Butler said it helped children across subjects, not just literacy.

She said: "It helps with imagination, creativity, enthusiasm and engagement - it ticks a lot of boxes."

Pupils learn about a different story each half-term, and also have access to the outdoor 'forest school' to further aid learning.

Miss Butler said the school has a list of core focus areas, including ensuring children become 'life-long learners'.

She joined the school in September 2016 after moving to Oxfordshire from London, and has two daughters who attend the school, in Year 1 and Year 5 respectively.

The headteacher said: "We moved as a family and we all started together.

"A big part of my remit is building relationships between the school and families, and that's something we do incredibly well."