2024 United Learning StorySLAM Finals | Surbiton High School
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2024 United Learning StorySLAM Finals

Posted: 12th February 2024

A select few Year 6 pupils from Surbiton High Girls’ Prep, and Boys’ Prep attended the 2024 United Learning StorySLAM regional final on 7 February at Fulham Primary School.

We travelled to Fulham on the train and arrived to a hall buzzing with anticipation. Three boys and three girls took part in a fantastic and immersive workshop in which they learnt how to “tell” a story rather than read it. We looked at ways to bring stories alive using voice and gesture.

When the time came to perform, all the pupils felt a mixture of nerves and excitement. We settled in and were transported to faraway lands, magical realms with colourful and dangerous characters.

Liya captivated the judges with her brilliant story of an antique watch which had been passed down the generations. Her dynamic and energetic style had the audience eating out the palm of her hand. Owen’s rich language and terrifying description (until the twist at the end!) had everyone laughing. He was awarded with second prize.


Written by Owen

Its eyes were coals from hell’s pit. Its gargantuan wings unfurled to reveal piercing talons. Its neck spiralled up to an aquiline, crooked head. That was what people saw last…

The dragon roared with the sound of a thousand banshees, its tail trailing behind it like a sly snake; its tongue flickered, drenching me with saliva and its looming shadow immersed me in a shroud of soul-sucking terror.

As its scales glimmered in the twilight sun, reflecting the shadows of people cowering behind trees and boulders. The air felt dry and grainy as my lungs started to clog up with smoke that shot out of its nose like a cannonball of fury. My mind blurred into hundreds of hallucinations and worries, my heart rattled in my rib cage, my hands felt clammy and a feeling of nausea crashed down on me. It got closer and closer and there was nothing I could do, this was it, the end of me. I closed my eyes and drew what I thought would be my very last breath until…


I slowly opened my eyes, to find the dragon knelt down before me with sorrow imbedded in its face. It hadn’t tried to attack me, in fact, it looked afraid of me. Then I saw it had a chain around its neck, from which a pendant hung. I inched closer to the dragon until I could read what was written on it:

Mr. Tiddles

If found please summon the Dark Wizard with the sorcery of a thousand witches, or by texting -07973 500 517

‘Are you lost, Mr…err…’Tiddles?” I whispered.

The dragon blinked sadly then issued a small burp which singed my eyebrows.

It looked at me expectantly. It seemed to think I could help it find its way home, and if there was, I would not hesitate to help it.


Written by Liya

Rain spattered dismally against the windows as the pavement glistened like a carpet of crushed diamonds. The winter holidays had arrived to thoroughly depressing weather. Despite this, I was kneeling in my welcoming, warm living room with my parents, a grin playing around my lips. It was my eleventh birthday, and I was about to be presented with a gift. The gift. It was our family heirloom, and I was anticipating finally receiving the cherished item. Mum reached out behind her and extended her arm.

A worn velvet box was cradled in her hands, seeming to emit a silvery glow. I grasped it firmly, then pulled it open as a cloud of disturbed dust drifted to the rug.

Tick, tick, tick! The tranquilly ticking timepiece was nestled on a cushion. It was an exquisite watch, with glinting symbols carved on its face, perched on velvet, winking up at me. “It has been passed down for generations,” Dad informed me, a shadow of nostalgia crossing his face. With trembling fingers, I carefully handled it and strapped it on. “But be sure to wind it up every morning,” Mum sternly added. I was puzzled, but then remembered that this watch was ancient. It probably needed to be wound. Anyway, my mind was only focusing on one thing: the breathtaking beauty of the timepiece. So, I nodded.

The holidays continued, so did the comforting, reassuring ticks which soothed my brain…

But soon, one bleak day, when thunder sinisterly rolled across the sky, school resumed. I trudged out of bed that dull morning, and blearily clomped downstairs. Outside, the sky seemed to be mocking me as the wind wailed dramatically, rain lashing down at me. The day continued miserably. Boredom engulfed me.

When I finally arrived home, after a long and tiresome day at school, sopping wet and sullen, I greeted Mum who was stooped by a large pot in the kitchen. “Hi, Mum.” She didn’t turn. Impatiently, I tapped her shoulder. Still no response.

Slightly panicking, I dashed upstairs in a frenzy of arms and legs. Dad had sunk into his bed, glazed eyes fixed upon his laptop. “Dad!” I panted, “What’s happening?” He didn’t move either. Sweating feverishly, I darted to the nearest window and frantically scanned the street…

Everyone was frozen.

I shot a quick glance at my watch…… and to my horror, I realised that I had forgotten to wind it.

Time was lost in this one moment.

I always knew that I would make mistakes, but I never imagined that one mistake could stop the tick,



of my life.



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