Sunbeam Suncity School & Hostel Varanasi’s “Once upon a time” Collaboration

Posted: 07 October 2020



Schools involved:

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Between the 18th and 20th June, Sunbeam Suncity (& Hostel), Varanasi hosted a collaboration where students aged 11 – 14 narrated popular short stories of their regions with morals and values as it’s core theme. Twenty RS schools took part over the Zoom Call and the life lesson thus learnt was explained by the students which gave clarity of thought to the audience too about the reason for telling the story. This developed the confidence, communication skills and the various stories underlined different values.


The idea was to bring schools from all across the globe together and there’s nothing better than stories to do that. All countries and regions have their own culture specific stories with moral values embedded in its core. The Suncity School team decided to invite schools and children to narrate stories which they feel are important to be told in the present time that will also develop appreciation of diversity amongst students.

Each school was invited two bring a delegation of up to 10 students as audience to the video conference and to nominate two of those students to be ‘tale tellers’ who would be responsible for narrating the schools chosen story.

The invited schools were given a detailer and instructions for clarity of communication and to avoid any communication gap with other participating schools. Each school was allocated a slot over the three days, so students could prepare to read their stories on the given date and in what order they would do so.

We created a WhatsApp group for the adults to ensure that the information was conveyed timely and all queries were answered in time. The links for the Zoom sessions were also sent on WhatsApp and emails a day in advance.

The host team also worked on Facebook live so that the stories reach far and wide and are just not restricted to the audience attending it on the Zoom platform.


Each school was asked to present a short story under the duration of 10 – 12 minutes, and on average we were able to share six stories in each session with two sessions a day. In total over three days we shared 36 stories!

We had a lead student anchor each session who asked the tale tellers about their process of selecting the stories, their inspiration behind choosing the story and their learning from the story. The audience were asked to have a ‘CLAP MOMENT’ after every story to show their appreciation. Student delegates were asked to write their ‘takeaway’ from each story in the comment box.

Students were encouraged to use their creativity in narrating the stories. E.g. using props, paper puppets or voice modulations for different characters.

Stories shared by the students included: “Silver Arrows and Golden Bow”,  “Whatever happens, happens for the best”, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, “The Blind Man and the Head of a Tree” , “The Woodcutter and the Little Bird” and “The Fish that Laughed”.

STORYTELLING SESSION ORGANISED BY SUNBEAM SUNCITYDear All,Folklore and Regional stories truly depict the culture, heritage and value system of a region or country.The imagination of a child grows leaps and bounds and so does his/her understanding of human values, conditions and situations. With time and advent of technology, the art of storytelling has been nearly forgotten. In order to restore this art form Sunbeam Suncity under the aegis of Round Square organised an International Storytelling Activity from 18th to 20th June, 2020.The captivating stories narrated by young tale tellers in three days and six sessions were a treat for a stimulating mind.We thank all the participating schools for their efforts and active participation.Participating Schools – Dhirubhai Ambani International School Birla Public School , Godspell School, Argentina, MayoCollege Ajmer Welham Girls' School Welham Boys' School Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls Public School Raha International School Dubai , Genesis Global School, Noida , SunbeamLahartara The Assam Valley School Yadvindra Public School,Patiala , Him Academy Public School Hiranagar Hamirpur , KC Public School J&K , MayoCollege GirlsSchool , THE MILLENNIUM SCHOOL, DUBAI The Sagar School , Chanderbala Modi Academy#RoundSquare#RSIdeal#storytelling#ValuesandCulture#folklore#SunbeamSuncity#BestSchoolsOfVaranasi#SchoolWithAnEdge

Posted by Suncity Varanasi on Monday, 22 June 2020


One of the main challenges for this activity was technology and ensuring all those who participated were able to connect to a stable internet connection. Students who experienced connectivity issues were asked to perform again later when their internet connection stabilised. Logistically we were helped by our Technical Head who ensured smooth conduction and LIVE relay over Facebook. There was no direct cost incurred to organise this activity.

Other minor challenges were ensuring that all students were prepared and aware of the learning objectives involved in the activity. But this was easily resolved by a good level of communication prior to the call and the idea behind the activity was communicated in a detailed info letter sent to all interested schools and a WhatsApp Group was used to resolve any other issues including the timings of the running order.


Sharing these stories during a time of the COVID lockdown was a great way to foster the Spirits of Adventure and Internationalism and allow all our delegates to escape in the stories as well as learn from the morality tales. During this activity students had the opportunity to explore folklore and stories of their own region enabling them to connect with their roots and by listening to the stories shared by others helped give them a better worldview and appreciation for art and culture of different regions.

This was a beautiful opportunity to share stories which were long forgotten and also to practice the art of storytelling. Many stories were unheard of even by the senior teaching staff from all across the schools. This activity gave an opportunity to the staff members to hear stories that even they were unaware of.

Our tale teller students developed a sense of confidence through narrating their stories, which took a lot of courage. Each school delegation developed teamwork, problem solving skills as they worked together to come up with inventive ways to effectively communicate their story using props and technology (PPT and videos).

And finally, all delegates developed the habit to ‘LISTEN’!

Long term

Following the success of this call we hope to run this collaboration again next year, and welcome any Round Square school who would like to join us!


Clear communication is key to a successful collaboration:

Author: Ashish Rai, COO & RS Representative of Sunbeam Suncity School & Hostel Varanasi

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