1st Edition

The Stories We Tell How to Use Story and Storytelling to Improve Teaching and School Leadership

By Matt Bromley Copyright 2025
    224 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Stories give meaning to our lives and make us who we are. They shape our self-awareness, thus helping make sense of personal experiences, no matter how complex or difficult. Stories can also have a profound impact on our behaviours, values, and attitudes. This exciting new book examines the powerful role stories can play in schools both as a curriculum/teaching tool and as a framework for school improvement.

    The Stories We Tell looks holistically at the uses of story in schools and sets out the ways it can be used to support teaching, including by: 

    • Organising the curriculum and helping to structure lessons
    • Aiding students’ memorisation
    • Promoting inclusion
    • Preparing students for future success 

    In addition, it offers four ways of using story and storytelling in the school improvement process to: 

    • Consult, communicate, and collaborate with stakeholders during the school improvement journey 
    • Articulate a vision for the future and foster a set of shared values 
    • Build trust and adopt ethical leadership behaviours to create a no-blame culture that encourages risk-taking 
    • Resolve conflict and manage people, and lead change and manage PR

    Providing a fresh and stimulating approach to teaching and learning, curriculum-development, and school improvement, this will be valuable reading for teachers and school leaders across the primary and secondary phases.

    Part One: Learning through storytelling  1. The power and the story  2. The stories we tell ourselves  3. The stories we tell our children  4. The stories of literacy  5. The stories beyond comprehension  Part Two: Teaching through storytelling  6. Using story to organise the curriculum and structure lessons  7. Using story to aide memorisation  8. Using story to engage learners’ curiosity and wonder  9. Using story to relate curriculum content to the real world  10. Using story to help foster inclusion  11. Using story to prepare learners for future success  Part Three: Leading through storytelling  12. Using story to consult, communicate and collaborate  13. Using story to articulate a vision and foster shared values  14. Using story to build trust and create a no-blame culture  15. Using story to resolve conflict  16. Using story to lead change


    Matt Bromley is an education journalist, author, and advisor with 25 years’ experience in teaching and leadership. Matt is a public speaker, trainer, initial teacher training lecturer, and school improvement advisor. He remains a practising teacher, currently working in secondary, FE and HE settings; as well as writing for various magazines, authoring numerous best-selling books on education, and co-hosting an award-winning podcast.

    “In this thoughtful and inspiring book , master-teacher Matt Bromley reminds us of the unique power of stories to engage hearts and minds – not just as part of lessons, but as a framework for curriculum design and transformational school leadership. The style is highly readable, drawing on the author’s own engaging personal stories as a practical way of modelling his message, as well as on a wide range of research and a deep knowledge of how schools work.”

    - Jean Gross, CBE

    “It’s very encouraging to see the power of story set out in The Stories We Tell: How to Use Story and Storytelling to Improve Teaching and School Leadership. Stories and storytelling are an underdeveloped aspect of the curriculum and of school development and Matt Bromley has made a compelling case for using them to help us refine the curriculum and school improvement. A welcome addition to the field.”

    - Mary Myatt, Education Consultant 

    "Matt Bromley is quite-simply a must-read for the classroom teacher. Clear, practical, insightful – his advice draws upon years spent in the classroom and is immediately useful and inspiring for teachers of all levels of experience. That is why he has long been one of SecEd's most popular authors. This new book is no exception and offers a range of great ideas that you will feel inspired to adapt and adopt in your classroom. Matt remains one of the most important – and most useful – voices in teaching."

    - Pete Henshaw, Editor, SecEd and Headteacher Update