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Once upon a time


Do you have a crazy imagination?

Do you love creating stories?

Would you like to be a part of an amazing book written by children, for children?

We're looking for schools, all around the world, to support our initiative and encourage their children to write the beginnings, middles and endings of stories. Each participating school will be given one of the 3 sections to work on and once completed, these will be sent to another school where other children will continue, and so on. Eventually we will have an amazing selection of heartfelt, crazy and inspiring stories, in the words of children!

Let children delve deep into their imaginations, get lost in characters, plots, twists and turns and tell the best story ever!!

Let's see what happens when we create stories, together!


A % of profit from our UK based book will be donated to children's mental health charities

A % of profit from our global book will be donated to international children's charities

Ready for School

The Beginning


We would like you to create and write the title and beginning of a story.


It can be based on anything, so let your imagination go wild!


Make sure you introduce us to the main character / characters and describe the story's setting.


Have a look at the beginnings to a selection of well known stories, below. Which one draws you in?

A Natural Girl

The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Once upon a time there were three children, Joe, Beth and Frannie. They lived with their mother and father in a little cottage deep in the country. They had to help their parents both in the house and in the garden, as there was lots to do.

Now, one day their mother had a letter. She didn't very often have letters, so the children wondered what it was about.


Giant Octopus

Matilda by Roald Dahl

It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.

Some parents go further. They become so blinded by adoration they manage to convince themselves their child has qualitites of genius.


Meditation in Forest

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo

Butterflies live only short lives. They flower and flutter for just a few glorious weeks, and then they die. To see them, you have to be in the right place at the right time. And that's how it was when I saw the butterfly lion - I happened to be in just the right place, at just the right time.                                                    



Paddington by Michael Bond

Mr and Mrs Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform. In fact, that was how he came to have such an unusual name for a bear, because Paddington was the name of the station.  


Image by GR Stocks



Image by Mike Tinnion

This is your chance to take the story in any direction!

OK, so you've chosen your favourite beginning and now feel inspired to write the middle. Hopefully the characters that you've read about make you smile, or intrigue you, so let's see where they can go and what adventures they get up to!

And don't forget, it's your special imagination that will make this come to life, so don't hold back!

Think about how you would like the reader to feel, during the story.

Try to use lots of adjectives and adverbs to make the characters, settings and actions come to life.

What is the main character/s trying to achieve. Don't forget about this as it will shape the ending when it's written.

Introduce new characters. Who are they? Where have they come from? What do they add to the story?

You could reveal a secret or hidden piece of information. Maybe something from the past that makes the present relevant.

It's OK for the main character to fail in their task as you can show how they overcome this.

All of the characters don't have to be good.

Give your characters choices.

Let the reader know when things are happening, such as straight away, tomorrow or next year.

Image by Daniel Cheung

The Ending

Image by Jon Tyson

Let's create the best ending EVER!

OK, so you've chosen a story that really grabs you, makes you smile and inspires your imagination, now it's your chance to write the ending! Dig deep, give it your best shot and look forward to the sense of achievement when it's finished!

This is your chance to shine!

The reader has already met the characters and become attached to the plot, but where will the ending take them?

Remember, you don't have to follow the obvious choice, why not think of something different?

Make sure that you tie up any loose ends, or questions that the story has created, so far.

The reader needs to feel happy that the ending answers all questions.

Could there be a twist and turn at the end? Maybe everything isn't as the reader thought.

You could really create a 'WOW' moment here that will make everyone remember the story!

Most importantly, have fun! Writing the end of the story really gives you the chance to express yourself and be creative.

Enjoy and good luck!

In submitting all stories, drawings and above listed information, you are agreeing to have them published in our book. Stories may be lightly edited to ensure that they read smoothly.

Due to a large number of submissions, only selected stories will be published, however all schools will be acknowledged on our website. All authors published will receive a free copy of the book for their school.


All children will retain ownership rights over their contribution to the stories. 





School name

Contact details

One amazing fact about yourself

A drawing to accompany your story

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How will it work?


All of the participating schools will be given either the beginning, middle or ending to complete.

For those given the beginning, each child can start their story however they want. For the middle and endings, we will pass on the preceeding story section so that the children can continue it. Each story section should be a minimum of 300 words long and we also encourage longer pieces.


Stories should be in English and can be handwritten, or typed.

Children can choose to handwrite or type the story section but the words must be clear and easy to read.


The finished story sections need to be returned.

All completed story sections will need to be returned, via the contact form at the bottom of the page, to Our Kaleidoscope School as soon as they are finished. Please ensure that all text is submitted as a Word Doc and images as JPEGs.


A truly unique book.

Once all story sections have been returned we will then endeavour to create the ultimate and unique global book featuring a selection of completed stories from all over the world.

Any questions?
How many schools will be participating?

There is no limit to the amount of schools taking part, however our minimum number is 20. 

When is the start and finish date?

The start date will be September 6th 2021 and we will leave the finish date open ended however our aim is to have all 3 story sections submitted by the end of July 2022.

How will we know what stories will be published?

Once all submissions have been received we will read through them and then inform schools of the children that will be put forward for our book.

How will we be supported?

Each school will receive a Once upon a time when.... information pack that contains the activity details and a list of all countries participating. It may be necessary to lightly edit the selected story sections to ensure that they run smoothly into each other. We are working with industry professionals who will assist with this and any changes that are made will be passed on to the children.

What will teachers need to do?

To make this activity a success we ask that teachers and schools help with the following:

1 - Please can you let Our Kaleidoscope School know how many children at your school would like to take part.

2 - Please can you ensure that children only complete the story section that their school has been allocated.

3 - Please ensure that the story sections are sent back to Our Kaleidoscope School via the link below in JPEG or Word format. 

4 - Please can you encourage children to submit drawings to accompany their story.

5 - Please can all schools complete their story sections within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of participation.

6 - It would be great if you could supply the team at Our Kaleidoscope School with photos of the children writing and drawing, via our OK Planet page, along with a few quotes about how it made them feel. These pictures and quotes will then be uploaded onto the OK Planet page .

It is the individual schools responsibility to ensure that all parents have given consent for photographs and information to appear on our website.

How much will this cost?

We would like to make this affordable for everyone and we ask each school, if they can, to pay a nominal fee that will enable us to run the event. The fees stated are based on one class participating. If more classes would like to join then please repeat the payment process. There is also the option to gift a less fortunate school with the activity.


For further details, please visit our payments page.

What happens if our country has COVID-19 restrictions?

We understand that currently any country could be subject to COVID-19 restrictions and possible lockdown situations. As Once upon a time when.... can be completed anywhere we would encourage all children to take part at home. Having experienced lockdown and homeschooling with children ourselves, the team at Our Kaleidoscope School agree that continuing with engaging activities, whilst at home, is extremely beneficial.

How do we join and is there a deadline?

Follow the link below to sign up. If you would just like to ask a question then our details can be found at the bottom of the page.


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