You couldn’t find much richer soil for an international storytelling competition than St. Patrick’s Primary School in Celbridge, County Kildare. This week iBbY Ireland (  launched its ‘Once Upon a Folk Tale’ contest to mark the tenth anniversary of this wonderfully multicultural school that has sixteen nationalities in sixth class alone. During the launch, competitors watched master storytellers from South Africa, the USA and of course the land of the seanchai.

Over the next six weeks, pupils will team up with their compatriots to recreate and rehearse a traditional tale from their country. Using mime and rhyme, food and music, props, costumes and any other creative tools, each country group will spin its yarn before an audience of schoolmates, teachers and parents on at the competition in early December, to be judged by iBbY and local community members.