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Storytelling In Your Area - East Midlands: 2016 onwards

View 2012-2015 feedback.

Since January 2016 we have organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

St Giles' School, Retford. 16/05/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 38 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”, two as “4/5 – Good” and one as “3/5 – Average”. Comments were:

  • "My students really enjoyed the session especially an outside person to engage with! [I was surprised with the reaction of] C who doesn't usually respond to stories. Gave amazing eye contact and smiled!"
  • "The children really enjoy listening to the story and engaged, touching and feeling the different resources. Lots of interaction from the group, smiling, touching, listening. The whole group enjoyed listening to story and interacted well. Enjoyed a man reading as we have so few male staff in school. The children have a sensory story each week linked to the topic and are becoming more interactive with them so this will help to develop their social skills."
  • "All abilities enjoyed and listened. Linked to our topic in class. Multi-sensory - great for our lower ability - lots of fun and humour. Lots of anticipation of what was coming next, keeping the children entertained and excited. Very calm behaviour from the class as they were all interested and focussed throughout. There was lots of laughter and smiles. One child cheered at the end and shouted "Bravo". Another child who has limited vocab said "fantastic" independently. [In the longer term] we can recall todays story to help support our further learning on our topic."
  • "Very interactive - switches and sounds to press and listen to. Fine motor skills used to press, turn and explore all props. All enjoyed. All listened. All sat still. All took turns. All explored the props. All students enjoyed and took part in the session. They each anticipated what was coming and participated in turn taking. It was fabulous and suitable for all students."
  • "Explored some nice resources relating to the story. Some nice responses to "surprise" creatures. Some nice ideas for staff to follow up."
  • "Visual and touch helped the children. Vocalisation and concentration were very good."

Oak Field School and Specialist Sports College, Nottingham. 12/05/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 44 children with profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”, one as “4/5 – Good” and one as “3/5 – Average”. Comments were:

  • "Love the sensory props. Good pace and repetition. J loved being made to jump. [In the longer term this will help with] being involved as a whole class, listening and repeating."
  • "Good engagement, looking and tracking. Smiling & giggles. Good smelling - nostrils flaring. Good grasping - for hook-a-duck. Facial expressions - happy. Good reactions - eyes widening for the ghost train. Anticipated the dark cloth coming on his face. Relaxed/engaged. [I was surprised with the] looking & tracking. Good listening. Good feeling & exploring. Moving head to the beat of the music playing. Good engagement. Relaxed and focused. Giggles. Turning towards the storyteller. Using their voice, gurgle "Arr sounds". Smiling throughout the session. [In the longer term this is a] good sensory experience - smelling, looking, tracking, listening, holding, feeling, counting 1,2,3, listening skills."
  • "All pupils were included, props appropriately multi-sensory. Pupils enjoyed interacting with the objects. Pupils anticipated with joy the next activity. One female pupil took great interest and used her voice to respond more. One male pupil used his hands more to perform actions on the resources. One boy loved the story. He had lots of smiles. He anticipated using the resources with delight and smiles. [In the longer term this generate] lots of further work on engaging the pupils."
  • "Varied sensory stimulation. Sound, feel of colour sensory board was very good. All linked to pupils individual sensory needs. Lots of smiles from pupils, reaching and touching. Pupils were engaged in the story. Pupils enjoyed the story. Each pupil benefited from some parts of sensory element linked to their needs."
  • "It is good to have someone different for students to listen to. Lots of repetitive activities, words and phrases."
  • "The students enjoyed the sensory experiences. All students were engaged and eager to interact with all the props which were a mixture of sound, touch and sight. [I was surprised that] one student really engaged with the props. He was smiling and laughing, reaching out for more. Using good eye contact and vocabulary. [In the longer term] will think about resources and props in classes when storytelling as students engaged with the mixture of touch and sound."

Sutherland House School, Nottingham. 08/05/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 22 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all bar one of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "[The session helped with] engagement, turn taking, language. [In the longer term this] builds on their language and literacy."
  • "[The session helped with] interaction - tactile, smell and engage all the participants in an interactive way. [The pupils were] excited and followed others interaction - building suspense for their turn. I am not familiar with the participants to know of any "different"/changes to individuals but from my experience of one day in this class two particular students seemed to be more engaged than in other activities and seemed to enjoy the experience. Good participation encourages interaction and confidence to engage in a more visual engagement in the story. Students become quite excited and animated - suspense waiting for their turn - good opportunity to change the energy/focus in the day."
  • "The students were all able to take part in the story as it was brought to individuals. One student who has difficulties with new people interacted really well. Another student wanted more interaction - really positive. [In the longer term] I think that students will be able to understand and interact with stories much better when told like this."
  • "Using objects of reference with sensory effect kept the children involved and anticipating the next activity. One student who usually struggles with visitors was happy for [the storyteller] to be in class and didn't mind them being near his table with objects. Students showed interest in others taking their turn and seeing others reaction. did good waiting and really perused the story."
Carlton Digby School, Nottingham. 24/04/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 30 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar one of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "[The session helped with] multi-sensory stimuli, communication - listening/following instructions, turn taking. [I was surprised that] pupils sat and listened well. Calm atmosphere. [In the longer term this will] help me to adapt stories - ideas for multi-sensory props. Promotes interest in stories."
  • "My pupils really struggle to participate and access other parts of the curriculum. This multi-sensory approach helps to engage and interest. One pupil often refuses to interact with strangers but interacted well."
  • "High levels of engagement. A child with a hearing difficulty highly benefitted and interacted with other sensory options and activities [In the longer term this will help with] sensory development, reward systems."
  • "All pupils enjoyed the stories we were told today. Lots of laughs and interaction with the props and the storyteller. Thanks! All four pupils actually responded more actively than expected. Lots of great looking, feeling, laughing, smiles etc. It was good to see how Bag Books should be delivered."
  • "A lot of our students need lots of visual and sound stimulation to engage with storytime, so this was extremely interactive and the students constantly had something to explore so had no time to be bored!. J can find it very hard to interact with storytime but he sat so well throughout and was laughing along! All students were very engaged. [In the longer term this will help with] ideas for staff to take forward to engage students in sensory stories. Hopefully students will be more excited and interested in reading."

Willoughby School, Bourne. 02/03/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 45 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Students smiled and interacted lots! An interactive sensory experience. There were more smiles, use of voices and reaching out than I expected. All seemed engaged in all stories [In the longer term this will help with] stimulus, cause and effect, sensory awareness, some understanding."
  • "All students were involved and participated well with the interactive storytelling approach. [I was surprised that] R become excited and very animated and J vocalised and repeated the story line phrases [In the longer term this will help with] good ideas to inspire others to plan stories that have a multisensory approach."
  • "[The session helped with] the range of multisensory resources."
  • "Lots of exploration, some lovely facial expressions. K really joined in, lots of chatting and smiling. K used her hands to participate, actually showing an interest - would normally need hand over hand to join in. For some it was a new experience and it was nice to see them interact with less familiar adults and students."
  • "Lots of sensory stimulation and interaction. Repetitive. Very relevant for PMLD students. One of the pupils is very sensitive towards new sounds and yet he smiled and laughed throughout. Another pupil with ASD coped very well with the change in routine and became more interactive as the session went on. [In the longer term this will help with] accepting different textures and sounds. Thank you :)"
  • "It was an interactive and exciting approach to storytelling, lots going on to engage and include the pupils. I didn't expect all pupils to want to stay due to the change in routine but they all did. [In the longer term this will] possibly increase their enjoyment of sensory stories and also concentration levels. It was super!"
Ash Lea School, Nottingham. 22/11/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 35 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar two of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. One rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and five as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "All were engaged - there was plenty to see and touch. They could aniticipate what was coming next.  One pupil who struggles with some sensory issues e.g. putting on paint aprons, happily accepted wearing the hairdressing gown [In the longer term this will help with] opportunities to participate in sersory stories. Ideas for staff to make stories more interactive."
  • "Enjoyed being able to touch objects. More time spent on the objects needed for some students to participate. One child who normally pushes most things away interacted with nearly all objects. We could include more sensory stories in class as all children benefited."
  • "Enjoyed listening to a story. [It would have been better if there were] more time to do things independently."
  • "There were a lot of sensory elements, particularly sound and touch - very suitable for class one students. Students need more time to explore resources as some students take time to process things. Perhaps resources could be more replenishable/replaceable. Storyteller to come to students physical level would seem less intimidating. Let students feel resources before the board being put straight to nose to smell. Exposing students to new sounds/sensory experience is always a good thing to help us move forward (likes/dislikes - lets them communicate this)."
  • "Seeing and using objects to tell the story. Sounds and smells help too. Some pictures to also go with story board to help understand the story better, especially where not keen to look or try an object. Was pleased to see reaction and interaction from students. They participated the same as the sensory stories we have in class. Our students enjoy sensory stories more than than just a normal story from a book so would benefit from these type of stories."
  • "The students in this session have autism and severe learning disabilities. This group of students did benefit from the repetitiveness and simpleness of the resources and the chance to briefly interact with them, anticipating and learning what to expect. It didn't need any improvement with this group. 6 out of 7 students were really watching as each card came around and there were some lovely moments where the students giggled/jumped at certain times, responded in ways of engagement. There were good responses with communication and anticipation."

John Fielding School, Boston. 16/11/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 40 children with severe or profound & mulriple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 40 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and three as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Good resources and variety i.e. touch, smell. Several children have ISP targets to sit & focus on a task for 5 -10 mins. All children sat for 25 minutes. Brilliant. We had two classes together but a smaller group would have enabled longer with the resources - our mistake not yours. One boy with Down syndrome, who doesn't sit for lessons sat for the Fair story then sat for the Seaside story. A young lady with autism finds it hard to sit/work/concentrate, she also sat and enjoyed listening to [the Storyteller]. [In the longer term this will] help with turn taking, sharing."
  • "They all engaged well. Enjoyed feeling the different items. Used all senses. One gave good eye contact with the items, more than normal. Engaging items that they responded well to so would be ideal in the future."
  • "All senses were covered while benefitted all children. All children were engaged as the stories were really brought to life! Encouraged good behaviour from children as they all wanted a turn. One child who usually struggles to sit down and focus sat for the whole time, made brilliant eye contact. All were really focused! Fantastic! The children were learning to sit at table and experience an adult led session! Help them to relate to a story by using all of their senses. Turn taking - social interaction."
  • "The sensory stimulus supported engagement. The repetition taught sequence. The children really liked the storyteller. The children enjoyed the humour in the haircut story. It encouraged expressive language from my higher ability children. One child started the session under the table but came back to the circle. Some children began being frightened of some of the resources but by the end were excited for what was coming next. I make my own sensory stories in my class but it is lovely for the whole to experience how to deliver them to adopt a whole school approach. The stories delivered have opportunities to develop cognitive skills for PMLD pupils."
  • "They loved the multi-sensory experiences - something for all the children. All showed enjoyment and engaged in session [We will be] using the resources to share the story with the children again and making our own similar stories."
  • "All pupils engaged and showed interest in each part of the story. Today's session showed a multitude of ideas that could influence our class's sensory stories to develop the students progression in literacy."

Forest Way School, Coalville. 07/11/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 31 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and three as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "T: lots of smiles & body movement; A: anticipations, lots of laughter at cause & effect; C: smiled at hand on resources, showed likes & dislikes; L: eye contact with storyteller; T: focused well on noisy resources; A: brilliant eye contact & smiles; B: focused for a few seconds. A: very alert & engaged, watching storyteller & anticipating sounds & actions, using language too; T: engaged well following storyteller with her eyes; C: very animated, lots of laughter, anticipation and eye contact. It gave me more insight into how to use these resources & inspired me to use them more in my future planning. So benefiting the sensory curriculum for these students."
  • "I feel the students benefited from the one to one approach & the time each student was given. The use of a multisensory approach to have a good level of props for adding to the story. As the storyteller went on more & more of the students reached out independently & eyes pointed at the different objects. The use of the different props really enhanced the students understanding of the story."
  • "Able to touch/interested in the props. One pupil whom I have not seen show pre interest to next task was tracking objects until it was her turn. [In the longer term this will help with a] widened interest in stories and improved listening skills."
  • "It was interesting for the students & they had time to look at the story boards and explore them.  One student especially was very interested and repeatedly smiled and reached out to the boards. All of the students focused on the boards and interacted well. It would be beneficial to have more story boards so the children could get use to them."
  • "Each child was given time to explore each prop in their own way. All senses were stimulated. One of the children was very involved, showing lots of giggles throughout the stories with lots of focus on the props - more than I would have expected. [In the longer term this will] keep them involved in the stories and allow them to become a part of it."
  • "All the participants were actively involved within the stories. They all enjoyed the sensory experiences.  All the participants gave great reactions to all of the stories and seemed to really enjoy themselves. [In the longer term this will help with] experiencing different sensory objects to give them knowledge about the world."

Swanwick School and Sports College, Alfreton. 17/10/16

Our Storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 17 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all the children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "[The session helped with] listening skills, speaking skills. All enjoyed hook a duck. Lower ability children really captured. [In the longer term this will help with] storywriting and imagination"
  • Storyteller had sense of humour and lovely manner with the children. Patient and entertaining. My class all have sensory needs and are kinasthetic learners so this was wonderful for them. Thank you so much. One child has severe behaviour problems and behaved well and interacted throughout. Has reinforced our topic on animals with zoo story. Hairdresser may benefit some that are anxious about hair cutting."
  • "Some of our class have sensory needs and some more than others. Storyteller was great and patient. Good listening skills and very interactive with Students. They all enjoyed seaside story. One really loved the boards. [In the longer term this will help with] imagination and listening, engaging for longer periods of time."

Ash Field Academy, Leicester. 29/09/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 38 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and three as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "They responded one way or another. Dialogue and script was simple which was great. The children reacted to each board differently throughout the session. [In the longer term this will help] by the way they really responded and anticipated. It was very good."
  • "The sensory books are perfectly matched for this group of children. Stories are simple with elements of anticipation and excitement. The use of everyday items provides the children with valuable experiences of discovery. Children were able to experience a new Bag book story today - one we'd like to use ourselves. Children were learning to wait their turn and predict what was to happen next."
  • I managed to observe a sensory response in all my pupils. All have profound needs so this was great. I think it worked well. One of my pupils started laughing to the oinking of the pig. She loved it. Great to hear a male voice as well as it is a female dominated classroom. [In the longer term this will help] only if staff continue to use in classrooms. This is something I will promote throughout our PMLD pathway. I need to order some more."
  • "Our pupils experience great benefit from Bag Books due to the sensory approach. Can be accessed by all. Excellent in general. Because I use them a lot the responses were as expected. We will continue to use Bag Books in the same fashion.
  • "Pupils were engaged during the stories and enjoyed the multisensory approach especially sounds.  Some of the pupils were more aware of stimuli. Using on a regular basis will make children more aware."
  • "All pupils were able to interact and relate to music. The Bag Books had visuals, sounds, vocab and moving objects. We even had ice cream. 3/5 pupils enjoyed the vibrations and sounds. [In the longer term this will help] pupils interact with objects presented to them."

Leicester Children's Hospital School, Leicester. 03/05/16

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of four children. The teacher judged that all of the children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling and rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. They commented "Very positive sessions and sharing of resources. We are looking forward to using the Bag Books with children when they come into hospital."

Birch Wood School, Melton Mowbray. 21/03/16

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 25 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 25 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good. Comments were:

  • "Brilliant."
  • "All three children really enjoyed the session. All really focused and taking part. Very well delivered."
  • "Well suited for the 4 students in 5C. We all really enjoyed it."
  • "A fantastic storytelling session! Really sensory. Thank you!"
  • "Well made resources that will benefit most pupils. Good pace of delivery."

Fairfields School, Northampton. 03/03/16

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 30 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 30 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good. Comments were:

  • "The children in the language group enjoyed participating in the stories and exploring the different materials, textures and objects. The adults and parents enjoyed interacting with the children and encouraged them to listen, sit nicely and explore the cards. It gave the parents ideas of how they could make and tell their own stories. [The Storyteller] recognised when the children didn't want to touch and explore the textures and showed them from a distance and skipped them."
  • "Really liked the interactive resources. The children were very engaged throughout."
  • "Really good props for the children to get involved with. [Good] interaction with the children. All enjoyed it :)"
  • "All the children in the session enjoyed the stories. Different props and sounds enhanced the experience for all the children."

Dorothy Goodman School, Hinckley. 22/02/16

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 41 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 41 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good. Comments were:

  • "All of the children displayed positive reactions to the books."
  • "Really great experience - good ideas for future use."
  • "Great stories. Children really enjoyed it."
  • "Storyteller was very patient and allowed all pupils to have an experience, whether it be independent, hand over hand or modelled. Resources are very good. Stimulated by sound. Storyteller didn't really stimulate children. Needed, more singing and a picture of the animal there telling the child what they are feeling. Storyteller spoke a bit quick."
Nether Hall School, Leicester. 10/02/16

Our Storyteller ran seven storytelling sessions with a total of 68 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all 68 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and four as “4/5 – Good. Comments were:

  • "Very enjoyable session would like to have another session. Children were engaged."
  • "Children seem to enjoy story session. Sensory props were excellent. It would have been better if there was more time for the children to explore them."
  • "The props have given more ideas to build our story time."
  • "More time needed with PMLD students - would have been better if each student had own sensory item to explore. Students working below P4 need more time to process. Otherwise a nice concept. Nice ideas - in terms of sensory objects to match story. [The Storyteller] was lovely!"
  • "Very engaging and suitable for our students."

Ashmount School, Loughborough. 29/01/16

Our Storyteller ran five storytelling sessions with a total of 28 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 28 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good. One added, "Brilliant interaction with the children. Lots of activities for the children to do, like trying on props and sensory equipment for the children to explore." Another commented, "Children were very engaged with the story, interacted well and enjoyed exploring the resources. Some of the resources' batteries did not work but very good session. Children very engaged."

Forest Way School, Coalville. 15/01/16

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 36 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good. Comments were:

  • "A nice idea to bring someone from outside to read to our pupils. A new and exciting face."
  • "All of the students really enjoyed the Bag Books experience. The Fairground story was lovely with lots of different sensory experiences which everyone enjoyed. Lots of the students laughed out loud at some of the story props. The students were all very keen to reach out and touch all of the different props and objects shown to them. Students all watched as the storyteller told his story. They followed him across the room waiting to see what was going to happen next with a big smile on their faces. The students also enjoyed watching each other's responses. There was lots of giggles and cheers. We also had some great talking from some students that don't always join in or speak out in groups. Overall, this was a great session which staff and students both really enjoyed. Thank you so much. What a wonderful way to spend a Friday morning."
  • "Good range of sensory experiences and topics.
  • "A lovely sensory experience. All five pupils enjoyed some aspects, if not all aspects of Bag Books."
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