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Storytelling In Your Area - East Midlands: 2012 onwards

Since January 2012 we have organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

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."

Rosehill School, Nottingham. 25/11/15, 11/12/15

Our Storyteller ran twelve storytelling sessions with a total of 65 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from twelve teachers who judged that all bar eight of the 65 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Nine rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”, two as“4/5 – Good” and one as “3/5 – Average”. Comments were:

  • "Lovely to see our group interested and very animated. They all enjoyed having [the Storyteller] in the class and inter-reacted well with him."
  • "Having all the resources in the room was the reason one student couldn't cope and left. The other students were very engaged and really enjoyed the stories. One student was very engaged who wouldn't normally enjoy story sessions."
  • "Really enjoyable session. All children engaged well and it was beneficial to all."
  • "Great session - enjoyed by all and inspiring in terms of improving our own practice. Thanks."
  • "The nature of some of our pupils can impact on others. Our pupils are very sensory and all pupils in Class 4 (bar one) participated and enjoyed the visual sensory story cards and explored them. They all focused and enjoyed the storyteller's stories."
  • "All children in my class enjoyed the session. Excellent resources to tell the story. Good pace of storytelling. An excellent hands on session."
  • "The pupils were very focused and engaged and all seemed to enjoy the experience."
  • "The change of environment did not help our pupils. One pupil with other complex needs enjoyed the session. The session need to be slower and allow pupils to explore more freely. However, in our own class environment, this could have been different."
  • "Lovely to have sensory stories. Some children really enjoyed the sensory side, particularly smell. For autistic children we felt it could have been a bit more animated, as subtle emotions can often not picked up."
  • "[The Storyteller] did very well at gauging which pupils could cope with certain resources. Great multi-sensory resources."
  • "It was lovely to observe the students' reaction, to see them sit focused for 20 minutes. Students were interested in what was coming next. I heard one of my students repeating some of the words which is lovely to see this development. All students interacted well. Thank you."
  • "James would like to catch a tram (this is after catching the bus). Great how you went round to every child. Would be better in smaller groups if child is waiting for their turn, but great that each child is spoken to, directed to and has a turn. Every child had a special 1-1 interactive experience. Great story props, easy stories to follow. Great you repeated certain sentences, words and story. great calm voice. Majority of pupils looked, listened, participated. You engaged pupils that initially couldn't focus or hesitant to join in. You recognised pupils behaviours when they didn't want to participate, and when they did want to. Our class is usually split into two groups, four pupils in each group. So next time we'd have two sessions and split our group. Really lovely concept - pupils and staff really enjoyed. Thank you."

The Shires at Stretton, Oakham. 09/12/15

Our Storyteller ran three storytelling sessions with a total of 14 children (the entire school) with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that 14 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”.

Alfreton Park Community Special School, Alfreton. 24/11/15

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 36 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from one teacher who judged that all of the children in their class had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, "Longer sessions as children were focused and enjoyed. Storyteller wasn't fazed by behaviours from children and gave the pupils time to process/time for the object/activity. Resources were suitable for all e.g. visual and hearing, smell."

QMC Education Centre, Nottingham. 19/11/15

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of ten 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 "As we are a Hospital School we work with children and young people 1:1 so this is a particularly useful approach for us. We find we have increasing numbers of pupils with complex special needs and again this approach offers us additional teaching opportunities beyond reading or telling a story. The storyteller saw about 10 pupils across the day and all benefitted. Staff also benefitted from seeing his approach and from the training he gave during lunchtime. Staff all commented however that his work directly with children was the best thing to watch in order for them to learn, there being something artificial about reading to a group of adults."

Redgate School, Mansfield. 13/11/15

Our Storyteller ran five storytelling sessions with a total of 39 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “4/5 – Good”.

Springwood Day Service, Nottingham. 28/10/15, 04/11/15, 11/11/15

There were a total of 19 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Very enjoyable activity for both staff and service users."

Martin Jackman Centre , Nottingham. 28/10/15, 04/11/15, 11/11/15

There were a total of 14 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Really enjoyed it and cannot wait to build up confidence with the storytelling when I have learnt the script with more practice."

Wren Spinney Community Special School, Kettering. 06/11/15

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 26 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the 26 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:

  • "Nice simple stories with very good props."
  • "A great performance at one correct level for very challenging pupils with behavioural issues."
  • "It would help the students if they had an actual book to refer to so they explored props in a context."
  • "All the pupils really enjoyed the stories. Smiling and laughing out loud. [The Storyteller] ensured all the pupils stayed engaged throughout!"
  • "Excellent session. Clear enjoyment shown by all pupils. Fully engaged."

Gosberton House School, Spalding. 09/10/15

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 34 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all bar one of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "All children very engaged. All loved the sensory aspect. All children involved. All children able to say their favourite story. Given us ideas too! Super storyteller. Thank you!" The other commented, "Children really enjoyed it, loved being part of the story."

Cedar Lodge, Chesterfield. 05/08/15, 12/08/15, 19/08/15

There were a total of 19 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Very good. Enjoyed it very much. The instructor was very informative, helping in every way possible, kept us entertained as well as teaching us. Training was brilliant. Learned a lot. Feel confident to continue doing the stories. Thank you." The other commented, "It's very good. The residents enjoy it. It's something different to get involved with at work."

Elmwood Lodge, Chesterfield. 05/08/15, 12/08/15, 19/08/15

There were a total of 9 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Inspirative Arts, Derby. 16/06/15, 23/06/15, 30/06/15

There were a total of 20 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees Two rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "4/5 - Good". Comments were:

  • "I love the stories' ability to be adapted depending on the setting/clients."
  • "Fantastic. Could add props to suit the clients depending on their needs."
  • "Practicing the same stories to the same clients was difficult to get the clients to want to listen to the same story. The majority were ok with it though. If the training was different days of the week, this would allow a different range of clients to practice with."

Coalville Resource Centre, Coalville. 16/06/15, 23/06/15, 30/06/15

There were a total of 14 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Really enjoyed it! And it was really great to see the service users getting so much out of it!"

Bracken Hill School, Sutton-In-Ashfield. 21/04/15

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 59 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar five 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:

  • "Very good at engaging all children. Children gave thumbs up."
  • "Lots of fun interactive boards. Quote from one child "This is awesome". Lots of laughing from the pupils. A lot of ideas and appropriate comments from the children."
  • "All Darwin class pupils have complex needs. Not all were able to sit and listen. Four pupils sat and listened and touched the equipment."
  • "The whole group loved the session and enjoyed it. They were all absorbed by it and laughed lots! They were engaged and liked the different objects. Thank you. Student comments: happy, excited, made me laugh, great, I liked that spray."
  • "Children loved the use of interactive resources and were very engaged."

Rosehill School, Nottingham. 02/04/15

Our Storyteller trained 32 members of school staff. Two of the trainees rather the quality of the training as “5/5 – Very Good”, 29 as “4/5 – Good" and one as "3/5 – Average". Comments were:

  • "Very similar to tac pacs. Just they are to music."
  • "I have a class with higher functioning 16-19 year olds so not very relevant to me. Can see value for primary though".
  • "I have been lucky enough to work with the library service when they were having training in Bag Books, so feel confident with this material."
West Gate School, Leicester. 23/03/15

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 44 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from five 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 two as “4/5 – Good”. One added, "Students interacted well with props. Having used sensory stories, students benefit from repeat sessions with same props which allows for increased anticipation." Another commented, "Great use of real life props. All students' attention was gained. Thanks."

Yeoman Park School, Mansfield. 17/03/15

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 41 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. One rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and three as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "We all really enjoyed the session. All pupils responded to the sensory story boards, in their own way. Thank you."
  • "All our students enjoyed the stories and were very engaged. A lovely idea. Thank you."
  • "A pupil on returning to class said 'that was right good that was'."

Foxwood Academy, Nottingham. 09/03/15

Our Storyteller ran five storytelling sessions with a total of 27 children with severe learning disabilities. 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. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "The students really enjoyed the story and joining in with all the sensory props. The storyteller was very good at engaging all the students in the group."
  • "Children interacted well and session was enjoyed by all. Loved the sensory props."
  • "We thought it was pitched just right for our children and staff."
  • "Brilliant. Thank you."
  • "Children smiled, interacted, fantastic use of body language and props. Children enjoyed it a lot."

Friars Academy, Wellingborough. 12/02/15, 03/03/15

Our Storyteller ran twelve storytelling sessions with a total of 82 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from ten teachers who judged that all bar two of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Eight rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Great for engaging the children who have little access to books/stories."
  • "The children in my class really enjoyed the stories, and talked about the fair, spiders and barbers afterwards. Thank you."
  • "This group of Yr 9 pupils were fully involved and all enjoyed the sessions."
  • "All the pupils were engaged and enjoyed the session. One pupil said they had been excellent listeners. Children were able to say which story they liked and why."
  • "Thoroughly enjoyed by all group - sensory experiences helped understanding."
  • "Great interaction with each of the children in the session which brought the stories told to life. Children really enjoyed themselves especially with the props used."

Church View.  Ilkeston. 11/02/15, 18/02/15, 25/02/15

There were a total of 10 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. Both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Coppice.  Ilkeston. 11/02/15, 18/02/15, 25/02/15

There were a total of 8 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. Both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Fantastic."

St Christopher School, Lincoln. 12/12/14

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 30 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. One rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and four as “4/5 – Good”. One added, "Our children were very engaged in the stories. They sat very well and often sitting is difficult. They enjoyed the sensory aspects. Thank you."

Sandon School, Grantham. 08/12/14

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 41 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. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” Comments were:

  • "Fantastic experience for the pupils. Thank you very much."
  • "Pupils really engaged."
  • "The storyteller was flexible and adapted well to the children's different needs. There are a couple of pupils who can find it difficult to engage but I feel engaged well and really benefitted from session."
  • "Wonderful experience for our sensory pupils. Really benefitted from it. All pupils interacted with story."

Bourne Resource Centre, Bourne. 14/11/14, 28/11/14, 05/12/14

There were a total of 9 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. Both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "All was very good."

St Francis School, Lincoln. 21/11/14

Our Storyteller ran five storytelling sessions with a total of 28 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Fabulous session, all children loved it. Especially the noisy bits. Was perfect sensory story for all pupils in this class."
  • "The children all interacted with both stories, Kofi and Nan's visit. Each child engaged with the props. [The Storyteller] engaged perfectly with children."
  • "We have a wide range of abilities and ages within the school, many who find it difficult to access regular books therefore sensory stories such as Bag Books are vital. The visual aids and props were great and accessible to all even the most PMLD of children. The storyteller was very good with all the children and pitched it perfectly. However, no disrespect to [the Storyteller], who was great, we could deliver the stories ourselves as the resources are the main plus point."

Pegasus School, Swadlincote. 14/11/14

Our Storyteller ran seven storytelling sessions with a total of 17 children with autistic spectrum disorder. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "This young person loves his sensory - he liked the music from Kofi and stood up several times to try and engage with this. [In The Fairground he loved] the 3 coins, the stringy [spider web and] the candy floss (he ripped some off). He sat there for 2 stories. Thank you."
  • "All students and staff enjoyed the session. The students responded well and sat together for the 30 minute session. Thank you."
  • "Pupils really enjoyed the interaction and the tactile materials used with each story."
  • "Students were very relaxed, they sat together and participated enthusiastically. Students listened to four stories - they really enjoyed listening to the African music."
  • "Although D struggles with too much verbal he became interested in the props and took part in feeling and trying out the different items. It was nice to see him joining in."
  • "This young person really engaged with the stories. Student really enjoyed the Bag Books, especially the different textures and colours. Very beneficial. Thank you."
Ash Field Academy, Leicester. 30/10/14

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions with a total of 30 children with severe learning disabilities. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that all 30 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling and rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. They added, “Really great storytelling. Hope [the Storyteller] can come back..”

Mentaur Day Opportunities Resource Centre, Northampton. 13/10/14, 20/10/14, 27/10/14

There were a total of 13 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees. All four rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Rushden Day Opportunities Resource Centre, Rushden. 13/10/14, 20/10/14, 27/10/14

There were a total of 18 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. Both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Carlton Digby School, Nottingham. 22/10/14

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions with a total of 30 children with severe learning disabilities. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, "Great day of storytelling. Very worthwhile."

Childrens' Development Centre - Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham. 07/08/14

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 16 children.

Ashgrove House, Rushden. 01/07/14, 22/07/14, 29/07/14

There were a total of 10 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Such good fun for the whole group. That really involves them in the process." Another commented, "Bag Books have opened up a whole new Narnia-style world of fun and stimulation for me and Ashgrove customers. [The Storyteller] was warm, approachable, and fun."

Oxford Street Care Home, Wellingborough. 01/07/14, 22/07/14, 29/07/14

There were a total of 14 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees. One rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and three as "4/5 - Good". One added, "I really enjoyed the training. Enjoyed a refresher of using Bag Books in previous jobs."

Oak Field School, Bilborough, Nottingham. 22/05/14

Our Storyteller ran five storytelling sessions with a total of 25 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from three teachers. They judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as "4/5 - Good". One added, “Lovely session. The class enjoyed all the sensory boards - lovely looking, listening and touching from our PMLD class and lots of lovely smiles. Thank you.”

SDS Day Centre, Long Eaton. 17/04/14, 24/04/14, 01/05/14

There were a total of eight adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Huws Residential Home, Lenton. 17/04/14, 24/04/14, 01/05/14

There were a total of 17 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Excellent and great fun."

Kisimul School, Lincoln. 19/03/14

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 18 children. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as "4/5 - Good". One added, "This was a wonderful session. All of my pupils engaged well throughout, including my lowest ability pupil whom is very sensory and interacted brilliantly throughout. The books also engaged my highest ability pupil whom is on entry levels (NC2) who laughed and engaged throughout. She said it was "brilliant"!" Another commented, "Very enjoyable. Good range of stories. Good orator, easily approachable. Appeared to have a good knowledge and understanding of SEN pupils in a very special school."

Billing Brook Special School, Northampton. 06/03/14

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 35 children. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • "The children and staff thoroughly enjoyed the story session."
  • "Nice and interactive. A lot of interaction with some fun props. Really, really good."
  • "Excellent. Very beneficial."
  • "Very engaging with something to suit each pupil. Gave lots of opportunity to include each student. They clearly really enjoyed it. The children sat, listened and anticipated each part of the story - fantastic!"

Real Life Options, Ripley. 16/01/14, 30/01/14, 13/02/14

There were a total of 12 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "Enjoyable. Training was delivered very well. Professional and helpful information/advice given."
  • "Great idea. Good training. Hope to get a chance to use."
  • "Was a good experience."

The Carnegie Project, Leicester. 16/01/14, 30/01/14, 13/02/14

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "I now feel confident in sensory storytelling. Really enjoyed it. It was brilliant. Thank you."

St Giles' School, Retford. 05/02/14

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

  • "Fantastic session. All children engaged. Thank you."
  • "Some interesting materials. The pupils and staff enjoyed the session."
  • "Children were all engaged and enjoyed the session."

St Martin's School, Derby. 28/01/14

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 33 children. We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "Students loved [The Storyteller] telling stories of The Fairground and Kofi. The session was very stimulating, interactive, fun and enjoyable. All the students listened well and fully engaged. Students' comments "It's fun!", "Good storyteller", "really good", "loved it"." The other commented, "Wonderful for me to see the level of engagement of my students and the excitement on their faces. The sensory experiences were spot on for my ASD students and the learning level was excellent for my SLD students. [The Storyteller] was respectful to one of my students' responses when he said "no thanks" or "not this time thanks" but this student was fully engaged in this session. Comments form students - "This is one clever story!", "This is amazing", "This is awesome"."

Stanton Vale School, Long Eaton. 23/01/14

Our Storyteller ran eight sessions involving a total of 34 children. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "I thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling session - I felt the material was excellently matched to the needs and learning styles of the pupils. [The Storyteller] gave the pupils time to process the activity and was very empathetic and tuned in to the needs of the pupils. An excellent storytelling session."
  • "All the children seemed to enjoy the story and took part. Maybe a little more signing would have been good. Really enjoyed taking part this morning."
  • "[The Storyteller] was very friendly towards staff and pupils and engaged well with the individual pupils. He was sensitive to their individual needs. The two stories, The Fairground and The Haircut were well resourced and appropriate to their needs."

Birkett House School, Wigston. 13/01/14

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 46 children. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three teachers rated the overall experience as “4/5 – Good”. One added, "We are very experienced working with our students and know them well i.e. which side vision, who is hearing impaired, who's hands work better than others, who has a startle reflex, who would be nervous and needs more time etc. It was impossible for the storyteller to know this in the time frame so he did really well. It was a super story and the students enjoyed it. The group liked the props to support the story and they vocalised, looked and touched well. We would normally be able to give them more time. They liked listening to a man's voice."

The Eresby School, Spilsby. 12/12/13

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 34 children. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and three as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "This was really good. Thank you."
  • "Tactile which was very suitable."
  • "It would be better with CD stories to go with the tactile resources so that staff could stop and use as appropriate for individuals/groups."
  • "Children were engaged and interactive with Bag Books stories. Lots of smiles and excitement."
  • "All children in Class 1 enjoyed the session - very tactile."

Broughton House, Brant Broughton. 21/11/13, 29/11/13, 06/12/13

There were a total of 13 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. One rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and the other as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Brilliant. The staff, and most importantly, residents, really enjoyed. We are looking to run regular storytelling sessions in our setting." The other commented, "Great idea, works well with most of our clients. Personally feel certain stories work better than others. Personally felt more confident conducting scripted stories. A whole day training rather than three days sessions. I felt the weeks were a little repetitive which helped to learn the scripts but occassionally would have been nice to have a bigger variety of stories."

The Beeches, Retford. 21/11/13, 29/11/13, 06/12/13

There were a total of 12 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees. Two rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Really enjoyed seeing the different stories." Another commented, "Felt much more confident telling the story."

Rowan Gate Primary School, Wellingborough. 03/12/13

Our Storyteller ran four sessions involving a total of 22 children. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all 22 of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "It was fantastic to see all the children engaged - smiling, reaching out to explore the objects. All children were able to access the story at their level. A lovely circle time, PSED activity as well supporting communication, language and literacy."
  • "I think Bag Books can be used with all ages and abilities. You can adapt how you present the story and older more able children can have good discussions about what happened in the story."
  • "This particular group of children enjoy the Bag Book set of sensory stories. They also need more time to explore and respond to the objects and text and a story can take longer for them to respond to what is happening within the group the story and storyteller."

Kisimul School, Lincoln. 05/11/13

Our Storyteller ran seven sessions involving a total of 34 children. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good". One added, "Very enjoyable session. It was lovely to see the pupils being involved and interacting so well. Thank you. It was a lovely experience.”

Belvoir Lodge, Nottingham. 23/07/13, 06/08/13, 13/08/13

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees and they all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "[The Storyteller/Trainer] helped us to relax, talked us through the story, helping us to deliver the story in a confident manner."
  • "It was very good/friendly."
  • "Once I have learnt the scripts I will be better."

Oxclose Lodge, Nottingham. 23/07/13, 06/08/13, 13/08/13

There were a total of 14 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees and they both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "Enjoyed this course very much. Very good mentor."
  • "I have thoroughly enjoyed this training and feel eager to carry out storytelling with confidence."
  • "Students enjoyed these sessions, and we still have a long way to go. Mentor was very knowledgable. Easy to work with and made us feel very at ease."

Millfield Community Opportunities, Hickley. 31/05/13, 14/06/13, 10/07/13

There were a total of 14 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees and they both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Oakley Grange, Corby. 11/06/13, 20/06/13, 09/07/13

There were a total of 20 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees and they both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Absolutely enjoyed the training session. Very rewarding." The other commented, "Thoroughly enjoyable training sessions and I'm looking forward to delivering Bag Books to our customers."

Henley Day Centre, Kettering. 11/06/13, 20/06/13, 05/07/13

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees and they both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Interesting tips from [The Storyteller] to develop skills."

The Mount Day Centre, Melton Mowbray. 31/05/13, 14/06/13, 28/06/13

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees and they both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

The Parks School, Oakham. 18/06/13

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 35 children. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of the children in their class had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. One teacher rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and three as “4/5 – Good". One added, "The children all really enjoyed the stories and participated in the interactions well. Storyteller held their attention throughout and they really responded with lots of laughing and copying the model.” Another commented, “An introduction for the adult accompanying the children would have been useful so that we could know the appropriate level of interaction.”

Rainbows Children’s Hospice, Loughborough. 28/05/13

Our Storyteller ran sessions with seven children. The feedback from the hospice staff judged that all seven children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They added, "Would work very well with individuals as well as small groups. Suitable for a good percentage of our children or young people. Would benefit majority of our visitors and their siblings."

Birch Wood School, Melton Mowbray. 24/04/13

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 35 children. We received feedback from four teachers. They judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". One added, "Very good way of storytelling and good interaction. Students sat and listened and joined in. Excellent. Thank you." Another commented, "Lovely - especially beneficial for JJ (lowest levels) - but they all benefitted and were active participants (more than usual in one case especially). Excellent multi-sensory resources."

Ash Lea School, Nottingham. 23/04/13

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 35 children. We received feedback from six teachers. They judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and three as "4/5 - Good". Comments were:

  • "The storyteller was patient and gave every pupil time to explore the board. He showed interest in all the pupils and gave everyone a turn starting with a different pupil each time."
  •     "Children enjoyed sensory experience of story."
  • "The repetitiveness of sentences worked well with this group of all ASD students. Excellent and all enjoyed being able to touch and feel the resources."
  • "As a group we like the idea of Bag Books. The range of different resources was varied and numerous. The storyteller interacted with each and every student, giving each student a chance to explore the different items, relating to the story. This group needed a little more time to explore the different items relating to the story. This group were well supported with staff, they could have been utilised or be more included in the storytelling."
  • "Students involved and resources very interactive. Session enjoyed by all with individual responses observed. Super session! Please come back again."
  • "The children all really enjoyed the stories and were all really focused. The storyteller was really engaging and enthusiastic which made the stories fun, interesting and motivating for all the pupils. A really beneficial session for everyone, with great resources."

Fountaindale School, Mansfield. 26/03/13

Our Storyteller ran sessions involving a total of 4 children. 4 people were trained in multi-sesnory storytelling.

Peak School, High Peak. 25/03/13

Our Storyteller ran four sessions involving a total of 9 children. We received feedback from three teachers. They judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. One rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good", one as "4/5 - Good" and one as "3/5 - Average".

Forest Way School, Coalville. 20/03/13

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 33 children. We received feedback from one teacher. They judged that all of the children in their class had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “4/5 – Good".

Leicester College, Leicester. 17/01/13, 31/01/13, 14/03/13

A total of 16 adult participants across the three sessions. There was one trainee and they rated the overall training/mentoring as "4/5 - Good".

St Andrew's School, Derby. 12/03/13

Our Storyteller ran three sessions involving a total of 15 children. We received feedback from four teachers. They judged that all bar one of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and two as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Stories were appropriate - 2nd story was less complicated and less abstract and therefore more accessible to students. All students really enjoyed the session. Lots of giggling and interaction. All students were focussed and participated - not easy to achieve with this group."

Enable Resource Centre, Alfreton. 04/02/13, 18/02/13, 11/03/13

A total of 24 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees and they all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Enjoyed it. Service users also enjoyed the experience."

Aegir Community School, Gainsborough. 11/03/13

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 28 children. We received feedback from five teachers. They judged that all of the children in their class had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling and they all rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • "All of the students in my group were focused and listened well in this session. The storyteller captured the attention of all the different levels of each individual need of each student, high and lower learners. The students were intrigued to
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