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Storytelling In Your Area - London: 2017 Jul onwards

Since July 2017 we have organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

Spa School, Southwark. 26/03/18

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 29 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the 29 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “The sensory aspect was brilliant and helped the students stay engaged. [I was surprised that] all students interacted and enjoyed the stories and followed instructions through sound and touch. [In the longer term we will] use more.”
  • “They all got to engage with all elements of the story and all got involved. [I was surprised that] D was sensible and engaged with all aspects. Knew when to smell, pull, touch etc. [In the longer term this will help with] waiting and turn taking.”
  • “All the interactive props. Multi-sensory. J was very wary but soon became very interested with the equipment and loved to touch. [In the longer term this will help] to interact with literature, to improve shared attention skills.”
  • “They were very engaged in the story session due to the storyteller’s ability to engage the students and the different sensory items. The small group size increased the students’ engagement. Lots of smiling when experiencing the sensory items. Laughing and vocalisations. They are engaged and ready for the next lesson.”
  • “All students were 100% engaged, enjoying the sensory items, touch, sound, smell. E was focussed the entire session when he would normally lose interest. [In the longer term this will help] support listening for extended periods and following a story.”
  • “The sensory, turn taking experience was lively and engaging. By the second story those who are normally reserved reached out to the pages. [In the longer term this will help the] story come alive.”

Watergate School, Lewisham. 19/03/18

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 29 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 29 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Lovely to see different reactions. Lots of participation. Lots of smiles from pupils. Pupils who find it difficult to sit on their chairs did so for a very long time. One particular child tolerated hand over hand support to explore props. [In the longer term] pupils will be able to explore the zoo story again. Interesting to watch reactions when sharing the story again.”
  • “New experience. Some pupils who are tactile defensive engaged with resources. All pupils enjoyed the stories. All engaged and participated. Pupils with limited attention and listening skills engaged with two stories. Pupils reluctant to touch materials were motivated to explore. Staff able to see how to resource and tell multisensory stories. They can use these more around the school. Excellent - Thank you.”
  • “They loved all the lovely materials and sensory stuff. They all explored and enjoyed. They each had their own turn with the storyteller. All of them enjoyed it a lot. All of the children gave responses and reactions to props and materials - Smiling, vocalising, moving their bodies. I think today’s session has given the opportunity for children to explore, listen and be engaged in a different activity. It’s been lovely.”
  • “Lovely pace of story. All pupils interacted. M looked to the person before her anticipating her turn. Smells were popular. Sensory engagement was just perfect.”
  • “All pupils were interactive at their own level. There were lots of smiles and some reached out to repeat the activities. The speed of the telling was very good, keeping all pupils interested. [I was surprised that] one boy tried each activity as it came to him , rope pulling, swinging basket, beating goats. He followed the storyteller with his eyes in anticipation to what was coming next. It is good to have repetition and the story line is great in short sentences. All cleverly done.”

Marjorie McClure School, Bromley. 15/03/18

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 33 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 33 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “All students were engaged and it was obvious how much they enjoyed the session. [I was surprised that] all were engaged. One pupil really struggles with concentration and she was focussed the entire time.”
  • “Engaging sensory and interactive story. They were each actively part of the story and had a role to play. Pupils started needing hand over hand guidance but then were interacting independently. One autistic pupil was really engaged and enjoying much more than lots of activities. [In the longer term this will help with] engaging in stories / ideas for class. Thank you, the pupils were really engaged and enjoyed the stories. Loved it.”
  • “Children with vision problems were able to feel what animals were in the story. They were able to use their motor skills and patience waiting their turn. Some are easily distracted or lose interest easily but they were able to sit patiently and wait their turn without any intervention from staff.”
  • “I like the repetitiveness of the story when the students are getting a chance to touch the props. I liked that all the props were accessible for all the students and easily adaptable if not. Covered all senses and hand eye coordination. Very engaging. [I was surprised that] they all really enjoyed the session and got engaged. I think that all stories in school should have a sensory focus to them as a lot of students learn through all their senses and a sensory story is more engaging than a normal story.”
  • “All the children loved the sensory part of the story. They showed excitement for each prop and waited their turn patiently. All 100% engaged. One child, who usually shows little reaction in lesson, showed anticipation for the pig and actively played with the props in the zoo story. She also followed the prop around the circle with her eyes. Another child finds it difficult to stay focused and she remained in her seat the whole session. [In the longer term this will help with] understanding stories. Physically involved in the lesson. It was excellent and everyone really enjoyed.”
  • “It was clear from the interest and anticipation shown by the children that they were totally involved and enjoying the Bag Book experience. The chatterbox in the group calmed right down to wait his turn. All pupils were fascinated and no one distracted the group. I think some pupils would benefit daily. It would definitely improve listening and attention skills.”

Camp Simcha, Westminster. 14/03/18

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 10 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from one teachers who judged that all bar two of the 10 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and commented, "Thank you so much for coming along again. They just love it. One dad said " He loves your stories". Another said "Thank you for your time, I’m so pleased he has these at school." Really good day.”

Oaklands School, Hounslow. 05/03/18

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 44 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 three of the 44 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:

  • "All engaged well with the sensory experience. They found it funny and enjoyable. Delivery was strong and engaging. [I was surprised that] J found it very funny and engaging. D sat quietly and stayed focused."
  • "Sensory stimulation, interactive and inclusive activities. [In the longer term this will help with] attention and listening. Exploring objects. Social skills. All good."
  • "Today’s session benefited the students because it helped them to listen. Furthermore they got the chance to have fun which they enjoyed. One of the students looked more interested in this than in any other lessons."
  • "Brilliant. They loved it. All thoroughly enjoyed this thank you. [In the longer term this will help with] interacting with each other."
  • "Kids seemed happy and engaged."

Beatrice Tate School, Tower Hamlets. 26/02/18

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

  • "Students were all focused and engaged with the Storyteller and a few children repeated words and phrases from the story."
  • "It’s good to have all the pupils sitting with their group for the same session. To acknowledge each other and share a story with them. Storyteller very confident and friendly. Very good. Amazing reactions for at least half the pupils - bald head and mirror. Word copying and development from two pupils that are not always verbal. One student stayed sitting / waiting / participating for the whole session. He usually gets up and walks off! Benefits - to share whole class story, shared attention, word development, exploration in a sensory way, waiting anticipation."
  • "All students really enjoyed both of the stories. Great experience for all. [In the longer term this will help with] getting used to feeling and experiencing different textures and materials."
  • "Thanks for doing a story at the lunch time club."
  • "They were attentive and enjoyed exploring the items. The group was very calm and interacted well - looking up, smiling and listening. [In the longer term this will help with] improved communication. More of it!"
  • "Listened to new vocabulary, engaged with a new person and listened. J and S really engaged in the sensory parts of the story, sometimes smiling and they touched the objects."

Gesher School, Brent. 23/02/18

Our Storyteller ran two multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 10 children (the entire school) with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all bar one of the 15 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • The pupils engaged as a result of the high level of interaction. They enjoyed the sensory aspect and being able to feel the different materials. They benefited from the repetition and all getting a turn. All pupils engaged, listened and participated well throughout session. [In the longer term this will help with a] good understanding of plants growing."
  • "All the children were able to access the session and importantly they all enjoyed it. It helped reinforce the key skill of turn taking in a fun engaging way. The tactile aspect really helped one of our children to engage whereas he normally finds sustained focus quite challenging. [In the longer term] they will be prepared for these types of stories and know expectations of how to engage with them. It was really engaging."

The Alexandra Centre for FE, Camden. 19/03/18

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

  • “The storytelling had a good feeling and it was good for the sensory needs of students. They also saw storytelling in a different style. [I was surprised that] M liked the spiders; S liked the candy floss page; A liked the sound of the ghost train; and J liked the lights. The sessions will benefit them as it’s different. Everything was good.”
  • “Three of our students were very engaged and interacted well. They smiled at the storyteller. [I was surprised that] with the second story two of our students had positive and unexpected reactions. This session helps our students to interact during the lesson.”
  • “Most enjoyed but was the end of Friday afternoon. Some paid attention a lot more than I thought they would. [In the longer term this will help] us to see stories being told that we have.”

Highshore School, Southwark. 05/02/18

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 43 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the 43 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:

  • "Very interactive and sensory indeed! The pupils did enjoy the sensory experience. Two girls who are usually quiet in literacy lessons were excited during the storytelling session. As a matter of fact, all the pupils were excited and did enjoy the storytelling session. This is a fantastic learning experience for SEND pupils and for others at KS1, 2 & 3.The sensory input is great! The storytelling can be adapted to a reading text pupils are reading at school."
  • "[The session helped the pupils] try something they haven't done before. All great!"
  • "They were all engaged with both stories and it was pitched at the perfect level. M was extremely engaged. It was perfect we all had fun."
  • "Students were all engaged and seemed to enjoy the story. The visuals were excellent and they all participated. Almost all of the class was able to stay focused for the entire session which is not always the case. [In the longer term] it may help the students to better visualise stories they are being told. It was very good."
  • "Students were able to actively take part in the stories. All of the students interacted with the story in a positive way. Students were encourage to engage and experience a story on an individual level."
  • "[In the longer term this will help] give confidence to interpret the story in their own way."

Paddock Secondary School, Wandsworth. 29/01/18

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 36 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar three of the 36 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Extremely inclusive. Caught attention of students who don’t always participate or attend. Fun, creative, turn taking. Opportunities for communication. Multisensory learning. [I was surprised that] two students both showed a good level of interest and interaction. [In the longer term this will be] great for imagination, interaction with peers and adult storyteller turn taking. Helps eye contact. Uses senses, great for our students. EXCITING. Good for manual dexterity. Well done and thank you.”
  • “They all sat lovely and seemed to enjoy both the stories. They were all very good and seemed happy. [In the longer term this will help] by having weekly storytelling sessions. It was very good.”
  • “They were able to engage with the story. [I was surprised that] most students were able to stay for whole session. It is an activity that can be accessed by all abilities and brings a group of students together that may not necessarily all be together at any one point.”
  • “Taking turns, listening skills, sitting in a group, interacting with different objects and resources. Experiencing unfamiliar activity with unfamiliar person. Some students who find it very difficult to sit down in a group managed to sit and maintain attention and focus.”
  • “They all joined in. The objects and resources were very good. Maybe a smaller group as two found it hard to engage. [I was surprised that] H enjoyed taking his turn and only left the room once which is great for him.”

Greenvale School, Lewisham. 15/01/18

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 18 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all 18 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "Our students benefitted from today by having sensory, social engagement. We felt R really engaged and enjoyed all the stories. N was very focussed. [In the longer term] the storyboard will give them more focus and longer attention span."
  • "Students benefitted by the story to smell, touch and stay focused. They all enjoyed. [I was surprised that they] stayed focused and laughing. [In the longer term this will help with] learning to listen, attention span, understanding a story. Well presented and lots of fun."
  • "A was really calm during the session. S had amazing concentration. All did well with turn taking. [I was surprised with] A and S without a doubt. Such a good way for them to understand stories."
  • "[The session helped with] learning to focus and relax and to wait their turn in the story. T was very relaxed. E and S participated more than expected. [I was surprised that] T was very relaxed. E and S participated more than expected. [In the longer term this will help with] focus. More effective stories. Attention span. More please. The Storyteller was fabulous with our students today. I think all the staff involved have a better knowledge now of how these work."

Snowflake School, Kensington & Chelsea. 06/12/17

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 15 children (the entire school) with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all bar one of the 15 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “It encourages the children to feel and look at their surroundings. The children all went to echo the words of the storyteller. S’s attention was fantastic. [In the longer term] it will help them sit in a group and attend to the storyteller. It was fantastic!”
  • “The children enjoyed the sensory input, children very engaged. Children attended very well. [I was surprised that] one child loved the sensory input, stayed engaged throughout entire session and was wanting to take part in activities. One lad who is usually prompted took part independently. [In the longer term] children will attend for longer periods of time and participate in group settings. Children attended to storyteller well.”
  • “[The session helped with] being in a group with others. Waiting their turn. Eager to find out what is coming next. [I was surprised with the] big smiles during their turn and anticipation. All kids in group were interested in the sensory aspects of the story, touch, smell, listening. It was great - all kids loved it.”
  • “[I was surprised that] one of them was interacting really nicely and was tolerating being in a group.”

Kisharon Day School, Barnet. 04/12/17

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

  • “Pupils engaged in activity fully. [I was surprised that] all responded well. Excellent modelling of Bag Books storytelling for class team to continue implementing.”
  • “[The session helped with] involvement, concentration, turn-taking and vocabulary.. [I was surprised that] one of the girls stayed on her chair waiting for her turn and another girl was quiet instead of talking all the time. Even repeated some sentences. Motor skills for wheelchair user. The class remembered the storytellers name from last time ... that says lots. A special memory. It was great!”
  • “Some of our children have sensory needs so all the children benefited. M interacted better than I thought he would as the stories were new. [In the longer term] the children will benefit from touching, feeling and taking part. Especially the seed story. It was extremely good and all children gave their full attention.”
  • “All children gave full attention which was amazing for the full duration of the session.”
  • “The children engaged in the story using all the multi-sensory props to aid understanding. The repetition was good for them. [I was surprised that] one child who initially didn’t want to participate then sat through the story well and enjoyed it. They used some excellent facial expressions in the second story. [In the longer term] the children will know how to interact with Bag Books. It taught them how to take turns.”
  • “[The session helped with the] physical experience of a story. One child who usually needs hand over hand support did all examples of participation independently. [In the longer term] they will associate sensory experience when revisiting the story.”

Phoenix Arch School, Brent. 04/12/17

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 22 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all 22 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Children found the stories interesting and had lots of fun. They interacted a lot and had the opportunity to have a feel of different objects and materials. [I was surprised that] two of the children remained in the circle for longer than they normally would. Also all the children interacted better with the sensory stories than normal ones. [In the longer term this will help with] taking turns and sharing stories. Having more fun. Engaged in stories and more focused.”
  • “They loved touching items from the story book, sat down for a while and focused on the story. Were happy and smiling. [I was surprised that] they stayed focussed. They were repeating the story and smiling [In the longer term this will help with] talking, touching, sitting, reacting, smiling, the kids loved it. All participants would want to use it all the time. Kept their interest all the time.”
  • “Better listening and understanding of the stories due to the sensory part. [I was surprised that there was] better acting out of the parts in the stories and all senses used to understand the stories. [In the longer term this will help with] better understanding of some aspects of life e.g. playing piano, seagulls, painting.”
  • “They learned about different aspects of Christmas in a very multi-sensory way. They relived experiences of days at the beach. Two pupils reacted better than expected. They both interacted with the resources and sang along to songs. They laughed and smiled and were engaged throughout. [In the longer term] the children will want to be more involved with Christmas activities and will be excited to hear more stories.”

Jack Tizard School, Hammersmith & Fulham. 29/11/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 28 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 28 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “High quality resources that are appropriate for our learners. The stories had appropriate amount of language so the key words can be repeated. [The Storyteller] delivered the story in a way that was sensitive to our learners needs. Thank you. Usually we deliver stories in a more formal way but this time they were on the floor sitting with support as it was their physio session and still they attended. [In the longer term] it will help us when designing our own stories. It was all lovely. Thank you very much.”
  • “H really enjoyed all sensory elements, the smells, the lights. He was very engaged. A did much better during the second story. Both did very considering they had just sat in the hall for an hour before hand. The speed of the storytelling really benefited them. We will continue using Bag Books.”
  • “Assisted with imaginative play. Attention on external objects to stories. Focusing on new and unfamiliar routines. The students did very well at pretending to play the piano and painting the walls. Encouraged imaginative play [In the longer term this will help with] focusing.”
  • “Concentrated very well and had good eye coordination and sensory experiences. [I was surprised that] they reacted very well to the story, touching the props and smelling the resources. Good looking at props, all very eye catching. [In the longer term this will help] make them more aware of senses relating to Christmas, fine motor skills and sounds, smelling oranges etc.”
  • “Pupils had opportunities to express preferences. Props were multi-sensory and exciting. Pupils were excited to reach out and touch. Pupils sustained visual attention and smiled throughout. [I was surprised that] pupils were interested in props and tried to spin the compass, smell the fruit, open the box. Attention sustained for vast period of time. If these sessions could be repeated, pupils would have opportunities to show likes and dislikes and learn to solve problems. The session was wonderful and repeating the sessions would consolidate learning. Great stories, Great storytelling and props.”
  • “Students enjoy participating in stories, variety of tasks were able to catch attention and retain it. [I was surprised that] students enjoying the smells, one called after the smell had gone in the Christmas story. A student who is usually tactile defensive reached out. [In the longer term this will] help identify different things/ topics that students enjoy. Sensory stories allow more opportunities.”

Campa Simcha, Westminster. 26/11/17

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of six children. No feedback forms were completed as this was not appropriate for this event. Parents and carers dropped in and out with their children for stories. One parent said "I have heard he has these at school and couldn't wait to see them." Another said "look at his face - he loves them".

Oak Lodge School, Barnet. 22/11/17

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

  • “The kids were able to follow the story due to its simplicity, familiar words and sensory stimulus. The topics were accurate. [I was surprised that] both participants were active during the session. They were really keen on the topics and showed interest in getting involved in storytelling. [In the longer term this will help with] learning specific vocabulary, getting on with daily activities and tasks.”
  • “Students had fun, enjoyed the stories and absolutely loved the props. [I was surprised that] the students were SO engaged! One of our more reluctant students chose to join in. [In the longer term this will help] encourage interest in stories, support communication and promote being part of a group.”
  • “All students were engaged and we heard great communication and laughter from all students. The stories were very engaging and [the Storyteller] was great. Two students that usually find group learning challenging were really engaged and enjoyed the whole session. The set out of sitting together is a nice way for the students to learn to sit together. Nice way for students to use all their senses to engage in a story. Good way for students to become familiar with this type of storytelling. More please!”
  • “They were able to sit as a group and participate in the storytelling.”
  • “All students sat and engaged well during the session. Enjoyed touching the sensory props. [I was surprised that] all students managed to stay focussed on the story and stay seated! [In the longer term this will help with] being able to sit together and listen to other stories.”
  • “Most were engaged. They enjoyed touching the sensory pages. Also story was very good for their imagination and creativity.”

The Alexandra Centre for FE, Camden. 16/11/17

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 13 students. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all bar three of the 13 students 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:

  • “Calming and sensory interactive. Lovely use of music. Great colourful images which is very useful for students that are partially sighted. [I was surprised that] H and A responded calmly and were captivated by the story. [In the longer term] I think it will benefit the students in focus and concentration. Improve responsiveness.”
  • “J showed great enjoyment in the stories. [I was surprised that] J interacted really well and showed interest in his face. [In the longer term] I think J would benefit well from this. He concentrates and enjoys the idea. It was all great.”
  • “[The session worked because of] all of the sensory items such as the Christmas lights and the fact they could touch all the parts of the story. Seeing, touching and smelling. [I was surprised that] when the Christmas tree lights came on H said “ wow” and that B enjoyed the Christmas smell. [In the longer term it helps to] Have a session that keeps them engaged with lots of touching, seeing and smelling.”
  • “Session catered for needs of all students and allowed all students to participate, e.g. touching objects. It engaged all the sensory needs which students enjoyed. The manner in which the session leader conducted the session further engaged all students, intonation facial expressions, volume etc. Also the session leader included all students in all parts of the session. [I was surprised that] two students in particular had clear overt reactions e.g. eye tracking, laughing, smiling, vocabulary during some parts of story. Students who do not usually participate were engaged and more alert. It will allow them to participate and use their senses in a more structured activity as well as working together in a group setting. The session leader was really great and she engaged all the students with the story.”

Springhallow School, Ealing. 15/11/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 43 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar five of the 43 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “The children benefited from all aspects of the sensory storytelling, tactile, auditory, kinaesthetic, smell and were able to repeat the short phrases of the story. Many repeated the story - more than anticipated. Kept their interest for a long time. Linked story to other knowledge. We do weekly storytelling sessions in assembly and plan to incorporate the free book sets into these sessions. Would be great for staff to use more smells and sounds in stories in class.”
  • “Good touch/ feel stories. [I was surprised with the] big smiles, quiet sitting and engagement. [In the longer term] I think we can use this in guided reading / whole class teaching.”
  • “Lots of visuals and sensory to compliment storytelling. [I was surprised that] two of them were very keen to touch the resources and usually they don’t want to participate. [In the longer term this will help with] repeating the story in class to help with their understanding.”
  • “The children enjoyed interacting with the objects. [I was surprised that] every child had a go. The children were joining in with the story. [In the longer term this will help] encourage them to interact and to maintain attention.”
  • “Interactive repetition and engaging stories [In the longer term this will help with] enjoyment of stories, turn taking, questioning, recall.”
  • “Children paid attention, were able to engage with storytelling in a multi-sensory way. [I was surprised that] my children who are not normally attentive were very attentive. [In the longer term this will help with] attention building and new vocabulary. It was great!”

Swiss Cottage School, Camden. 09/11/17

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 49 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all bar two of the 49 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “[The session helped by] building vocabulary, participating in group activities, building attention skills, learning through sensory exploration. There was a lot more language than expected.”
  • “It was very useful for our children because it’s all sensory. Looking and participating in the story. [I was surprised that] one student was talking about the story throughout and they all waited their turn. [In the longer term this will help with] using different sensory things, expand concentration, improve turn taking, sharing skills and listening skills. Experiencing that listening to Stories is fun.”
  • “They were engaged and took part in the sensory activity. [I was surprised that] they kept focused the whole way through. [In the longer term this will help] make them more aware of the outside world through storytelling.”
  • “They got to explore new things, they also listened and looked at the story being told by a stranger which is an achievement for them. Two children who I thought wouldn’t engage as they didn’t know [the Storyteller] really did engage very well. I think it has benefitted the TA’s a lot to see [the Storyteller] and the way she interacts with the children. The language and how she repeats it and also the lovely resources.”
  • ““[The session helped with] new texture experiences. Linking words to objects. Building attention skills and interactive. Good engagement opportunities which were both proactive and receptive. One of our learners who finds it difficult to sit during adult led activities sat and engaged very well.”
  • “The learners have been exposed to a number of innovative storytelling resources. [I was surprised that] one anticipated the bird sound. [In the longer term this will help with] more stories regularly.”
  • “Bluebell class likes story time and were very interested in the props of the story. They all touched the props and explored and seem to enjoy. I was surprised as this was a change for us and late in the day. [In the longer term] we will use more often.”

Belvue School, Ealing. 08/11/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 35 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the 35 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “[The session] captured their imagination. Some of the students struggle to be in the moment but the story brought them there.”
  • “It was firstly enjoyable. Great to see and feel with the story. Highly interactive. Personal to the students. [I was surprised that] all students engaged with the stories. [In the longer term this will help with] engaging in the story, participating, imagination, following the story step by step.”
  • “Was a very fun activity. Promotes interest in storytelling and books. I think a real benefit will come later when the students can deliver their own stories.”
  • “The pupil really loved the stories and asked for them again. She said it was very good.”
  • “Very able students with good communication. One pupil said it was “good.”
  • “Attention skills, imagination, taking turns and patience. M was fascinated and intrigued at every step.”

Ambitious College, Hounslow. 08/11/17

Our Storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 13 young adults with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all 13 young adults had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • “They were able to understand a new environment through sensory story telling. All reacted as expected. [In the longer term this will help with] understanding; new smells; new texture; new environments.”
  • “More participation than normal. [I was surprised that] O was much more motivated than usual and liked to take part in it. [In the longer term this will help with] more active participation.”
  • “They engaged really well. Stories interactive and engaging for all. Easy to follow. [I was surprised that] A did really well with the piano part of the story and L stayed calm and really focussed. [In the longer term this] helps my students develop turn taking skills and recognising different items and seasons. Helping to understand Christmas.”

Ambitious College, Haringey. 01/11/17

Our Storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 15 young adults with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all 15 young adults had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “The learners were able to sit and focus for half an hour and listen to two stories - a great achievement for our class. They were able to access stories through sensory elements and clearly enjoyed it. [I was surprised that] one of our learners was able to sit and listen without his iPad. [In the longer term] it will increase our learners’ ability to access the curriculum.”
  • “Linking sensory input to spoken language was excellent. All students wanted to participate and were engaged. [I was surprised that] A was able to focus well and that R was able to accept input from a stranger. [In the longer term this will help with] linking real life examples of fundamental behaviour to sensory items.”
  • “It was an interactive experience for them. They enjoyed engaging with various elements of it, smelling, touching, pulling etc. [I was surprised that] they seemed to engage and sit well. One learner enjoys colours and textures and he looked carefully at each prop. It's good for them to have a change from their usual routine and staff. New experience of storytelling.”

Lisson Grove Hub, Westminster. 25/10/17

A Build-A-Book day involving eight adults with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. The centre staff member commented, "All tried different things, different tools and different sensory experiences. Staff all very engaged with the customers in appropriate way. Lovely group turn taking and waiting - practising social skills. Being part of a complete project. A lot are tactile resistant but did touch with lots of smiles. Eye contact and watching peers. No negative behaviours. All joined in accepting new people in a group. A good session with a resource to use.”

Oaktree School, Enfield. 20/10/17

A Build-A-Book day involving five children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. The teacher commented, "They benefitted tremendously. The multi-sensory activities creating the book were very engaging and pitched at the right level. They really enjoyed both making the story and being part of the story at the end. K was feeling very anxious (totally unrelated to the activity) but was really engaged and enjoyed the session. It captured his imagination and he relished the creativity. It will brilliant to revisit the story and re-enact it again. Help future experiences creating the story. It was brilliant :)"

TreeHouse - The Pears National Centre for Autism Education, Haringey. 18/10/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 34 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar five of 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:

  • “New experience for them all.”
  • “[The session helped them] practice turn taking and sitting for a period of time. [I was surprised that] one child repeated the key word and another really enjoyed the props. All read very well to by a new adult. [In the longer term] teachers have new ideas on how to deliver stories.”
  • “[The session helped with] turn taking, sitting as a group and group focus. Even some of the upset students participated when they saw the props.”
  • “They were able to experience a new activity. Explore narration that is interactive and includes sensory objects and opportunities. [I was surprised that] many sat for long periods - longer than they would normally sit in group settings. One girl joined who never usually joins in. [In the longer term this will] help attending to a lesson. Helps sitting with peers.”
  • “New experience for them all. [In the longer term this will] help future teaching.”

Dycorts School, Havering. 12/10/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 41 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar two 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:

  • “All the children were engaged for both stories. Children showed pleasure through smiles and verbal exchange. They showed how they can wait their turn and work as a group. Enjoying each other’s enjoyment. [I was surprised that] one child actively moved towards each part of the story and was engaged for at least 20 minutes [In the longer term this will help them] be more engaged during storytelling time.”
  • “All students interacted and were very interested in the story. One of our students does not like strange objects or textures however they were willing to try and participate. I believe the student will now be more accepting to try new things/objects. All students benefited from this experience and were very willing to participate.”
  • “The attention spans of some of our children are low and they struggle to listen to a story. [I was surprised that] a child became more verbal during the story. Another child related it to personal experience. [In the longer term this] gave some of the children confidence. I will use this as an example to promote the children to continue to show this confidence. I thought it was very good.”
  • “Children were able to be hands on and be involved with the visual and sensory side of the story. I feel they were able to understand parts of the story as they had item to touch, feel, smell and hear. I found out what sensory items children like, they loved being able to feel soft items and at first seemed nervous with smell and sound but once being able to take part they interacted better. [In the longer term this will help with] better concentration, more involvement and being more up for trying new sensory items. Enjoy a story more than just reading from a book. Learning and understanding of story, vocal as story is repeated number of times.”
  • “Three children are non-verbal, all five are ASD and limited attention span. These books engaged them in the story. [I was surprised that] one of the pupils really interacted and got excited for his turn. [In the longer term] it will build their concentration and build on their enjoyment to listen to a story. It would be great if the school invested in more books.”

Mandeville School, Ealing. 11/10/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 44 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 44 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:

  • "Pupils had a chance of exploring props. Fully engaged. [I was surprised that] one was engaged and following the story. Helped with various skills for all across the curriculum. [In the longer term this will help] open them up to sensory storytelling. Inspiration for their own storytelling. It was excellent!"
  • "They got engaged exploring the props. [The Storyteller] gave them time to explore each prop. They were really focussed and some repeated the words saying the story. [I was surprised that] one child was always reaching out and was very engaged with some sound props. She did independent exploration and was smiling. [In the longer term] they will get more engaged with future Bag Books and they are constantly involved in the story."
  • "Experiencing props with visual, sensory, touch and sounds. Observe children’s responses. Very good storytelling and appropriate for our children. [I was surprised that] children responded with body, gestures, facial. Great involving children in each step of the story. One girl very interested and wanted to explore herself."
  • "[The session helped with] eye contact, head turning and using all senses. K sat very well, much better than I thought."
  • "The children were very interested in the story and props. [The Storyteller] was excellent with them and they all responded to her. All children loved the props and were engaged with the storytelling. J said the word "elephant""
  • "[The Storyteller] was great. Shame two classes were mixed with very different abilities. All did well, two responding to smells."

Cricket Green School, Merton. 02/10/17, 09/10/17, 10/10/17

Three training and storytelling visits organised by United Way Reading Oasis. 16 people were trained and the multi-sensory storytelling sessions involved a total of 44 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder.

Allenby Primary School, Ealing. 04/10/17

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

  • "They loved looking at the different pictures and touching the textures. The children focused on the whole activity. We asked the children what they enjoyed. They said "everything". It will develop their language skills and concentration as the story is described with repetition of words with objects. Very good for early years. Presentation was excellent."
  • "The resources and the storyteller were brilliant. Use of voice and the way it was presented in a slow pace for children to learn vocabulary. Children who haven't fully settled in to the nursery were so captivated by the stories they forgot about their parents and smiled and were engaged. [In the longer term] they will feel more comfortable and settled."
  • "Story perfect for non verbal.There were many multisensory props for the pupils to feel and explore. The storyteller was very individual. [In the longer term] pupils will be exposed to new language."
  • "They were all engaged and loved the stories. The children all took part in the activity and loved the equipment and materials used. One child from year 1, usually very quiet, was able talk and engage with [the Storyteller] when she got to him in the story. [In the longer term this will] introduce stories, help concentration, encouraged them to take turns. I think it was amazing and appropriate. The children were so focused."
  • "The children really laughed a lot and many of them that attended have English as a second language. They enjoyed all the different pictures and textures and loved being able to touch them. [In the longer term] they will learn English, learn to share and take turns. Excellent presentation."

Eastway Care Silvertown Branch, Newham. 28/09/17

A Build-A-Book day involving five adults with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. The centre staff member commented, "The clients really benefitted from using all the equipment and we saw the fun in the clients’ eyes. It was a great experience and when we were read the story it was good to see all their expressions. Everyone took part in the making of the book. H loved using the hammer and saw. S enjoyed pulling all the film off. It was a great experience. We would like to use the books more as the clients really do benefit. Everything was brilliant and a great experience.”

Marlborough School, Bexley. 25/09/17

Our Storyteller ran a training day for three people which included multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 32 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities.

1a Children's Centre, Camden. 20/09/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 33 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 33 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “A group of seven 2-3 year olds that sat for twenty five mins! One child who does not usually join in, joined in with most of the second story. Two others sat really well. It will support them with speech and sensory difficulties."
  • "Everyone had a turn. Very interactive. Learning some key words for their developing language. Good experience for all. Stimulate senses. Parents were invited to join sessions. [I was surprised that] two children responded to instructions and demonstrated good sitting and waiting skills and listening."
  • "The children benefited from the stories. They were engaged, had opportunity to touch and feel different objects when the stories were told. Children used their senses when listening. Stories were read in an enjoyable and relaxed way. Sentences repeated so enhanced their vocabulary. All children got really engaged. Even a group of 8 children - we usually only managed 4/5. All waited their turn and each responded in a different way. I think it will help them focus, turn taking and waiting. All was great. Thank you."
  • "The children enjoyed the sessions. A lot of them are new to the setting and found it interesting. [In the longer term this will help] to support sensory needs."
  • "All were highly engaged and very curious as to what was next. [I was surprised that] one of the children who normally has low engagement was highly engaged and participated all the way through both stories [In the longer term this will] help them to concentrate. Turn taking, waiting their turn. All was brilliant. Well done!"

Greenwich Day Services - Boyle House, Greenwich . 30/08/17

A Build-A-Book day involving eight adults with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. The centre staff member commented, "It was something different, all service users were encouraged to take part at their level, use tools that they had not used before. Eight of the service users actively participated and appeared to be enjoying making the book and listening to it at the end of the day. The session was fab.”

Arsenal FC, Islington. 03/08/17

Our Storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 30 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder.

Astley Day Centre, Bromley. 02/08/17

A Build-A-Book day involving 11 adults with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. The centre staff member commented, "[The session helped through] the experience of different abilities of people we support being able to use tools, e.g. drill, saw etc. Everyone was able to participate, all abilities. S was laughing and interacted when using the drill and J was very confident with all tools as was M. I would like to see more craft activities in the centre and an end product using tools. [The Bag Books staff] were brilliant. Very interactive with all the people we support.”

Regents Park Children's Centre, Camden. 19/07/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 49 children with profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 49 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “[The session helped] raise confidence, new vocab, turn taking skills with peers, concentration. [I was surprised that] children who have limited language were engaged with the session. It brought confidence. Children really participated in the story. [In the longer term we will] use them more.”
  • “Children were stimulated and engaged with the props and excited to touch and feel them. Big smiles. Children maintained attention. One child was scared at the sea urchin but remained calm with reassurance of storyteller. He was then fine. [In the longer term] it will help them focus and learn new things.”
  • “[The session helped the children] be able to interact with aspects of story / build on current social skills. Turn taking. Realistic experience. [I was surprised that] one usually quiet child was very outspoken. [In the longer term this will] provides children with more excitement during story times. Encourage children to get involved.”
  • “[The session helped with] their listening skills, turn taking, imagination and language. [I was surprised that] two children who usually find it hard to sit did well and showed lots of interest. [In the longer term this will help them] to tell the stories themselves. It was really good.”
  • “They engaged. [I was surprised with] their concentration. Children really enjoyed, they were sitting and having a lovely time. Everything was good.”
  • “Very interesting. Children really engaged in the stories and were happy to participate. [I was surprised because] some of the children find it difficult to sit.”

Clapham Library, Lambeth. 17/07/17

Our Storyteller ran a half-day training session for seven library staff.

Oakleigh School & Acorn Assessment Centre, Barnet. 11/07/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 40 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 three of the 40 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 were very engaged. All of the resources were very different and they all catered for each of the child’s needs and interests. [I was surprised that] J was very confident exploring new things and being first. S was very engaged with props. One child got upset when it finished and [the Storyteller] moved away. [In the longer term this will help with] engaging more in a story. Confidence in exploring. It was fantastic. Thank you so much.”
  • “I thought it was great. The children all joined in by engaging, looking, touching, smelling. Resources were appropriate for our children and they were all very interested. The storyteller was welcoming and reassuring to staff and this contributed to a positive atmosphere. [I was surprised that] one child who finds it very difficult to stay in new situations stayed for the whole session. He also looked and joined in which [the Storyteller] also picked up on and she could see this was a huge achievement for him. [In the longer term] I will look at the other Bag Book sensory stories we have and use them more.”
  • “The children were able to connect objects to the story. Reacting to smells and touch. Allowed them to use their sensory needs. [I was surprised that] two children interacted with the Storyteller better than I thought. [In the longer term this] allows many of our children to engage with stories. Invites them to different worlds, tapping into their imagination. Storyteller was very engaging and had an immediate understanding of the children. She was calm and not fazed by any child.”
  • “Lots of smiles, eye contact and body movements. Using hands to explore. Vocalisation. [In the longer term this will help with] lots of communication opportunities.”
  • “Some really enjoyed but it was two classes together and some running around.”
  • “All children were engaged. Good resources. Children interested to explore. [I was surprised that] one child who does not react sat well and was focused. Explored resources. [In the longer term this will] help children engage and take part in different storytelling.”

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School, Westminster. 07/07/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 42 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 42 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Pupils engaged with the storyteller and props. Enjoyed the one to one input with boards and calming voice of the storyteller. [I was surprised that] J still tracked with his eyes and S really enjoyed the one to one input with each board. Lots of laughter and smiles. Cool library on a hot day helped the students. [In the longer term this will help] gain understanding of the world through touch, visuals and sounds. All very good.”
  • “[The Storyteller] gave each student the opportunity to explore, touch, press and engage with props. She spoke slowly and gently so each student could understand her and follow the story. [I was surprised that] Z was fully engaged and anticipated her turn, clapping and smiling. T was fully engaged. [In the longer term] the students may become more aware of birds singing, raining falling, branches and trees. She is an excellent storyteller and connects with our students really well.”
  • “My students are all low ability and the sensory story allows them to be in the story, part of with feeling, smelling etc. They were all focused during both stories. They wanted more. [I was surprised that] there was absolutely much more of a reaction than I had expected - listening and looking. [In the longer term] as students are very sensory it will help them be more engaged.”
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