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Storytelling In Your Area - London: 2017 onwards

View 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 or 2016 feedback.

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

Swiss Cottage School, Camden. 10/11/17

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.”

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.”
  • “Very sensory, repetitive and clear. Everyone got a chance to explore. The storyteller knew exactly how to interact with the kids. [I was surprised that] M was very calm. F sat very well and listened. [In the longer term] it benefits their wellbeing, learning and understanding.”
  • “They enjoyed the sensory objects and materials. One child followed the bird very well. [In the longer term this will help them] discover new narratives and explore different materials.”
  • “Interactive session, meeting sensory needs. All children happy and engaged, relaxed. [I was surprised that] J was engaged, interested and remained seated. M enjoyed. [In the longer term] this should be a regular activity.”

Sybil Elgar School - The National Autistic Society, Ealing. 04/07/17

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

  • “They could live the story through sensory stimuli and they could understand and follow the plot of the story. [I was surprised that] most of them sat down and focused on storyteller. [In the longer term] they can memorise the sequence of the story through the stimuli which provides a whole new experience. It was perfect. [The Storyteller] is very talented.”
  • “All kids engaged in exploring objects. Wonderful smiles from all. Visualised and explored at same time.”
  • “It was great that it involves so many senses. It allows a range of students to engage. Great to have external facilitator. [I was surprised that] one young person who is having a difficult time sat and listened to the whole session. Huge achievement for him. An opportunity for staff to see best practice. This will allow them to facilitate. It was great. Thanks!”
  • “We enjoyed both stories with our Friends. We all sat well.”
  • “Although a lively bunch they coped really well. Another brilliant session.”

Mapledown School, Barnet. 28/06/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 33 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the 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 able to practice waiting, turn taking, gross and fine motor skills. One showed fab anticipation. All students used good looking and joint attention. [I was surprised that] one student was a lot more verbal than usual. Another stayed alert. It was yet again a reminder to us all to make proper use of Bag Books. Repetition helps reinforce their learning.”
  • “Students love stories and it’s good to see the stories. Interactive for all abilities. [I was surprised that they] enjoyed the repetition of words, new words and actions. One calmed down after a difficult morning. Well done. [In the longer term this will help] staff who are new to have seen Bag Books. Lots of fun. Thank you.”
  • “They enjoyed the fact it was to do with music. [I was surprised that] the ones who enjoyed music really enjoyed the stories. [In the longer term] it will benefit them with sensory touch.”
  • “All students enjoyed both stories. Most of them participated actively with [the Storyteller’s] support. They were willing to explore various objects. [I was surprised that] they were all happy and positive with both stories. Interesting reaction to the smells. Lots of smiles. Everything was great as usual.”
  • “Our students were more attentive and responsive largely due to the fact there was a different person delivering the story. [I was surprised that] one was better as she is usually shy with new people. [In the longer term] some students may be able to identify objects with the story. Just right as a taster session. Many thanks.”
  • “They all contributed to the story with different actions. [I was surprised that] one very calmly interacted and all stayed focussed throughout.”

The Village School, Brent. 21/06/17

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 24 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all 24 children 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:

  • “They found the story interesting, good engagement and concentration. Story was interactive. New objects. [I was surprised that] N showed sustained concentration and K followed the storyline, used his hand with minimal verbal prompts or physical prompts. [In the longer term this will help them] get familiar with story routine. Explore new objects. New actions.”
  • “The session was very sensory based. Students enjoyed the first story very much (He's a Winner). Good communication between storyteller and students. [I was surprised that] one student reacted very well to the smell in both stories. [In the longer term this will help with the] development of communication skills.”
  • “Nice range of fine motor tasks. Positive engagement and a few wow moments. [I was surprised that] AR was down but really surprised us with the vibrating toy. [In the longer term this will help] add a range of dexterity tasks to our stories.”
  • “Children were looking and able to touch props. A sensory activity. They reacted as expected because we have sensory stories in class. [In the longer term this will] Help their sensory development.”

Woodlands School, Harrow. 09/06/17

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 47 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 47 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Really engaging, exciting props and story. Good pace and time for each child to participate. Multisensory. [I was surprised that] all were really engaged. Lots of time given to PMLD students. Good intro for topic under the sea. Gets them excited about learning about pirates and under the sea topic. Children will remember and talk about the session. Can refer to stories.”
  • “Lots of non-verbal communication. [I was surprised that] one child showed clear engagement through eye pointing and smiling. [In the longer term this will help them] experience a story at their individual levels.”
  • “Working on attending, listening and group skills. Using hands functionally to explore props. Fun and interactive. [I was surprised that] one pupil who has not been wanting to use hands to explore was really reacting and enjoyed the session. [In the longer term this will help with] ideas of how to use Bag Books in daily teaching in order to give participants more exposure to daily story sessions.”
  • “All children engaged and enjoyed especially with pirate. [I was surprised that] one of our boys usually just looks, but today he put his arms up. He was smiling. Lovely to see him happy. [In the longer term this will help with] waiting, turn taking, being part of a story, engaging with adult for 30 mins, staying focused.”
  • “They enjoyed the story with no demands on them e.g. SALT, targets etc. [I was surprised that] they enjoyed and attended well. [In the longer term this will help with] building engagement and independence.”
  • “Props were very motivating and engaging for all pupils and multisensory which supports their learning. One pupil was quite upset at the start but calmed and enjoyed all the props.”
  • “All really enjoyed and sat well. [I was surprised that they] sat for longer than expected.”

Castlebar School, Ealing. 07/06/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 33 children with severe learning disabilities and/or 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:

  • “Each child interacted with [the Storyteller] and the story at a level that engaged them for the whole story. [I was surprised that] K, C and J all took part and stayed focused for whole story. Great way to experience the story. Children given time to interact with each storyboard. It was pitched at the right level and pace. Just fantastic – [the Storyteller] was spot on.”
  • “Helped listening skills, concentration and language. [I was surprised that] all were absorbed and interested. [In the longer term this] will assist in appreciation of stories and reading.”
  • “My children are all very sensory. They were all able to access the sensory props. [I was surprised that] all of the children participated. They all remained engaged for a substantial amount of time. I will continue to use sensory stories/ Bag books with my class. It was excellent - thank you.”
  • “Loved it / engaged/ motivated. Great attention from some that really struggle. [In the longer term] we will try to use them more.”
  • “Children were engaged, found it funny and interesting. [I was surprised] with the great attention. Will start telling them more on class.”

Hornchurch Library, Havering. 06/06/17

Our Storyteller ran a training day for library staff.

Kingsley High School, Harrow. 24/05/17

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

  • "Sensory and enjoyed by all."
  • "Excellent. They were able to speak, words they had never said before. Some students vocalised. All enjoyed. Excellent."
  • "They were all focused. Every student participated. One of our students normally finds it difficult to sit on a chair but remained seated throughout the whole session. It would be lovely to provide more frequent storytelling to our students. They would love another session."
  • "They were all engaged and greatly enjoyed the story. All students enjoyed and stayed focussed more than I thought they would. [In the longer term this will help with] turn taking and waiting - important skills to learn."
  • "Students very interactive. Humour at appropriate time. Multi-sensory. Students responded well. T was hysterical and enjoyed it. N tactile exploration, brilliant and kept laughing. S happy and responsive. Made it an enjoyable afternoon."
  • "Students benefitted from today by touching the different sensory material of the story, listening and developing their senses and fine motor skills. [I was surprised that] they laughed when they dropped the cans. They looked at everything. Well done. [In the longer term this will help them] to gain in attention and concentration."
  • "All great. [I was surprised that] I was able to focus, S enjoyed the repetition. Totally amazing."

Riverside School, Bromley. 17/05/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 27 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar one of the 27 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:

  • "Sensory props, exploring new experiences. Engagement for longer period of time. Enjoyed the session. All interacted well."
  • "Engaged in storyboards. Like resources used. [I was surprised that] L engaged well. [In the longer term they would help] if they were used consistently."
  • "[The session helped with] Physical contact. Maintaining attention. Followed instruction. One child who does not like physical contact reached out to hold [the Storyteller’s] hand. [In the longer term] it will benefit them having sensory stories delivered this way. We will adapt our sessions now."
  • "All pupils were engaged in the story and loved smelling the items. One wanted to stay and smell the mango again. [In the longer term] they will want to go to the library to listen to new stories."
  • "[The session] helped them focus. [In the longer term this will help with] meeting their targets."
  • "All of the pupils engaged throughout both stories. The [storyteller] engaged and understood our children. Most of the pupils have limited concentration but were engaged throughout. Sensory stories engage our children as they are involved using language throughout."

West Lea School, Enfield. 10/05/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 47 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 47 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "The sensory approach was excellent. Listening to the comments: "this is really fun", "wow". Other inquisitive questions about the story. [I was surprised that] the VI learner had a very different experience; he was fully engaged. [In the longer term this will help them to be] more engaged and give an opportunity to develop storytelling."
  • "The pupils were focused and I could see them smile when they touched the props. All the pupils were able to access the session regardless of ability. [I was surprised that] two of the pupils started to repeat the story. Some of the pupils made comments about the props. Some asked relevant questions. [In the longer term] it has made stories fun. It helps them to take turns and they can use today's session for future learning. Skills such as remembering and imagination can be used."
  • "Very engaging and multi-sensory which is perfect and exactly what our students need."
  • "All engaged and smiling, asked for another story after first one. Able to follow the story. A is tactile defensive but still managed to touch many objects. [In the longer term this will help them to be] more engaged in stories, increasing literacy skills and develop fine motor and attention skills."
  • "The session was interactive for all pupils and very inclusive. The session engaged all pupils for a good 20 mins. It encouraged communication and speech from all of them. At least three focused for longer than they are often capable of. One pupil vocalised “beard” - totally a new word for him [In the longer term] it will support communication, concentration and peer work with regular use."
  • "The story format was very engaging for the children. The props allowed all students, regardless of ability, to feel involved. All students behaved exceptionally, they were focused on the story and offered their individual attention."

Lindon Bennett School, Hounslow. 04/05/17

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

  • "Engaging with the story through exploring multi-sensory props. [I was surprised that the children were] more motivated / interested than usual. Holding the props for longer periods. [In the longer term this will help with] experiencing new stories. Listening to a different adult."
  • "Children used their senses, most the hands. Interacted, felt comfortable with the storyteller. Children who participated are having sensory stories every day. The Bag Books session proved that (sic) much children liked the sensory story."
  • "Excellent. [I was surprised that] all children were engaged in the story from start to end! All enjoyed it! [In the longer term this will help with] attention, communication, turn-taking and taking care of resources."
  • "My students were very engaged. They sat for the whole story. They tried / felt all the props. The story also encouraged speech development. [I was surprised that] some of my students were giggling & laughing at scenes from the story. One of the students sat properly in his chair because he was engaged. [In the longer term this will help with] introducing a new topic / themes speech & language development. Turn-taking."
  • "So many different textures tied into a fun story. Really entertained the kids and stimulated them. They were really engaged by the storyteller, who focused on each participant separately. [I was surprised that] one of the boys is very tactile defensive and yet he voluntarily touched new things. One of the girls who is reluctant to interact with strangers, was engaged and actively interacting with the props. [In the longer term this will help] expose them to a variety of textures, smells and ideas. Presented in a fun, accessible way. Encourage them to interact with adults in different ways. It was a great experience for all."
  • "They all focused on the activity and joined in when asked to participate by feeling the resources. Also, they were listening to the storyteller. [I was surprised that] one child who is tactile defensive, independently felt the resources. Another child sat in his chair throughout the session - engaged."

Perseid School, Merton. 03/05/17

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. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Lovely to have a new person in school to deliver a sensory story. Great two new stories with interactive props to stimulate and engage the students. Lovely reaction from a few students. Pupils love the seagull. Will be great to purchase new stories to enjoy with the students again. Nice to have students all together for a change. Social benefits. Lovely storytelling session - thank you so much."
  • "One of our students finds it a huge challenge to sit on a chair but [the Storyteller] adapted and brought the session to floor level, to him which enabled him to attend. He explored the props using his hands and feet. She modelled how to interact first then the student used and interacted independently which was just fab!!!. The student reacted and interacted much better than we would expect him to especially with an unfamiliar story and adult. Fab! It was great to see how well the students interacted with [the Storyteller] and the story and it definitely enthused me to use Bag Books even more- especially one to one."
  • "It was very sensory based which allowed our children to explore in context the story."
  • "All students were given time to explore and react with all the props. One student who was a little sleepy became alert after the first couple of props. Allows cause and effect reactions. Help them in life experiences."
  • "All of the pupils really enjoyed the story and explored the props. Did good waiting and turn taking. All reacted very well and sat very well. It will help with their turn taking skills. All enjoyed and the storyteller was great with the pupils."
  • "Stories were short and simple. Each page was an experience [I was surprised that] one pupil jumped at the sea urchin. Good smelling of the props. [In the longer term this will] help with attention building."

St Giles' School, South Croydon. 28/04/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 33 children with profound & multiple 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. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Children responded very positively. Lots of vocalisation, eye contact and reaching out. Good repetition and opportunities for participation. One child was anxious but relaxed as it went on. It gave staff ideas for future sensory stories. It was excellent."
  • "There was a very good range of activities in both of the stories. Good sensory resources. [I was surprised that] G really enjoyed the tactile resources. A also responded well. [In the longer term] this will help them with their learning."
  • "Positive reactions, eye contact, taking turns."
  • "The students had the opportunity to interact with a new adult. They worked with unfamiliar resources. Engaged with wonderfully resourced stories. The students worked in mixed age groups to access the story and were "reading" together. The resources were tailored for a PMLD audience which makes them perfect for our students to engage with. Many teachers commented that students who don't usually like new situations and people reacted very well to the stories and the storyteller's approach. Repeated language really supported students to attend and focus. The students were interested in the storyteller and the props. One young man never responds but he was proactively reaching out to take equipment offered by the storyteller. The students will benefit from this learning situation with a new adult. We will also benefit from the exchange of ideas between the storyteller and the school staff to help us develop. These sessions are excellent and always have been. We are very grateful for the opportunity to take part. Thank you very much to all at Bag Books. We are very honoured to have this relationship with Bag Books that has such a lasting effect on our school and students."
  • "It was accessible to all our students. Individualised to each child, concentrating on how each child wanted to react. A settled into the stories and started to interact, really excited, waving her hands and dancing in her chair. B enjoyed the shopping story, especially loud sounds. [In the longer term this] helps them to access stories. The stories are really good and the storyteller is very good at telling them and keeping our students’ concentration."

Cricket Green School, Merton. 26/04/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 46 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 children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "They loved to be able to touch, feel, see, hear - which allowed them to participate fully in the story. [In the longer term this will help them] to be open and to enjoy storytelling more than before. To learn or remember more words they heard and used. To be able to participate and tell what they have heard. I think it's great."
  • "The pupils were very engaged. They followed the story and participated well."
  • "They were all engaged throughout due to the simple and interactive nature of the stories. The storyteller was excellent. One pupil in particular struggles to stay interested and yet he remained interested and interacted throughout. [In the longer term this] will help them visualise stories."
  • "The pupils concentrated well, and participated in the story. Two children find it difficult to engage but they both stayed focussed and continued to interact. [In the longer term I] will try to use these ideas in my reading lesson."
  • "The pupils enjoyed interacting with the storyteller and the story boards. They loved the sound buttons. One boy who is particularly sensitive actually pressed the buttons and touched different textured boards. It's something I would like to continue. It improves their concentration and imagination."
  • "All the children were engaged and enjoyed the sensory aspect. The children appeared to enjoy the sound aspects. Great settings as familiar to most children. Most of the class were more engaged than I possibly expected. This certainly gave me some ideas for future storytelling. Fab session. Thank you."

Carlton Road Day Centre, Bexley. 05/04/17, 12/04/17, 19/04/17

There were a total of 19 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, "Just the right amount of time."

Astley Day Centre, Bromley. 05/04/17, 12/04/17, 19/04/17

There were a total of 25 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "I am gaining confidence and now understand I can involve just two people. Once I know the story well I shall involve more people. The sessions were perfect." The other commented, "I am very happy. At long last there is an activity that is hands on for the people we support who have complex needs who I know will benefit from Bag Books.

Arsenal FC, Islington. 13/04/17

A Build-A-Book day as part of Arsenal FC's Inclusion Day involving 12 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/orsevere autism spectrum disorder. The organiser commented, “They were learning a range of skills around designing, planning and working as a team to complete a shared goal. There were lots of attempts at developing new skills from people we have usually found quite reserved. There were also several people who requested to have more goes involved. [Making the book gave them a] sense of self pride and a tangible memento of their achievement. The Bag Books staff adapted exceptionally to a number of adverse occurrences around timings and group numbers. They were fantastic."

Oaktree School, Enfield. 29/03/17

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 of the children in their classes 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:

  • "Main benefit for the pupils with SLD but those with MLD did participate. [I was surprised that] All enjoyed the visual and hands on. [In the longer term this will] encourage their interest in books. All excellent."
  • "The 9 MLD participants enjoyed an engaging session of storytelling and were introduced to multisensory books. They all interacted positively but as I expected them to. I think the children will look forward to other sessions. Very appropriate for lower ability groups.""
  • Very engaging and inclusive. Every student could enjoy the story at their own level. They loved the chances they got to touch things or play with items that made different sounds. I surprised me, she really got involved and she's not always good around new people. D was very engaged and it held his attention which isn't easy. If a child doesn’t enjoy reading it could encourage them to love stories. It will encourage our students to become the storyteller. It was fantastic. Thank you for visiting us!"
  • "They enjoyed the interaction and being able to touch and hear sounds. K looked at some of the items and even continued with counting which we've not seen before. [In the longer term] we can repeat the stories and expand on them."
  • "Students enjoyed the sensory opportunities to interact with the story props - especially the audio elements. This help them engage with the stories. One student was particularly in awe of the props and came alive watching others take their turn. It re-ignited their interest in storytelling. Also supported turn taking skills."
  • "Our students benefitted from the multi-sensory approach , sound, touch, sight, smell. The pace was slow and accessible for all. Repetitive nature helped all get involved and participate. [I was surprised that] all interacted."

Red Gates School, Croydon. 28/03/17

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

  • "[The session helped with] turn taking, eye contact, engagement with props, listening. Some reacted better than I had expected. [In the longer term this will] encourage more use of Bag Books."
  • "Sat well and responded with smiles. [I was surprised that] they sat quietly. [In the longer term this will help with] learning to enjoy books."
  • "Amazing that M sat so well and focussed. Both of them were totally engaged. [In the longer term I will] use more stories with M on a 1:1."
  • "They settled because of the repetition, engaging props and eye contact and set up of the group. All coped extremely well with the two stories."
  • "Amazed they sat for so long. I have never seen K sit for this length of time [In the longer term I will] use them more."
  • "[The session was] at their level and helped with turn taking. [I was surprised that] A sat for a second story which I didn't think he would. P sat very well indeed."

Oak Lodge School, Barnet. 27/03/17

A Build-A-Book day involving four children with severe autism spectrum disorder. The teacher commented, "The students did great listening. They benefitted by the session being interactive, groupwork, working with an adult and independently. A student from class five had such a positive experience. Her listening and focus was on point and a vast improvement to when she is in daily lessons. It teaches them to take turns, working with a group and independently. I think it was perfect."

St Nicholas School, Croydon. 22/03/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 36 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 four 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:

  • "Good choice of stories, one to match the season and one with lovely resources. [The Storyteller] kept calm even with the children that didn't interact. [I was surprised that] some children were keen to interact, reaching, touching, smelling. [In the longer term this will help] the children become more familiar with resources and begin to understand how sessions with Bag Books work."
  • "Excellent resources. The pupils were engaged with the sensory aspects of the story. [I was surprised that] one pupil who appeared not to be focused enjoyed the involvement and wanted more interaction when we returned to class. In the short term they will be looking for participation with the story."
  • "They were so engaged and interested because the sensory approach and props used. The story used simple repetitive phases and language. The children responded well to the storyteller and she interacted well with them. One child finds it very hard to sit still during group sessions but he was so focussed and willing as the sensory story grasped his attention. We will ensure to use more sensory stories and give the children this experience to increase their attention, involvement and engagement."
  • "The children were engaged and listening, all were involved. Very repetitive - good for our learning. Most waited their turn before touching which promoted waiting, sharing, anticipation. [I was surprised that] they all sat very nicely, high anticipation. A couple sat for much longer than expected. [In the longer term] it benefits a variety of areas. Working together, sharing, waiting, anticipation, excitement. This is definitely something we should do weekly with the children."
  • "Lots of sensory resources to explore. The children were interested and maintained good eye contact. One child who is usually quiet expressed various sounds and appeared excited. Another child sat and behaved and seemed really interested. [In the longer term we will] continue to read multi-sensory stories to the children where possible. It helps to encourage our children to focus."

Camp Simcha, Hammersmith & Fulham. 19/03/17

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of six children.

Priory School, Croydon. 14/03/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 39 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar seven 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:

  • "Most of the students were very interactive with the books and all were paying attention. They really liked it. There were some students I thought wouldn't stay and or would play up but they didn't and were very in with the story and all the things they had to do. It was very hands on and all the students can get involved and because of that they are more interested and less distracted."
  • "They sat very focused and really enjoyed taking part in each part of the story. Lots of smiles from the students. Some students were very excited by the stories and stayed seated and focused better than expected. It enabled students who don’t participate to be included."
  • "I think they benefited through feeling the objects. All participants reacted as expected. It will open up the thoughts and feelings towards multi-sensory storytelling. Thought it was amazing."
  • "Students joined in and waited their turns. They we<
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