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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:

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."

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.

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."

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."

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 were happy and the stories were enjoyable. They showed intent by looking and listening. Some students were impressed with the stories. [In the longer term this will] give them more independence."
  • "Interesting opportunities to explore the props to support narrative. Good level of engagement. Students coped very well with the unfamiliar location and change in their normal routine. Given that the students have very little attention span they stayed very well focussed on the activity. It encouraged social interaction, turn taking and following a sequence. Role play for real life situations. The Storyteller was excellent, her delivery very good and held their attention."
  • "Great session and so good to still see Bag Books going strong."

Brookfield House School, Waltham Forest. 09/03/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 41 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar four 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:

  • "They had a good time interacting and exploring. [there was] more talking and repeating words [than I expected]."
  • "Very interactive. They were all involved and enjoyed the session very much. It was fantastic! Some of the pupils who do not like being touched or things being put on their heads were willing and joined in. [In the longer term] they will get used to the storyboard routines and get to know the stories."
  • "The Storyteller understood the needs of the pupils. Each student is given a good amount of time to explore each prop. Good amount of language used. Sessions were brilliant. One of the pupils doesn't normally like new places/situations but he was really engaged in the story so he was happy to stay in the session. One pupil doesn't like touching objects but was happy to feel objects offered to him. It has given a wide selection of staff the chance to see how to deliver a Bag Book so they will be more efficient in their delivery. Students may be more willing to feel new objects in the future."
  • "They worked on: good sitting/taking turns/good listening/exploring. Some students were sitting for longer time than usual."
  • "Items very engaging. Increased attention. Some waited longer than expected. Some increased their focus and attention. [In the longer term] I would like to use it in the classroom."

Manor School, Brent. 02/03/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 42 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 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:

  • "We had been doing pirates in class this week so the story 'Pirate Adventure' was perfect. 'The Fairground' was a new experience. One child surprised me by copying key words and making eye contact with a new person. Another gave fascinated looks to the 'wet and slimy' page e.g. what's this board? They all touched it despite sensory issues. We already read Bag Books but to see two new ones was great. We'd love the Pirate one in school."
  • "The children were able to sit in a room for over 10 minutes, enjoying a book being read to them.  They will be able to transfer these skills in the classroom. Many of the children interacted throughout the bag book, e.g. a child made the noise 'oink oink'.  The children touched the props the Storyteller used.  The children also laughed throughout the bag book.  They really enjoyed the 'skunk', they loved sniffing the vinegar. The children were able to identify various animals such as horses, rhinos and so on. The children are now able to recognise different animals and their functions, which is incredible."
  • "The interaction of the pages are great way for the children to be engaged with the story. All the children engaged very well with the story and did not want to get up from their seats and also they seemed very excited every time a new page of the story was presented to them. [In the longer term] it keeps the children engaged when hearing a story. It also gets the children to be familiar with reading a story together in class."
  • "Visual props for children to look at and touch. One learner was sitting drawing but [I was surprised when he] looked at and explored props put in front of him. The children really enjoyed hoop a duck. We will explore different book bag stories in future. Staff now know how to deliver a story."
  • "All able to use their senses while reading - multi-sensory storytelling. All able to sit and listen well."

Sherwood Park School, Sutton. 25/01/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 30 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 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:

  • "Some lovely appropriate sensory resources that engaged all students. These were visual, tactile and auditory. Students were actively involved in the progress of the story, "reading" in their own way. E showed real enjoyment, looking at the resources and smiling. J knew how to work some resources and was congratulated by the leader. [The Storyteller] was very well received by students who put their trust in her. We were shown the potential that students have engaging with multi-sensory stories. We have sensory story each week anyway and it was good to see the professional showing us how it is done."
  • "Students were sitting down very calm and they were taking their turn. Students used prompts/ switches to support the story. Students were engaged. All of them were quiet and interacted with the props used. They followed actions. Great intensive interaction with [the Storyteller who] was amazing! She had the kids in a calm atmosphere and they were really engaged, Thank you so much. [In the longer term this will help] improve their listening and understanding skills through stories. Improve their interaction with others and their peers in the class."
  • "The children were really engaged with props and storyteller. Very good pace. D engaged by finding all the fish and signing. Good for engagement, pleasure, reading, group work and communication.
  • "Interactive, sensory, interesting things to look at. One of boys reached out when given props and let go with gestural prompting - one of his assessment targets."
  • "The story enabled them to take turns exploring sensory props. They developed their attention skills and focus, had contact with with different people - developing social skills. Developing early reading and listening skills. All of them were very engaged and focused. Showed real enthusiasm for the activity. HJ interacted more than usual."
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