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Storytelling In Your Area - London: 2019 (Jan-Jun)

During 2019 (Jan-Jun) we organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

TreeHouse - The Pears National Centre for Autism Education, Haringey. 15/03/19

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 37 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all 37 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “The children engaged in the activity and stayed in their seats. I was surprised with the reactions of all the pupils - one especially. [In the longer term this will help] create and maintain a passion for reading.”
  • “The children engaged in the sensory story. They initially struggled to sit but engaged when they noticed what was going on.”
  • “One pupil engaged when we did not expect it.”
  • “All really enjoyed the story.”
  • “The pupils were engaged and they usually struggle to engage. Their reactions were much better than I expected! [In the longer term they] may engage in stories.”
  • “All but one pupil engaged from the start. He required space but began to engage part way through. [In the longer term this will] help pupils to access stories.”
  • “The children reacted better than I had expected - they all engaged and participated. The stories were age appropriate but set at the right level.”

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School, Westminster. 15/02/19

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 38 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all bar one of the 38 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • “They really enjoyed the activity and participated. It was very good for them to do something new with a new person. [I was surprised that] one of the kids interacted as much with the story. He engaged and followed all the session. [In the longer term] if we do the sessions more they could understand the story and be engaging and predict what is going to happen.”
  • “They enjoyed the sensory aspects. A usually avoids new things but was not defensive today. [In the longer term] they experience a non familiar story teller and react positively.”
  • “The children in Desert class mostly benefit from sensory exploration. The story had scents, sounds, things to feel and things to see. [I was surprised that] they all reacted accordingly. They really enjoyed the session. [In the longer term] they have had an extra story to enjoy.”
  • “Some students, who don’t enjoy sitting, sat for the full session. It was fantastic and very inclusive. There was the sensory element and noise. Very interactive. Would love more sessions in the future. [I was surprised that] my students really enjoyed. It was just fantastic. [In the longer term this will be] great for attention, sensory needs. I have a hearing impaired student and she loved it. Also a visual impaired and he loved it too. It was fantastic.”
  • “All of our ASD students and those with sensory needs were engaged. [I was surprised that] some were unexpectedly calm and focused. [In the longer term this will help] Introduce them to new sounds, senses and vocabulary.”
  • “It was a new and different experience for them. They engaged really well.”
  • “Lovely experience for us all. It was different and the kids really enjoyed it. We are coming back.”

Sybil Elgar School - The National Autistic Society, Ealing. 11/02/19

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 of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. A seventh session was abandoned after a pupil became agressive. Comments were:

  • “Everything was nice. Our pupils enjoyed the multisensory objects, and they were very enthusiastic to explore them and understand more about the story. [I was surprised that] most of them found it very interesting and they engaged with the objects a lot. Everything went well.”
  • “Age appropriate. Extending vocabulary. Reflected in what we are learning.”
  • “Feeling sensory toys, taking turns, encourage language. A found the story prompts interesting and the sensory such as the brush.”
  • “Multisensory objects to understand the story. [I was surprised that] all of them smiled and handled all the sensory objects.”
  • “Students had the possibility to touch and explore the props, so they had a better understanding of the story. A boy who doesn't normally stay long in one place was in the room longer than usual and was very happy to sense and explore the props. They might be interested in more bag books in the future. Some students could have been more settled but in general it was a great session. Thank you!”
  • “[I was surprised that] one of the pupils took photo of herself with the ipad.”

Kingsley High School, Harrow. 08/02/19

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 31 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 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] listening skills and concentration. Variety of sensory resources for every level. Stories relevant to curriculum topics. Good opportunity for extra activity. One of the students has very poor concentration and usually stands up after two or three minutes but he stayed on task for over 20 mins. [In the longer term this] helps students with concentration and remaining focused on the story. Students learn to take turns.”
  • “The students loved listening to the story and exploring the objects. They sat for the whole session and showed keen interest in all that was being shown.”
  • “Pupils enjoyed the sensory story. They were focused. [I was surprised that] H enjoyed pressing the switches and kept wanting to press more. [In the longer term] they will look forward to further sensory stories. They will know what to expect next time.”
  • “They benefited from being in a new room with new dynamics, a new face and activity. The visuals and sensory prompts were excellent and the children were engaged and excited. [I was surprised that] P was at the end and knew the experience was coming to him - he was SO excited! [In the longer term this will] benefit waiting and listening skills. Expectation of feeling and looking with sensory stories.”
  • “They all focused greatly and seemed really engaged, interacting with and without support. Because of the PMLD nature of the students they need this kind of sensory experience which is meaningful to them. [I was surprised that] T was anticipating, smiling and independently exploring. R was holding nicely with support. L was smiling and wouldn’t withdraw her hands. It was excellent.”
  • “The pupils fully participated in both sensory stories, Museum Mystery and Allotment. All five pupils sat in a circle and explored the textured objects, smells etc. Very quiet, calm and enthusiastic session for the whole class. [I was surprised that] M particularly enjoyed both stories with a lot of vocalisation, smiles and active participation. H sat throughout the two stories and explored all objects which is amazing as he does not sit on his chair usually for more than a minute. Brilliant session.”

Jack Tizard School, Hammersmith & Fulham. 07/02/19

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 34 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar two of the 34 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “It was a great experience for all the children in Elf class as they were able to explore different objects, sounds, textures. They definitely reacted during the story. They used their hands to touch the objects. A few of them pulled a smile. [In the longer term] it will help them develop the use of their senses. It was great. The storyteller was approachable, fun and helpful. Thank you!”
  • “Each student was given plenty of time to explore each page of the story. Help was given to each student to either hold or experience each section. Nearly all pages were explored in a fun way and the stories were very engaging for all our students. One student who does not enjoy touch or physical contact really enjoyed exploring some of the props in a safe environment. [In the longer term] the students will look forward to more of the stories when we use them. Staff given a positive role model to follow when they use the stories in class.”
  • “They followed a story from beginning to end showing interest in what the story was about. They used their imagination to recreate the story and at the same time were tactile, practising listening and speaking skills. They interacted with the storyteller, asking questions and laughing. [I was surprised that] S first withdrew his chair but then participated fully. Z and S were enthusiastic. C was happy to attend. S attended fully. Z asked for her turn. M would stop what he was doing to touch, listen and smell. [In the longer term] learning of notions such as gardening and cooking will benefit them. Attention to storytelling will be good for their imagination and construction of meaning to help development.”
  • “They were all engaged at least for part of the stories. The stories were engaging and appropriate. [I was surprised that] they all seemed to really enjoy. [In the longer term this will help with] engaging them in new stories.”
  • “Stories were excellent.”

Mandeville School, Ealing. 01/02/19

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 39 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 39 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • “A variety of senses used. All children had an opportunity to participate i.e. touch, smell, listen. Storyteller was enthusiastic, lively and motivated the students well. [I was surprised that they were] sitting still for the whole session.”
  • “The sensory stories were beneficial to the children with VI and those that are tactile defensive. One of the pupils is usually very reluctant to feel or touch new things but he did really well exploring different boards. [In the longer term this will help] to get them to explore different textures.”
  • “The children benefit from the textures and different items. Love listening to different sounds. [I was surprised with] most reactions, touching different things, rough and smooth etc. [In the longer term this] encourages me to keep using them.”
  • “All children explored the sensory props. All children listened, looked, smelt. Thank you.”
  • “The children love sensory stories and these are so good for them. [I was surprised that] two sat as a group when normally they wouldn’t. It was great.”

Swiss Cottage School, Camden. 25/01/19

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 38 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:

  • “Super interactive but not too long. Perfect length of time to listen to a story without staring at a screen. One participant finds sitting for a story difficult but he sat, listened and interacted for the full session. Very interactive. [In the longer term this will] be good for students who are more sensory to interact with a story whilst others who can read can write down key things. We loved it!”
  • “They are very visual non stimulating visuals. Hands on sensory parts. Very interactive. [In the longer term this will help us] make our own sensory stories.”
  • “The props shown were very interesting and sensory for the children to explore and everyone explored them as they came along. They were tactile and feely and with sounds as well. They all made the story very interesting to follow and a great experience for exploring different sensory aspects. [I was surprised that] most of the children showed interest to touch and feel and discover the props. [In the longer term] because there were so many various and interesting props it will stimulate their imagination as well as exploring sensory objects. Great opportunity for all. Excellent session for all.”
  • “Super, really enjoyed. Thank you. All sat which was amazing. All good.”
  • “They were engaged with the props which caught their attention enough to listen to the story. Some sat much longer than expected. [In the longer term] it will help them to increase their attention spans as well as learning to take turns.”
  • “Enjoyed sensory elements especially sound and instruments.”

Oakleigh School & Acorn Assessment Centre, Barnet. 16/01/19

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 24 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 24 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “The children were very engaged and interacted well with the story. [I was surprised that] all of them were sitting and engaging.”
  • “[The session was] interactive, gave individual attention and had lovely sensory objects linked to the story. Very enthusiastic and accommodating storyteller. Everyone was very engaged and seemed to anticipate the storyteller coming round which was lovely to see. We get a free book to continue with it and will see where that leads.”
  • “The children loved the sensory stories and sat really well. T sat much better than I expected her to and was watching the others. [In the longer term] it will help with their listening skills.”
  • “They loved it. It’s the first time I have seen them so excited. [I was surprised that] they all sat very well as they were tired. I really loved the interactive nature of the stories.”
  • “All the children really enjoyed the stories. It was the right length of time for their concentration. I didn’t think one child would move into the large hall (where the storytelling was) at all but he did very well. We are grateful for your visit.”

Woodlands School, Harrow. 11/01/19

Our Storyteller ran seven 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 seven teachers who judged that all bar five of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Lots of multi sensory props that the children found engaging. [I was surprised that] one child was reaching out and looking. [In the longer term this will help with] sustained engagement in multisensory stories.”
  • “I think all the children enjoyed interacting with each of the elements of the story. They maintained engagement through the variety of resources using the various senses. Our children managed to sit through a longer time than expected and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the resources. [In the longer term] I think it is a great way for the children to learn about different topics in particular the barbershop story which could have been a new experience for some of the children and could help them learn what to expect should they visit in the future.”
  • “It was very well matched to the level of my class. Fantastic resources that pupils were able to explore (some independently). Pupils were focused and enjoyed the story telling. One pupil was very happy to touch and explore resources which he normally avoids. [In the longer term] I will be able to continue tactile and multisensory exploration using familiar resources.”
  • “[The session helped due to] the range of props which were multi sensory. Interactive props. Enthusiastic story teller. One child reacted more than expected to the props - increased eye movement. [In the longer term this will help with] access to a range of resources.”
  • “Very calm atmosphere and story teller. Good and interesting resources. [I was surprised that] a visually and hearing impaired child smiled throughout sensory vocalisation. [In the longer term] we can introduce the same stories to them and enable them to build anticipation.”
  • “Great sensory experience for them. One boy in particular was looking at the objects and exploring more than he normally does. [In the longer term this will] help them engage with their environment. It was great thank you.”
  • “It was a real sensory experience. [I was surprised that] one boy particularly enjoyed the clippers. [In the longer term this will] help them to explore different materials and objects. It was all great.”

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