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Storytelling In Your Area - North East England: 2012 onwards

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

Barndale House School, Alnwick. 15/06/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 21 children (over half of the school) with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 21 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "The children listened, understood and participated. They loved touching and experiencing the stories. I saw one boy smile who I'd never seen smile before. It gave me lots of ideas to continue! Thank you!"
  • "The story content was appropriate. The storyteller used Makaton signing and made the stories fun and entertaining. The pupils sat engaged for the full half hour; I had expected to take some pupils out before the end. [In the longer term this will] help to encourage sitting to listen to stories, and contribute to storytelling."
  • "The sensory aspect of the stories - the pupils were really engaged in touching all the boards. They really enjoyed the fun and expressive way the story was read. One pupil was laughing (who at times does not always interact). One pupil was very engaged, listening and participating (who at times can be distracted). [In the longer term] we will continue to use the sensory boards in school. It was excellent - and pupils responded very well to the stories and props."
  • "Children with sensory aversion were able but not expected to participate, helping to break down barriers in a non-threatening way. All children interacted well at different points during the session. Today's stories will act as a launch pad for discussion of language assimilation / development."
  • "Chance for all to interact and participate in a group activity but at their own individual level. One boy interacted more than expected - usually reluctant to touch or to smell unless very sure of situation. [In the longer term this will help] develop listening - choice making."

Villa Real School, Consett. 30/10/16

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 32 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all 32 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "[The session helped with] turn taking, listening, interacting and being attentive. Room used by school has too many distractions. Very positive. Younger, easily distracted pupils enjoyed the participation. As an introduction to Bag Books, a very good way to start."
  • "All children listened and joined in at their own level, all were interested in all of the objects presented to them. The stories were appropriate and the storyteller had a very understanding manner with our pupils and their ability to participate. One child who struggles to sit in a group or sit sensibly sat throughout both stories, listened and enjoyed it. [In the longer term this will help] them to learn to sit for longer periods of time and turn taking."
  • "Excellent sensory story which touched every level of ability. Thank you - it was excellent. All participants had lots of interaction - more so for the very low ability pupils and the non-verbal students. Repetition is a must for our students to help them with anticipation and involvement."
  • "The multi-sensory parts of the story coupled with repetition helped the children stay engaged in the story. Scents, textures and sounds were particularly good for a child without sight. Someone who had come in showing silly behaviour participated and joined in well and listened throughout. The child without sight listened well and waited for her turn. [In the longer term this will help with] practising listening and concentrating, as well as turn taking and waiting."

The Oaks Secondary School, Spennymoor. 21/10/16

Our Storyteller ran a multi-sensory storytelling session involving a total of seven children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from one teacher who judged that all seven children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, "[The session helped by] socialising with other classes and peers, getting used to visitors and working with the Storyteller. Absolutely fantastic. Each pupil participated fully. Brilliant Storyteller. Each pupil participated very well with the Storyteller, which is very good for our pupils. [In the longer term this will help with] experiencing domestic chores, music and everyday life choices."

Durham Trinity School & Sports College, Durham. 19/10/16

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

  • "[The session helped] PMLD students who follow sensory curriculum and benefit from sensory stimulus. They all responded throughout. AF really enjoyed the story and interacted very well, smiled throughout. Really enjoyed it – thank you. Having a new story was refreshing. Staff also had a refresher of how to deliver stories."
  • "The Storyteller adjusted to the level of my children, who all engaged with at least one of the sensory parts of the story. A particularly loved the sequin fish and the mirror, frequently posing and kissing his reflection. C also played peek-a-boo with his reflection. If they have more regular sessions, they would get more used to group sessions, it would improve concentration and all would engage to try more things."
  • "The pupil really enjoyed exploring the sensory items. She especially liked the feel and the sound of the fish. She was wary of the pig sound. Did really good looking and listening. Lots of smiles and quite vocal. Followed instructions when asked to feel and smell items. The session was good as she was one to one which was helpful and enabled her to fully concentrate. She was quite willing to join in especially because the Storyteller was a stranger to her although a member of staff was in the room with them who she was very familiar with. [In the longer term] it would help to familiarise her with different textures and sounds and help her to interact with different people."
  • "Sensory approach. Good pacing. Time spent with each pupil just right. Materials/story props excellent – not too complicated visually. Pupils who normally find difficulty sitting were sat throughout and listening without prompting. All pupils willing to participate and interact with the Storyteller. [In the longer term this will help with] interaction, routine to practise responses. Signing, topic work on animals."
  • "Children enjoyed the sensory feel of the story. F took part and usually would have been reluctant. [In the longer term this will help with] the ability to sit while sensory session is taking place."

Priory Woods School, Middlesbrough. 17/10/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 50 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar two of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "They sat well, listened and waited their turn, which are excellent skills for our children. They loved being part of the story. One child asked lots of questions which he normally doesn't."
  • "The story props allowed the children to interact and stay engaged through the session. It also built in some drama aspects e.g. children acting scared when they saw the spider. A child who usually is not motivated by stories and sensory based activities was engaged throughout and interacted by feeling and exploring the objects presented. [In the longer term this will help with] developing an enjoyment for stories and reading. Building concentration and interaction."
  • "All engaged with the objects and story. [It would be beneficial to have] more than one set of the story so children can explore together rather than one at a time. All interacted with the story well and all the sensory objects. [We will] continue to use sensory storytelling during CLL sessions."
  • "All the students have different abilities, there was something for them all to enjoy. All of the students showed a good interaction and participated in all stories. [In the longer term this will help with] a chance to be part of the story and to interact with their peers.
  • "Children enjoyed the story. One child loved wearing the african shirt and signed butterfly (which is on the print). [In the longer term] sessions like these will help our children with early concentration."
  • "[The children benefitted] from the 1:1 interaction from the storyteller and student. Also the objects used on each board, they enjoyed being able to touch and talk about the objects anticipating their turn. They interacted really well asking [the Storyteller] questions i.e. “Where's Africa?” [It would have been a good idea to have] dancing to the music where appropriate. [In the longer term this will] help them with their imagination."

Wrekenton Hub, Gateshead. 05/09/16, 19/09/16, 03/10/16

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

Chase Park Centre, Blaydon. 05/09/16, 19/09/16, 03/10/16

There were a total of 10 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "Think I got better."
  • "Really enjoyed. Thank you."
  • "Can see how useful this well be."

Beaumont Hill Academy, Darlington. 26/09/16

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

  • "Engaged throughout. At their level. All participants could take part! It was fabulous!! I think they ALL participated and interacted better than I had anticipated but one little girl in particular took a bigger part than I expected. Gave me lots of ideas and I will use Bag Books."
  • "Lots of different sensory objects with a very good range of textures, sound, shapes etc. Story was very interactive and told in a very calming manner. [It would have been beneficial to have] more time and an un-disturbed environment - both out of the storytellers control. All the participants reacted well. The story was adapted by the storyteller to meet the individual needs. [In the longer term this will help them] to continue to learn through using their senses."
  • "All showed sensory reaction to all the stories - reacting to sounds/materials. [It would have been beneficial to have] just a little more time to spend looking at resources. Storyteller was incredible! Some of the pupils vocalised when the storyteller spoke to them. It would be fantastic to have these sort of Bag Books relating to all the topics we have termly."

Northern Counties School, Newcastle Upon Tyne. 21/09/16

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 23 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 benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Really enjoyed feeling the different textures. Loved looking at the different animals and hearing different noises. Reacted very well to different noises and shared very well with friends. [In the longer term this will help the children] know likes and dislikes - able to move forward and do more with children."
  • "All three children interacted with storyteller and resources using all of their senses. The children were really engaged which was lovely to see as the three children don’t interact easily with others. All three sat lovely for the first story, second story one child became a little distracted but still listened. A fantastic activity enjoyed by all. The storyteller was brilliant. All three interacted with lovely eye contact. Loved looking at selves in the mirror and one child really enjoyed smelling and seemed to enjoy the contact of others around him. [In the future] staff will try and incorporate sensory stories using lots of sensory resources."
  • "Some excellent quality resources that were presented in an engaging way at a pace that was appropriate and included great repetition of key phrases. Lovely variation in tones of voice, pitch and volume. Simple key phrases, not too much language. Wish all of our children had been in school to benefit! A: remained calm, tolerant and tracked [the Storytellers'] voice; J: was aware for the full session; M: stayed calm and accepted meeting a new person and being in a different classroom; S: tracked [the Storyteller] throughout and vocalised. Given us some great ideas about simplifying our own sensory stories."
  • "[The session helped with] working on turn taking, sensory elements, new experiences. E: looking and raising his head; M: loved ALL of it, waited patiently; S: objecting to items by moving away. [In the longer term this will help with] working towards targets - IEPS achieved."
  • "Opportunity to explore new resources. Calming impact of sharing a story. Chance to be involved in a group activity. Exposure to new vocabulary. Students respond well to repeated exposure to stories - shame this was a one-off. One student was anticipating resources and pulling hands out of sleeves without prompts to explore resources (especially good given session was out of routine). One pupil was able to reflect on the new experience and chat about it with staff."
  • "Parts of the story really caught the participants attention and he liked the props. I think a weekly session would help keep the participants' attention and help their enjoyment of the story."

Thornhill Park  School, Sunderland. 11/07/16

Our Storyteller ran two sessions involving a total of six children (a quarter of the whole school) with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all six children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "The session allowed learners to be actively involved in the stories - there was high engagement. The storyteller was very confident in delivering the stories and was sensitive to individuals' needs, giving gentle encouragement when needed. Overall, it was a very good session. All the learners were engaged. The stories would be a good starting point for introducing social experiences, particularly stories like the hairdresser." The other commented, "My student engaged well with the activities and seemed to enjoy them all. The session was very good, presented in  a calm and friendly way. It was excellent and the student seemed fully engaged throughout."

Keelman's Way School, Hebburn. 28/06/16

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

  • "The pupils really enjoyed this session. They were all engaged and [The Storyteller] was great at getting all the pupils involved with the props. Thank you!"
  • "This group of pupils has severe VI and some are extremely tactile defensive. Most pupils listened attentively and engaged with the stories. One pupil was missing her routine and did not engage. [The Sotryteller] did a great job! Thank you! We use sensory stories a lot with this group and I make them myself to meet the needs of all pupils in the group."
  • "Pupils interacted well with the sensory story props and the storyteller. They engaged in the session. Will be looking into using Bag Books for my future planning and Literacy sessions."
  • "The storyteller was fantastic. All of the storyboards were fun and interactive. The boards and the storyteller encouraged language and communication. All of the children thoroughly enjoyed the session and were engaged throughout."
  • "The pace was perfect for each of the pupils. The storyteller adapted approach and voice. Knew when to approach a child with kindness and fun. Very good session overall."
  • "All the children in my class who attended the storysession enjoyed the whole session and were very engaged with all the props."

Sunningdale School, Sunderland. 17/03/16

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 46 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities.

Hexham Priory School, Hexham. 15/03/16

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 34 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers who judged that all 34 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, Both stories were appropriate for the age of the students ( 15 to 16 years). Everyone was fully engaged by the story teller and the props, especially so with the story about the funfair which was very age appropriate and so much fun. The story teller did well to remember the names of each student in the group which brought them further into the stories as it became a personal experience. The students also enjoyed watching the interaction of their peers with the teller and the props as he moved through the group and of course the repetition of each line of the story meant that the students could remember the stories quite well when we talked about them at the end of the day."

Collingwood School, Morpeth. 14/12/15

Our Storyteller ran seven sessions involving a total of 47 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. One added, “The physical resources were excellent. [The Storyteller] was very chatty and friendly at the start and between stories. He was enthusiastic and engaged all the students. The students thoroughly enjoyed the session and giggled lots." Another commented, "Great for our younger pupils. Some pupils may find being asked to touch and feel things a bit intimidating as they are naturally hypersensitive to touch, smell and sound, but by actually doing it, I think they definitely benefit. Would be interested in stories for older pupils."

Deneside Court, Jarrow. 20/11/15, 27/11/15, 04/12/15

There were a total of 8 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Washington Community Resouce Centre, Washington. 20/11/15, 27/11/15, 04/12/15

There were a total of 16 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, His training is fab, customers all laughed and smiled. Great idea and feel as though customers would thoroughly enjoy it a lot more." The other commented, "Had a great time and the training is excellent throughout the activity."

Dryden School, Gateshead. 21/10/15

Our Storyteller ran four sessions involving a total of 33 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback on behalf of all the teachers who judged that all 33 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, All the classes that had visits were very impressed with the way [the Storyteller] was able to engage the pupils. There many great responses from them throughout the day."

Cumberland Resource Centre, Middlesbrough. 25/08/15, 15/09/15, 06/10/15

There were a total of 13 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Source users have thoroughly enjoyed participating in these sessions. Very worthwhile. Very good trainer. Good support, encouragement throughout." The other commented, "I felt a lot more confident after practicing the story before presenting it to the group. Thought the service users enjoyed the sessions and liked getting involved. I found I got good feedback and advice from the trainer."

Bowes Court, Bishop Auckland. 25/08/15, 15/09/15, 22/09/15

There were a total of 12 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees.

Butterwick House Children's Hospice, Stockton-on-Tees. 06/08/15

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of two children. The hospice staff judged that both children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They added, "Lovely session. A shame we only had two children around today, as many more would have enjoyed it. We have some Bag Books and use them regularly."

Glendene Arts Academy, Peterlee. 01/07/15

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 44 children with severe learning disabilities. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that all 44 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, “Very much appreciated by all staff and students. Excellent storyteller."

Fulwell Community Resource Centre, Sunderland. 08/06/15, 16/06/15, 29/06/15

There were a total of 11 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Marquisway Day Centre, Gateshead. 08/06/15, 16/06/15, 29/06/15

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "This experience has made me look at storytelling in a totally different way. I understand the concept and have seen the benefits. Can't wait to deliver as part of my session plan." The other commented, "I look forward to buying other Bag Books to provide more variety for service users."

Zoe's Place Children's Hospice, Middlesbrough. 17/04/15

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of four children. The hospice staff judged that all four children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They added, "Thoroughly engaged all of our children and they loved it."

KTS Academy, Saltburn-By-The-Sea. 26/03/15

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of  32 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from three teachers. They judged that all bar three of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "The children can be difficult to engage and the storyteller was very patient. The children needed a lot of support to take part and to treat the resources gently/appropriately."
  • "None of the pupils in Green Class will engage in an activity which doesn't interest them: all pupils were engaged for either the whole session (half hour, one story) or for periods within the session. One pupil's target is to join group activities and remain with the group for increasingly long periods of time. She not only joined in this session willingly, but showed interest in all but one of the "pages". Her enjoyment of the activity was obvious: she made eye contact with the storyteller, vocalised to him, smiled and laughed when interacting with/exploring the pages. She remained interested and willing to remain in her seat as part of the group for the entire half hour session. It was very useful for me to see a Bag Books story presented as intended (i.e. in a very structured way) and to watch the reactions of the pupils in my class. Before the session took place I had fully expected that three of the pupils would have difficulty remaining with the group and engaging with the story pages."
  • "Many thanks to [The Storyteller] for his lovely storytelling skills! The staff also gained some "handy hints" for their own storytelling (using Bag Books). We currently have three Bag Books in class, with resources purchased to make six more! Thanks again!"

Perth Green Day Centre, Jarrow. 12/02/15, 26/02/15, 19/03/15

There were a total of 14 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees. Two rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and two as "4/5 - Good".

Welford Day Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne. 05/02/15, 12/02/15, 19/02/15

There were a total of 13 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "I found the training very helpful and felt it really improved my storytelling." Another commented, "I feel the three sessions was adequate, and the feedback was very helpful."

The Grove Special School, Berwick-Upon-Tweed. 09/02/15

Our Storyteller ran four sessions involving a total of 16 children with severe learning disabilities. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that 11 of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “3/5 – Average” and added, “Some of the pupils engaged well with the Bag Book stories, however, some pupils chose to move away from the group. Staff felt that those who moved away from the group were not encouraged to participate by the storyteller. School has some sensory stories that we have recently purchased and staff feel that these are more popular with pupils (and staff) than the Bag Books."

Blyth Riverside Resource Centre, Blyth. 30/09/14, 06/10/14, 13/10/14

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

Bedlington Day Centre, Bedlington. 30/09/14, 06/10/14, 13/10/14

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

St. Oswald's Children's Hospice, Gosforth. 23/09/14

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions with a total of four children as part of our 21st Birthday - National Multi-Sensory Storytelling Day.

Gateshead Library. 23/09/14

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions with a total of eight children from Gibside School as part of our 21st Birthday - National Multi-Sensory Storytelling Day.

Sir Charles Parsons School, Newcastle Upon Tyne. 23/09/14

Our Storyteller ran three sessions involving a total of 23 children with severe learning disabilities as part of our 21st Birthday - National Multi-Sensory Storytelling Day. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that all of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, “Yet again [The Storyteller] performed brilliantly and got great responses from all of the students in each of the three sessions. One of our newer teachers, who had seen bag books but never heard them told came away really enthused and impressed by what her pupils had achieved – she commented “my fingers never left the camera button” collecting evidence to show what they had done.”

Percy Headley - Able2, North Shields. 30/07/14, 13/08/14, 28/08/14

There were a total of 17 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Percy Headley - Linskill, North Shields. 30/07/14, 08/08/14, 13/08/14

There were a total of 21 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".

Gibside Primary School, Newcastle Upon Tyne. 11/07/14

Our Storyteller ran seven sessions involving a total of 50 children with severe learning disabilities. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that all of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, “Lovely day of storytelling. Enjoyed by all.”

Sir Charles Parson School, Newcastle Upon Tyne. 18/06/14

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 39 children. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that all of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, “We love Bag Books and have several in our school. We have been using them for over 15 years. The boxes are now in a poor state but, as with everything, we can’t afford to replace them and school funds don’t stretch to enable us to purchase more books at the moment. The sessions enjoyed today were great. Although we do tell ourselves, we are not professional storytellers and often wonder if we are “doing it correctly” or if we “could do better” so hearing them done by [the storyteller] is reassuring and gives us all confidence to read the stories ourselves. We were particularly impressed with two of our pupils' responses to the storyteller. Both students (in different sessions) are difficult to engage and frequently opt out of sessions, especially when a stranger comes into school. In [the storyteller's] sessions, both participated fully, seeking out the stimuli and exploring them. [The storyteller] really engaged with them. They frequently wandered from their “place”, which he was clearly comfortable with, but he always ensured they had their turn and kept to the same order each time – the order they were sitting at the start of the session.”

Pathways, Newton Aycliffe. 14/04/14, 12/05/14, 09/06/14

There were a total of 16 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees. Two rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Really enjoyed the sessions." The other commented, "Very good for people with PMLD - possibly less so for those more able."

Pathways, Consett. 15/05/14, 22/05/14, 29/05/14

There were a total of 16 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".

Pathways, Stanley. 15/05/14, 22/05/14, 29/05/14

There were a total of 18 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".

Pathways, Barnard Castle. 14/04/14, 12/05/14, 20/05/14

There were a total of 18 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Our group of service users really enjoyed the interaction and did tell staff how much they had enjoyed it. I myself have been able to build on my confidence." The other commented, "All service users really enjoyed and they came out and told staff that they had. They all enjoyed working with the props and enjoyed saying some of the lines with you as they used the props. I had a good time and enjoyed it all."

Beacon Hill School, Wallsend. 14/05/14

Our Storyteller ran six storytelling sessions with a total of 38 children with severe learning disabilities. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that all of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, “All of our classes loved the storytelling session. Please pass on our thanks to [The Storyteller].”

Elsden Mews Care Home (afternoon group), Hebburn. 09/12/13, 23/01/14, 24/02/14, 05/03/14

There were a total of 18 adult participants across the four sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Excellent."

Pathways, Bishop Aukland. 22/01/14, 05/02/14, 19/02/14

There were a total of 19 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Love it!. [The Storyteller] was great and gave me great feedback."

Pathways, Chester-le-Street. 05/02/14, 12/02/14, 19/02/14

There were a total of 22 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees. Feedback was received from one trainee who rated the overall training/mentoring as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Have had some story telling experience in various settings from various providers. Have also ran a ‘parent baby/toddler’ group with story telling and singing, as well as story telling to school groups so felt quite confident in doing story in front of audience – however appreciated the focus on the multi sensory aspects for those with more complex needs. The tactile aspect makes a huge difference. "

Elsden Mews Care Home (morning group), Hebburn. 16/11/13, 23/01/14, 12/02/14

There were a total of 12 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Great training". The other commented, "Really good for our clients."

Bisley Drive Care Home, South Shields. 06/11/13

Our Storyteller ran sessions involving a total of five adult participants.

Alan Shearer Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne. 16/07/13, 20/08/13, 20/10/13

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. One rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and the other as "4/5 - Good".

Real Life Options (morning group), Hartelpool. 05/09/13, 19/09/13, 17/10/13

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

Real Life Options (afternoon group), Hartelpool. 05/09/13, 19/09/13, 17/10/13

There were a total of 11 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Parkead Resorce Centre, Ashington. 16/07/13, 04/09/13, 23/09/13

There were a total of 17 adult participants across the three sessions. There were five trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Really enjoyed it. Great to see the responses." Another commented, "This been a very worthwhile training course. Will definitely be using multi-sensory storytelling regularly."

St Oswald’s Hospice, Gosforth. 13/08/13

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions involving a total of 6 children. The hospice staff judged that all of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They added, “Excellent. Has inspired us to make some multi-sensory stories of our own."

Butterwick Children's Hospice, Stockton-on-Tees. 13/08/13

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions involving a total of 4 children. The hospice staff judged that all of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They added, “The children responded well to variety of props and appeared to get a lot out of the session."

St Oswald's Children's Hospice, Newcastle upon Tyne. 13/08/13

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions involving a total of 6 children. No feedback received to date.

Evergreen Primary School, Bishop Auckland. 18/07/13

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 31 children. We received combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers. They judged that all of the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, “A really enjoyable session. The children loved each session and staff came out of the sessions saying how appropriate they were and just at the right level for our children. Thanks again.”

Sir Charles Parsons School, Newcastle upon Tyne. 08/07/13

Our Storyteller ran two sessions involving a total of 19 children and six trainees.

Bishopton Road Centre, Stockton on Tees. 16/05/13, 23/05/13, 30/05/13

There were a total of 17 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Darlington Road Centre, Stockton on Tees. 16/05/13, 23/05/13, 30/05/13

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Really enjoyed the story and concept. Trainer was very helpful in giving knowledge."

Blyth Riverside Resource Centre, Blyth. 18/02/13, 04/03/13, 18/03/13

There were a total of 15 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. One rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and the other as "4/5 - Good".

Bedlington Day Centre, Bedlington. 18/02/13, 04/03/13, 18/03/13

There were a total of 12 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees and they both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Abbey Hill School, Stockton-on-Tees. 11/03/13

Our Storyteller ran two sessions involving a total of 16 children. We received feedback from two teachers. They judged that all the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They both rated the experience as “5/5 – Very Good".

Eshaness Court, Hartlepool. 24/01/13, 07/02/13, 21/02/13

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

Real Life Options, Hartlepool. 24/01/13, 07/02/13, 21/02/13

There were a total of 4 adult participants across the three sessions.There were two trainees who both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Bag Books are great, but unfortunately our service user perhaps wasn't the best choice."

Northumberland CofE Academy, Ashington. 12/02/13

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 56 children. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that 84% of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “4/5 – Good” and two as "3/5 - Average". Comments were:

  • "Session was good overall. Due to late storyteller 2 groups were put together which meant there were a lot of people in the session. This caused delay between props and same learners losing interest. Storyteller was enthusiastic and worked well with learners. Higher ability learners could have been brought in to help or another task to stretch them. PMLD and lower level learners were very engaged, tracking and following storyteller."
  • "The children said they enjoyed the session. The sensory effects were impressive. The repetition meant the story went on far too long. If the groups had been smaller, not so much time required for each child to experience the sensory effect and the story shorter, would have improved the session. Fabulous for small groups of children with PMLD."
  • "The resources were excellent and a lot of thought had obviously been put into them. I like the repetitive language. Our group sizes were too large however it did mean that 50% of our learners were involved in a session and also 50% of staff. It would have been interesting to find out more about  the theory behind the stories and possibly explore different ways to encourage language development through them."

Hare Law School, Stanley. 01/02/13

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 48 children. We received a combined feedback on behalf of all the teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, "We enjoyed seeing the children using the books – it promoted lots of engagement, and could be seen to particularly benefit pupils with ASDs or working at low levels of literacy. The children enjoyed the sensory experiences, and also the one to one engagement with the story teller. The group I was supporting discussed (at one point) if it was ‘fair’ to always go the same way round, but then appeared to accept this when they realised that it meant they would always get their turn and everyone had to wait about the same length of time. One child I was observing has recently given us cause for concern having been very poorly and as a result become very unresponsive – I was delighted to see her smiling and interacting with both the materials and with [the Storyteller]. The most able group were a Year 8 group with a high proportion of high functioning ASD pupils – they appeared to enjoy the materials, and responded well (I had worried they might think them ‘babyish’) but found the repetition a bit of a strain. [The Storyteller] felt the oldest group – including our upper ASD class with a big range of cognitive ability, responded really well – these pupils are Year 9 and above. Some of the other pupils who are more ‘straightforwardly’ MLD (Moderate learning difficulties) also responded really well, and 2 made a point of asking to go when I had not originally included them – presumably some good reporting was going on between the pupils too. When I chatted to pupils afterwards they particularly mentioned the smell of the polish and the sound of the shaker – maybe these elements appear least in ordinary books; it is possible to find quite a lot of books with textures in them, but not so often sounds and certainly not smells. A great experience and one we would hope to repeat. Thanks again to Bag Books."

Barndale House School, Alnwick. 17/01/13

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 31 children. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all bar two of the children in their class had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as "4/5 - Good". Comments were: 

  • "It was good to have the individual experience for each child. [My class] really enjoyed the stories and the interactive resources. Possibly use sign language throughout the story to aid understanding."
  • "Some of our ASD pupils found close contact invasive and it made 1 pupil quite anxious. Perhaps we should have made this clear before session started."

Linskill Centre, North Shields. 02/11/12, 16/11/12, 30/11/12

A total of 14 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees and both rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Really useful training. We have already begun a number of Bag Books over the week. Brilliant for our client group."

able 2 - Percy Hedley Foundation, Newcastle upon Tyne. 02/11/12, 16/11/12, 30/11/12

A total of 11 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees and they all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good".

Sunningdale School, Sunderland. 23/11/12

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 39 children. No feedback was received from the school.

Catcote School, Hartlepool. 22/11/12

Our Storyteller ran five sessions involving a total of 35 children. We subsequently received a letter from the school: “Thank you so very much for giving some of our Catcote students the opportunity to experience Bag Books. [The Storyteller] was absolutely brilliant in meeting our students’ needs, keeping them all thoroughly engaged not just with the story but also with the use of props. I have enclosed the feedback sheet so that you can read the comments from the staff. We would also like to thank you for the gift of the two free Bag Book kits. They have already been used and will continue to do so in the years to come.” We received feedback from five teachers. They judged that 97% of the children in their class had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All the teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “A very good session. We appreciated the effort and consideration given to the support that students needed. We have enjoyed the story boxes we were given. The staff have learnt how to use resources to tell stories after watching you using your products. Thanks again.”
  • “Really enjoyed it as a class.”
  • “Our class really enjoyed the stories. They were all very engaged throughout and enjoyed interacting with the props. It was beneficial to all.”
  • “Excellent - grabbed the attention of hard to reach pupils. Will re-use stories.”

Priory Woods School, Middlesbrough. 09/05/12

Our Storyteller ran four sessions involving a total of 31 children. We received combined feedback on behalf of the teachers who judged that all the children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “3/5 – Average".

Durham Trinity School, Durham. 01/05/12

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 40 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that 93% of the children in their class had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”, one as "4/5 - Good" and one as "3/5 - Average". One added, "This was an ideal resource for a smaller group (3-4 pupils). All pupils responded well to the sensory props. The storyteller had a lovely patient and calm manner." Another commented, "The Bag Books storyteller was a lovely man but we (the staff) found the session quite stressful as 3 of the 6 children were only engaged when the items to touch came to them. For the remainder of the time we were trying to prevent them getting off their seats and running round the library etc. The three least able children have a very short attention span and need something very visual as well as touchy/feely which will keep their attention. It also needs to be "big" in the sense of more dramatic. However, they did enjoy touching the storyboards. The 3 more able children were more engaged and certainly got a lot more from the session. It is possible that our children may have been more [?] earlier in the day as several of them are poor sleepers."

Thomas Bewick School, Newcastle Upon Tyne. 24/04/12

Our Storyteller ran six sessions involving a total of 44 children with autistic spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all the children in their class had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as "4/5 - Good".

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