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Storytelling In Your Area - North West England: 2016 onwards

Since January 2016 we have organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

Landgate School - Secondary, Ashton-in Makersfield. 14/06/18

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 34 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 34 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • “This group of students don't often get the opportunity to access sensory activities as they are of a higher ability but they loved the story and the sensory experiences. [I was surprised that] they particularly enjoyed the music and bopped along to it. [In the longer term this will help] as part of their learning as more complex texts. They could use this type of experience to full immerse.”
  • “The storytelling was excellent The learners were enthralled, enjoying the exciting presentation. Each learner being given their own turn and time. The story was told in engaging way and the book props were multi-sensory helping the learners become a real part of the story. [I was surprised that] one learner was particularly enthralled and couldn't take her eyes away from the storyteller and the props she was using. Another learner is very reluctant to try new things and does not like smells but he smelled it without hesitation. [In the longer term] they will be able to recount the story discussing with each other and with an adult. They could develop their own skills by writing about the story or make props which would help some learners to remember what they saw and heard. Excellent.”
  • “They were very engaged with the story. Good resources to go with the story. All learners interacted well. One in particular really engaged with the story and sensory boards. [In the longer term this will help them] to use sensory boards in lesson times”
  • “This was a fantastic session. All of the learners were able to take part and they all really enjoyed it, the stories were very sensory which our learners enjoy. All four learners reacted better than expected, really looking and listening and taking part in both stories. [In the longer term] it gives learners confidence being in a small group and taking part.”
  • “Our learners enjoy more hands on practical learning so it was a very nice session. Learners seemed engaged and excited.”
  • “The session was very well delivered. The storyteller was animated and fun! [In the longer term] I think it encourages focus for other activities.”
  • “Sensory story. Enthusiastic storytelling. Helps with turn taking and thinking about the next stage of the story. [I was surprised that] lower ability learners enjoyed the sensory aspect whilst higher ability could predict. [In the longer term this will help with] attention, focus, sensory experience, depicting a story and turn taking. Perfect session.”

Progress School, Preston. 07/06/18

Our storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 7 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all 7 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • “T listened really well and participated in holding objects and touching the boards. T was lying on the floor and the storyteller was bringing the boards to him. T was hitting the board and the gong. T was happy to participate and found it easier to have things bought to him.”
  • “Although the pupil refused the activity at the beginning the staff engaged him very well in the end. He repeated the key words and touched the sensory boards. [In the longer term this will help with] improving vocabulary, better social interaction and the focus of attention for a longer time.
  • “T enjoyed the interaction and the smelly cheese. Enjoyed the noise of the baked bean cans. Kept his interest all the way through. [In the longer term this will help with] dealing with loud noises when out.”
  • “[The storyteller] engaged with the young person really well. Good tool to use for learning to read. Excellent interaction from the young person. Engaged really well. [In the longer term this] will help to learn to read as young person loves looking at books. Helping young person to tolerate different smells.”
  • “Engaged the young person really good. Great for sensory needs and good learning to read and listening really well. Great for learning to spell. Great interaction and engaged - listened well. [In the longer term this] will help the young person to read and role play. Young person enjoyed the colours and different things he can interact with.”
  • “The young person enjoyed the session, accepted help from staff and interacted. Lots of smiles which showed she was happy and interested.”

Green Fold School, Bolton. 24/05/18

Our storyteller ran six 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 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:

  • “Good use of props All participants were given chance to take part. Good use of fine motor skills with props. It was lovely for our pupils to experience a new person reading them a story and seeing a new way for a story to be presented.”
  • “All participants benefitted from the story session today. Very happy children. Two very good stories which the children enjoyed. [I was surprised that] K flapped and got really excited whilst D stayed focussed throughout the session and giggled when being tickled. All children enjoyed the props. [In the longer term this will help with] more exploring and trusting new people.”
  • “The Storyteller was very animated and engaging. Boards were easy accessible and every child was able to explore. [I was surprised that] they were engaged for extended periods. We hope for our pupils to have more access to multi-sensory stories and storytelling. Also give Teachers, TA’s and staff lessons to develop. The Storyteller was fantastic. Thank you so much.”
  • “The sensory props used throughout the story made the story even more exciting. As the children in our class engage well with sensory props it was very beneficial. The storyteller was very enthusiastic and helped the children engage with the story. [I was surprised that] the children were more involved, very engaged, reaching out. Good for children with HI and VI as includes noises and smells. [In the longer term this will be] very good for including some children’s targets e.g. posting things and sliding doors for fine motor skills.”
  • “It was great for all areas of learning. Lovely props to explore. [I was surprised that] all enjoyed exploring the props and joining in. [In the longer term we plan to] have more sessions in school.”

Lancasterian School, Manchester. 17/05/18

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

  • “Each of our children seemed to enjoy both of the stories. All of them managed to sit and stay focussed. They really enjoyed all the objects in the stories too. One of the children did a lot of vocalising that they would not usually do.”
  • “Our pupils have really enjoyed the story. They've enjoyed the touch, smell and sound that was used for the story. The materials that were used were very good for our children to explore. [I was surprised that] all our participants co-operated very well. They smiled, looked at the pops and reached out. They were very engaged listening to the story. For example one child enjoyed touching the beard and another was fascinated looking at the treasure box. [In the longer term] they will benefit to listen to more of these sensory stories which will encourage their listening skills and exploring sensory materials.”
  • “The children were able to investigate different resources (sensory boards). Slightly different than other class activities - wide range of resources. And accessible. Great enthusiasm from the storyteller who gave her enthusiasm and interaction to the pupils. [I was surprised that] K was excited when presented with resources, F and O were both engaged for long periods of time, F interacted with resources and was willing to investigate, A appeared to enjoy the session and resources. [In the longer term this will help] pupils to receive sensory stories several times a week. The stories are different to the stories delivered in school. Variety of story/resources that differ from school resources. Beneficial for staff to gain understanding of how to deliver a quality, pacey and interactive session. Excellent session delivered at a good pace that involved and included all the pupil's in the group. Great passion and enthusiasm from the storyteller when both delivering the stories and during the welcome. Great resources that were all accessible. Many thanks - great enjoyable session.”
  • “Very sensory for all the learners in the class and was adapted for the different learners. [I was surprised that] they all reacted in different ways especially 'surprises' there were included in the story. [In the longer term this will help with] anticipating reactions in the story, which engages emotional feelings associated with the story. Ties in with the curriculum.”
  • “Lots of sensory props. Smelling touching and great interaction. Children really enjoyed the story especially the snakes. Very different to their other sensory stories like the rickety train. [I was surprised that there was] lots of smiling, laughs and good looking from some pupils. Pupils looked like they were really enjoying the stories. One child reacted really well to the smelling- smelling the mango. One girl did very good looking. Another girl did lots of the activities which are different than she is used to. [In the longer term] todays story helped with good looking and touching. The storyteller was fantastic at telling the stories and the children were really engaged. Thank you.”
  • “Storytelling was very interactive with a fantastic storyteller. Participants were alert and engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the story. Very accessible to all the learners, incorporates numeracy and encourages movement and communication with sensory responses. I was very impressed with responsiveness from two students in particular. Lovely to see the storyteller - good experience for myself to witness - more animation to get more engagement and responses. Can we keep you for more than one day?!”

Landgate School - Primary, Ashton-in Makersfield. 10/05/18

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 40 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 40 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • “The storybooks were excellent for our sensory learners. All learners were engaged, waiting their turn of each page. Learners even gestured for more. Loved the tactile pages and our learners particularly enjoyed the musical page. [I was surprised that] all learners were engaged for both stories. [In the longer term this will] allow them to enjoy storytelling sessions, help them to retell stories and also sequence them. We will also be able to use the books for the learners to retell or make up their own stories.”
  • “All sensory aspects kept all learners engaged. [I was surprised they were] smiling and touching all objects. [In the longer term this will help them to be] more engaged in stories and I will be able to use these techniques in future.”
  • “They all engaged with the story and each one took time to look. [I was surprised that] all learners were calm and gave good eye contact. They looked at sensory boards. [In the longer term] knowing that the learners are calm and engaged means I can adapt class stories into a more sensory way to benefit learners. Everything was spot on.”
  • “All engaged with the session and showed good attention. The multi-sensory elements enabled children to experience stories in an exciting and engaging way. [I was surprised that] all learners sat for long periods and maintained attention. W repeated phrases from the story whilst K added his own detail. [In the longer term this will] allow them to sit for an extended time period. I will be able to present literature in engaging ways. It will encourage learners to engage with stories better in the future.”
  • “They were more interested in a story. Were all excited for their turn. Two learners were totally engaged when normally they show no interest, especially one who usually walks off but sat throughout. [In the longer term this will help with] concentration levels.”

Heaton Special School, Stockport. 07/05/18

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

  • “The students responded really well. They really enjoyed touching the props. [I was surprised that] one student who is visually impaired and tactile defensive touched the props which is excellent for her. [In the longer term] they will hopefully have more access to the sensory stories we already have in school.”
  • “Repetition, simplicity and resources. One student was much more engaged that expected. [In the longer term this will help with] communication and working in a group.”
  • “All participants were engaged. They focused on the sensory props and explored them (supported if necessary). [I was surprised that] one student grabbed the furry spider with both hands. Another used their hand to explore the sea urchin for a good length of time. A third student remained quiet and calm during the story and a fourth student held and shook an instrument independently. [In the longer term this will help with] social interaction, communication and willing to explore sensory objects.”
  • “A new way for interaction, focus, calming and enjoyable session. When the story was repeated there seemed to be recognition, suggesting to me that repetition was useful. More sessions would be useful. [In the longer term this will help with] improving focus and mood. This was a 1:1 session and was ideal for the listener. Thought the session was perfect.”
  • “Resources and props were excellent – very interactive and prompted students to laugh at each other and reach out for their turn. [I was surprised that] N, who often opts out, was laughing and interacting with all the props. He especially liked the wig and the mirror.”
  • “Very interactive. Some students raised their heads, listening more and more as the story continued. Physical everyday objects we use and action. Expressive storytelling, physical interaction. Repetition good. The pupils were engaging with every activity more and more, as activity continued. Some students looking at each other and anticipating their turn and looking at each others' reactions. [In the longer term this will help with] using everyday items in social situations.”

Woodlands School, Blackpool. 14/03/18

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 35 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar two of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good" and three as “4/5 - Good". Comments were:

  • “It was beneficial due to being hands on. Maybe could have done with duplicate props. If done more frequently the children would be able to be more involved i.e. doing signs and noises.”
  • “The children enjoyed the props and sound effects and being involved in it. [I was surprised that] one child listened to the noises really well and showed a reaction. The other children enjoyed taking part and waited well for their turn. [In the longer term] they could develop listening and recall skills. It could be used to give pupils a choice to tell the story themselves.”
  • “Our pupils enjoyed the interaction in the story. They enjoyed looking and touching the different things. They also did very well taking turns. One child who doesn't usually sit in circle time sat during the entire story because he liked joining in. Every child joined in with all the interactions. Lots of eye contact and answers given. [In the longer term] they may be more willing to sit and take turns as they know they will get a turn. Staff have come away with new ideas.”
  • “The children really enjoyed the story and was beneficial as it was hands on. [I was surprised that] some of the children sat and listened and enjoyed the interaction. [In the longer term this will help with] interaction, turn taking, exploring, learning to listen, joining in and using their voice. Overall our 5 children enjoyed the session and the interaction and listened. They did really well using the props. All the children enjoyed this session.”
  • “It matched different sensory needs and preferences. Children with hearing impairment enjoyed the tactile and visual props. [I was surprised that] C was excited by the more interactive elements of story. B touched more things than he sometimes does. [In the longer term this] will help staff in telling interactive and sensory stories. Helped some of them to follow whole story.”

The Coppice School, Preston. 13/03/18

Our storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 46 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all bar two of the 46 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:

  • “The pupils benefited because it was fun, visual, exciting and very expressive. All the pupils thoroughly enjoyed it and showed this by joining in, laughing and generally having a good time. We thought some of the older pupils may have found the story too young for them but it definitely wasn't! They loved it! [In the longer term] we can tailor stories to our pupil’s abilities. [The Storyteller] was fantastic!”
  • “They all enjoyed the sensory element and interacted well. They were very interested. H was especially interested asking lots of questions. M reacted really well and did excellent talking "hey go away". E did brilliantly too and knew how to switch off the clippers - she wanted them back. I will try to include more similar everyday activity type stories into my planning. It was all great!”
  • “Very engaged with the different props. [I was surprised that] some children were more relaxed during the story and willing to investigate and listen [In the longer term this will help] have them more focussed on daily stories. Gave more ideas for staff.”
  • “A very good story that engaged the children. [I was surprised that there was] better exploring props with hands rather than mouth.”
  • “Each child was given time to interact with each part of the story and engage. [I was surprised that] all reacted well. One child vocalised excitedly throughout and touched all the storyboards. She showed a lot of interest. I would be keen to repeat sessions like this one to engage my sensory learners. I was very happy. The storyteller was friendly and used all the children’s names which was lovely.”
  • “Each student engaged well with the story. The storyteller allowed time for their responses and they showed their enjoyment by smiling and laughing. [I was surprised that] one of our quieter students danced to the pier music. I was so pleased to see her engaged. I think it encourages the students to try different touches sounds and movements etc. and to engage in the group activity.”
  • “Engaging, entertaining, fun. Encouraged vocalisation and communication. It really engaged two students who are difficult to engage. [In the longer term] staff can add elements to everyday practice.”

Rowan Tree Primary School, Atherton. 10/11/17

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 26 children with severe 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 benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Two rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good" and one as “4/5 - Good". Comments were:

  • “New things for them to experience and an interactive story that kept their focus whilst enjoying different stories. [I was surprised that] one pupil was happy to touch and feel new textures which he is normally reluctant to do. A new experience for them and ideas for staff.”
  • “As a group of PMLD pupils it was exactly geared to the sensory needs of our class. All interacted well. It will benefit all their sensory processing needs. It was great.”
  • “They explored sensory material. Develop concentration. [I was surprised that] one young man was very interested in the textures. [In the longer term this will] help them engage in stories. Help share a group session.”

Red Marsh School, Thornton-Cleveleys. 13/07/17

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 53 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:

  • “The stories were well presented with fabulous interesting artefacts connected to each bit of the story. [I was surprised that] all pupils wanted to touch, smell, feel, look at the artefacts. [The Storyteller] presented each story so well. Thank you!”
  • “All students enjoyed and were fully engaged in the story. [I was surprised that] one student reacted extremely well, staying seated for the whole story and interacting with the story boards independently.”
  • “[The children were] engaged and enthusiastic about the session. Super for communication development, speaking and listening skills. [I was surprised that] a particular child with ASD who doesn't usually join in with things out of routine, was really engaged. The session was amazing and gave me ideas as a teacher to use in my own sensory stories!”
  • “Wow - fantastic! Students engaged with body language & facial expressions. Positive eye contact & vocalising. Enjoyment and pleasure through vocalising. One student sat for a longer period of time than usual. He benefitted as he engaged with the props & anticipated the next steps of the story. Students in wheelchairs / movable classroom chairs were fully inclusive and interactive to an outstanding level. They showed this by vocalising, clapping hands & eye contact. A pleasure to see expressions of enjoyment. [In the longer term this will help with] training Red Marsh staff who wish to be trained on one of our inset days 2017/2018. Then as an outstanding school we could provide this multi-sensory storytelling daily or a few times a week. Comments from two students: "It was brilliant, my favourite was the pirates." "I would have liked a real ghost" replied another student.”
  • “Storyteller engaged all children in story. Children talking about pirate treasure after story. [I was surprised that] sensory children were laughing & smiling. [In the longer term] stories could be included in the curriculum to prompt children to discuss and socially interact. Fun way to learn. Excellent storyteller.”
  • “The children were able to be a part of the story and interact with every aspect. [I was surprised that] one pupil in particular behaved very well throughout the whole time. He really enjoyed being able to join in. [In the longer term this will help with] a new sense of enjoyment from storytelling.”

Oakdale School and Acorn Nursery, Dukinfield. 12/07/17

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

  • “[The session helped with] visual, sensory resources used to engage pupils. [I was surprised that] they all touched and engaged with the interesting objects. [In the longer term this will help with] engagement and interaction.”
  • “Fabulous - great attention & response. [I was surprised that the children were] looking towards the concave / convex mirror - fantastic response. [In the longer term this will help] develop great attention / response / engagement. Amazing storyteller - fantastic!  5 stars!”
  • “Excellent storyteller. [I was surprised that] all engaged especially during their turn. Children really enjoyed the voice changes. [In the longer term this will help with] good listening and use of fine motor skills. Excellent session.”
  • “[The session helped due to the] multi-sensory approach. Items to touch, smell, look at and interact with. Vibrant presentation engaged the children. One child was uncertain at first but [the Storyteller] quickly engaged him in the story so he relaxed and enjoyed the story.”
  • “Sensory experience. Eye contact / tracking. Simple but relevant language. Different resources and voices to keep interest. [I was surprised with] one child laughing at the sounds made by [the Storyteller]. All children engaged throughout the session. [In the longer term] staff can use the techniques observed when we read / share stories with the children in school.”
  • “Theatrical storytelling. Engaging props / boards. Length of story just right. [I was surprised that] a slower responding child was engaged and responded immediately to the sounds and props. Reached out without any adult prompts. Lots of vocalising throughout. [In the longer term this will help them] learn to be focused on the activities and tolerate different sensory experiences.”
  • “A wonderful multi-sensory session. Great storytelling. Children really engaged and interacted willingly. Great fun!!! Excellent interaction. Great responses for children who may not always participate fully. Thank you. Wonderful. [In the longer term this will help with] concentration, listening, interacting, participation.”

Springwood Primary School, Salford. 27/06/17

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

  • “All children were able to explore the stimuli. Adult adapted to needs of each child. One child who finds it difficult to focus attended to each stimuli when it was her turn. [In the longer] we can repeat the stories for familiarity, consistent response and anticipation.”
  • “Second story linked to our themed work and each child really responded to music as we used it in class. [I was surprised that] one child gave excellent eye contact throughout the 30 min session - just fantastic. [In the longer term we will] continue using our stories to access the curriculum.”
  • “All children were engaged throughout and showed great responses to different elements of the story. [I was surprised that] some children that struggle with turn taking and group work were watching as other children had their turn [In the longer term this will help with] building anticipation and ability to do group activity.”
  • “[The session helped because] the story was repetitive and the children had objects to see, touch, hear, smell. Language was kept to minimum. Props were at right level. [I was surprised that] one child attempted to smell the ice cream when normally he would push away. [In the longer term] it will encourage the children to explore objects more frequently and develop social skills and turn taking.”
  • “Children were very engaged and eager to interact. Books were very interactive with opportunities to anticipate, feel and participate. [I was surprised that] they all sat better and were more attentive. [In the longer term this will help with] better engagement with the books.”
  • “Pitched a right level for my sensory ASD class. [I was surprised that] particularly two pupils engaged in each section - touching, anticipating, smelling. [In the longer term this will help with] some more ideas for our own stories in class.”

Millwood School, Bury. 26/06/17

Our storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions.

Hebden Green School, Winsford. 06/06/17

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 33 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 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:

  • "The whole class enjoyed the session due to all the sensory items and the story being clear to follow. One child we didn't expect to join in, did. [The Storyteller’s] approach of repeating each line is great to help with language and communication development. It was great in all aspects."
  • "Very inclusive. Everybody benefitted in some way. Wonderful to have each sentence repeated, so clearly. It slowed the pace down, which is perfect for this group. It included all the senses, touch, smell, sound and visual. Wonderful gentle touching of the seagull. No grabbing from this particular individual which was great to see. He also hooked a duck brilliantly, smiling throughout. Another learner maintained excellent eye contact and was very engaged by [the Storyteller]. This learner tracked the sensory board around the group and stared each time [the Storyteller] got a new board out. It is great they can share books as part of a larger group, rather than just one to one. The props really help to keep the whole group engaged. I feel confident the stories being left with us will be well used. It was great! [The Storyteller] did so well connecting with each learner, even though they were all new to her."
  • "All the pupils benefitted from the story. They used their senses and paid attention to the resources e.g. sound effect. It was nice that the sentences were repeated for each child. One of the pupils was very good at taking turns [In the longer term this will] give them more experiences. Pupils had a chance to be more aware of their senses."
  • "Impacted on all pupils – linked well with EYFS curriculum. The attention of the group was held for 45 mins - twice the time of a 'lesson'! [In the longer term this] can link with other programs such as physical interventions."
  • "Students all engaged with the stimuli. G looks and explored resources offered. J was smiling and laughing during the story. T engaged with all stimuli offered. Reactions of pupils was much as expected. As a teacher I have picked up ideas of how to present sensory stories/shared ideas."

Princes School, Liverpool. 31/03/17

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 48 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 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:

  • "All children engaged in each story, [The storyteller] interacted with each pupil. All pupils interacted much better than expected. Shy pupils engaged and changed facial expression. [In the longer term this will help with] attention span, joining in activities."
  • "They were all engaged fully for the whole session. Prediction of what might happen next was included. Very hands on, visual, auditory strategies used. Reacted as I thought they would - loved it! [In the longer term this will] improve communication, attention, reading for pleasure, enjoyment of stories, children retelling stories to others. It was a great session. Thank you."
  • "The pupils responded really well to the storyteller and sensory elements. [I was surprised that] the use of sensory elements helped to keep the pupils engaged. [In the longer term this will help with] supporting sitting & listening skills. Exposed pupils to new people and new stories."
  • "Multi-sensory for the different types of learners. The pupil who is profoundly deaf was encouraged to feel the vibrations of the resources. [I was surprised that] a pupil who is normally very sleepy stayed awake for the session and was very alert! [In the longer term this will help with] integrating storytelling into the weekly timetable. Extremely good CPD for all staff enabling them to lead a storytelling session with the 8 sets in school."
  • "All engaged and happy to listen. One child is usually quite shy. Good way to engage the children - retold story when they came back."
  • "[The session helped with] engagement because of range of sensory objects / stimuli. One young lady does not engage at all - she engaged - hands out to touch and tried to taste. Inspiring staff to think about sensory stories themselves."

West Lancashire Community High School, Skelmersdale. 30/03/17

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 36 children with severe or 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:

  • "All pupils enjoyed the interaction with the storyteller. Their actions showed that they understood the content of the stories. [I was surprised that] the least able members of the class were able to use the story props in the same way as other pupils. The level of engagement was excellent. It gave me lots of ideas to develop my own storytelling."
  • "They were prepared / able to engage. It helped them to interact with a new person."
  • "Engaging storyteller. Animated use of voice and sounds to tell the story. Objects to look at, feel and smile. [I was surprised that] one boy who does not normally tolerate touch allowed the storyteller to put a wig on his head and use the pretend shaver, too. [In the longer term this will help with] taking turns, waiting, listening in a group and being less dependent on technology."
  • "All pupils were engaged and their attention was really hooked. [I was surprised that] all pupils stayed engaged and on task. One pupil stayed focused as sometimes he becomes disengaged. [In the longer term this] will encourage interaction and build their own storytelling skills - along with recall skills."
  • "All included and motivated by the stories and resources. [I was surprised that] pupils who can be reluctant to engage were very involved. Some can be very wary of new people and activities - but quickly got involved. Great to have positive experiences of new people and activities."

Park Lane School, Macclesfield. 29/03/17

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 28 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 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:

  • "Small group. Each child given time to explore exciting objects relevant to the story. [The Storyteller] told the story well and kept the students' interest. [I was surprised that] one child stopped playing with his own 'Twiddle' toy when [The Storyteller] brought over the elephant trunk! It will help the pupils to focus, and help them learn to take turns. The whole session was lovely and all the pupils enjoyed it."
  • "Each pupil listened extremely well and loved taking part! Priceless!. [In the longer term this will help with] more communication by smiles, gestures & laughter! Perfect."
  • "[The session helped with] participation, excitement, anticipation. High level of enjoyment & encouraged development of language. [I was surprised that] all participated well. One pupil was a little timid but still participated & benefitted from session. Great to hear pupils using vocabulary used by the storyteller. We will use your DIY books to get parents to make resources for the pupils at the school, which will encourage both parental engagement and provide a ready source of multi-sensory stories for our pupils. It was all great. We would love regular visits from your group, if possible."
  • "They were captivated and the stories were age appropriate. [In the longer term this will help with] new ideas and imagination building."
  • "All students were engaged, focussed and joining in the session in different ways. [I was surprised that] some PMLD students were really tactile with certain props, e.g. flipping the hinged goat sound box. [In the longer term] I have picked up ideas as a teacher on how best to deliver my own stories, which students will benefit from."

Rowan Park School, Bootle. 28/03/17

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

  • "The children all benefitted enormously from the session as they were able to interact fully with the story and explore it in a sensory way. All the children focused their attention on the storyteller. The children smiled and reached out for the objects - some children in class can be touch defensive, so this is a major step. Children who can be fleeting in their attention focused on the story / storyteller. All the children smiled as they participated. The storyteller has given us ideas as staff, how to use our Bag Books more effectively, so our children receive more benefits from the stories. The storyteller was excellent, fully involved the children and brought the story to life."
  • "Pupils range from P levels 1ii - 5 and all benefitted from the multi-sensory exploration of props, use of repetition, and sign language. Lots of eye contact and reaching out towards props. Two pupils had MUCH better reactions than expected. ALL pupils engaged with the resources and were captivated throughout the story. It will help staff with storytelling sequence / structure. Great use of modelling. Thank you very much!"
  • "They were stimulated by the props and the storyteller was fantastic. All pupils had a chance to take part & our non-visual pupil had a chance to experience the story, too. One pupil in particular was really excited & thoroughly enjoyed the session It allows staff to see how to go forward using these books and the pupils now know that literacy will be inclusive for them & they will experience the story."
  • "Pupils benefitted from sensory books and pages. They enjoyed the storyteller's enthusiasm and props. Pupils were engaged and responded well. Some pupils really benefitted and showed positive reactions; lots of social interactions, smiles and laughter! Worked really well for PMLD pupils - responded really well to storyteller and interactive pages."

Royal School for the Blind, Liverpool. 24/01/17

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 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:

  • "All the children in the nursery explored the Bag Books. They had a great time feeling all the different materials. One boy explored each board when he usually takes himself away or refuses. [In the longer term this will help] the children to use their hands more to explore (especially those who are tactile defensive)."
  • "The children sat which is great in my group. They touched different materials & objects, which is fantastic, listened very well & it was delivered very well by [the Soryteller]. Keep up your good work ;-). They all enjoyed this session. [The Storyteller] was fantastic. He even followed one child so he was getting the same as the other children, thanks [In the longer term this will help] Them understand how to sit in a group."
  • "Pupils engaged with resources through their senses, particularly noises and smells. Our group was quite small (because of pupils being off) so stories did not last as long. One of our students who can be quite reluctant to explore resources was engaged and reached out to touch objects [In the longer term this will help with] new sounds to use day to day for example one of our students liked the sound of the letter box. We can replicate this in class."
  • "A lovely opportunity to have an expert share a valuable experience which provided a new opportunity for some pupils. The number of pupils allowed for a good pace and hands on opportunity for ALL pupils to participate. Laughing, turning to sounds, noises when pausing, enjoyed feeling resources. All pupils participated and expressed enjoyment. [It gave] ideas for staff for their story sessions - adding smells. Nice to see a range of stories for ideas.
  • "Going quiet to listen to the bells. Engaging in activities and concentrating on actions and the multi-sensory resources. [I was surprised when] they held their hand out to have a further explore of the resources. [This will help with] story and resource ideas."

Dorin Park School & Specialist SEN College, Chester. 12/12/16

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 45 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. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "Wonderful resources and simple language engaged all our learners for a long time. They showed attention, shared eye gaze, listening/watching peers."
  • "Sensory and visual for the learners. Provoked question asking from the more able. All very good and interactive they all sat on their seats, no behaviour issues. [In the longer term this will help them] develop question asking and attention skills together with turn taking and waiting skills."
  • "The children enjoyed the multi sensory story session. They all shared, took turns and concentrated during the session. Brilliant resources! Wouldn't change anything. All participated and listened for an extended period of time. One child joined in for full session (usually refuses). [In the longer term] it would help with their turn taking, waiting and concentration skills."
  • "The children were really interested in the story - brought alive for them with all the objects. D - finds sitting difficult, but he was totally engrossed. [In the longer term this will help with] good writing/role play stimulus."
  • "They benefitted from the time taken to involve all pupils in each part of the story. They were anticipating the next part of the story. They all sat very well and were engaged in all the resources.  They responded well to the storyteller's engaging delivery."

Kidz - Adultz, Manchester . 17/11/16

Our storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 22 children.

Broadfield Specialist School, Accrington. 18/10/16

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 36 children with severe or 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. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good" and two as “4/5 - Good". Comments were:

  • "The students were engaged and happy. One student particularly joined in - usually doesn't like new people/activities [In the longer term this] has given the teacher ideas."
  • "All our students enjoyed feeling the tactile sensory boards and interacted well with the Storyteller. They were all well engaged with the story."
  • "All the students participated; they were engaged and sat really well throughout. They were all smiling and enjoyed it. J really anjoyed it and interacted really positively."
  • "Great fun for non-verbal students to interact as a group/class. All students participated and stayed focussed. A good pace for all. All good, brilliant sessions some of the more able students had more fun than I expected. All students engaged better than expected. Brilliant for them mixing, having fun and essential for social skills and turn taking."
  • "All students were engaged throughout the story due to the use of fantastic props and theme related background music that helps the 'feel' of the story. All students continued to stay engaged throughout the story, this was longer than if a story was told without the props. L, O and O reacted better than expected and didn't become distracted. [In the longer term] it would be good for the participants to repeat the same story so that they anticipate the next part of the story."

Pendle Community High School and College, Nelson. 17/10/16

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 bar one 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:

  • "They seemed to respond well, new person, new room etc. They all interacted with the storyboards. J sat and watched and kept smiling. JL enjoyed touching all the sensory boards."
  • "[The session helped] through the visual objects and through the different voices of the storyteller. It was a great experience which the pupils enjoyed. All pupils interacted well as they were all involved in feeling the objects and the pupils were absorbed in the story [In the longer term they will] be more engaged in reading books as it was a fun way to read."
  • "They engaged well and enjoyed the props used and the enthusiasm of the session, One student is tactile defensive but he willingly participated. [In the longer term this will help with] engaging with new people and exploring different objects."
  • "All pupils were engaged and encouraged to participate as well and as much as they were able. Pupils managed three stories! It was fantastic! Thank you very much! One pupil sat with class for the whole session, she struggles to do this It's nice to see how others deliver Bag Books to pupils and having a chance to experience new Bag Books."
  • "They all enjoyed the stories."

Merefield School, Southport. 10/10/16

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

  • "The storyteller was very engaging and pupils benefited from a new story/experience from a different person. The majority of pupils have preferred members of staff and generally are less responsive to unfamiliar people. I was surprised by one pupil in particular who was keen to explore the props and she faced the group. I have witnessed good practice when telling a multi-sensory story which I can use to improve my delivery to them. Also new stories for school are going to be useful."
  • "Kept great concentration throughout. Loved multi-sensory experience to touch/feel/hear/smell etc.  All interacted at various points throughout. One child interacted with all the props and[the Storyteller], gaining eye contact throughout - which is unusual for that teenager. [In the longer term this will help] introduce them to new multi-sensory experience."
  • "Each student was engaged in the story at the approriate time. They listened well and were able to say when they did not wish to interact with certain props. Familiarity of story will help them to take a bigger part in the storytelling. They may even be able to use the props on their peers to help retell the story."
  • "Tone of voice. Delivery of sessions. Interesting props. The session was ideal for the learners - just the correct length of session which kept all engaged. Props very appropriate - so little, if anything, could be improved. A pupil reacted to smells and feel of textures of props [which was unexpected]. Learners showed both anticipation and concentration. This would be further developed with more similar sessions."
  • "A range of sensory resources suitable for the needs of our children. All reacted well and engaged with the resources. They are used to sensory stories but this was a nice change. Gives staff ideas that we can incorporate into teaching."

Springfield School, Crewe. 06/10/16

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 42 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. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good" and three as “4/5 - Good". Comments were:

  • "All pupils engaged, apart from those for medical reasons. It was at their pace and all resources were accessible. Some responded better than expected. Some showed like and dislike. Good expressions from them. [In the longer term this will] support communication."
  • "Stories were sensory and the children enjoyed the objects that made noises. Children were interacting with story and those children who were preoccupied came back to carpet to hear sounds."
  • "Pupils were engaged in all sensory items. Loved the trunk. Lots of great language from the pupils."
  • "All children enjoyed storytime. All responded well to taking their turns. S was very animated. J loved the music. [In the longer term this will help] build their enjoyment of stories and improve listening skills."
  • "[The session helped with] all of sensory elements. All loved it. [In the longer term this will help with] counting and describing."
  • "Pupils loved the interactive boards especially ones that made noises."

Brookfields School, Widnes. 30/09/16

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 17 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "They seemed to really interact with the different objects and sounds as they sat sensibly and laughed at parts of the story. The children were all engaged. One child got pleasure from seeing how the other children reacted which enhanced her enjoyment. Many of them pretended to be the animals. The use of different senses was very beneficial as the children got to use smell, sight, sound and touch. Very educational."
  • "[The session helped with] developing listening skills, turn taking, anticipation, story structure and repeated language. It was brilliant - really enjoyed especially watching pupils reactions. C was apprehensive to encounter new experiences. A engaged in all activities, willing to touch, smiling. J  captured attention. [In the longer term this will help with] building up structure of story, turn taking, expectations to sit in a circle alongside peers, sharing good practice/ideas/resources with staff."
  • "Both children engaged, resources linked to story, multi-sensory and very good. Lots more language in context. Lots of smiles and laughter told me that the children enjoyed. Calm returning to class after a positive experience enabling them to focus more."

Fox Wood Special School, Warrington. 22/09/16

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 37 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. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "One pupil sat for a length of time that usually they wouldn't. All engaged during session. Pupils enjoyed the sensory story."
  • "Pupils engaged well with [the Storyteller] and the props. They paid attention and had lots of smiles. [The Storyteller] was great and I think having someone new meant pupils were inquisitive. It was wonderful. Class 2 loved it. One of the pupils was very vocal. She is usually fairly quiet. One pupil followed the storyteller around the group with her eyes and head movement which she finds difficult. Repeating the stories with the pupils will build on their anticipation and recognition."
  • "Lovely pace with resources they could interact with. Started to anticipate own turn during storytelling. Turned towards resources and sounds. We loved the stories and the delivery of them. J lifted her head and kept it up!! Often needs lots of prompts. They loved the Fairground music on the switch and the candyfloss. We have some Bag Books in school which we used regularly last year. We look forward to trying our new ones to see the responses we get from the pupils."
  • "Accessible to all students. Engaging props to appeal to all senses. Age appropriate stories. One student was sleepy and a little unwell but he did wake for one of the props (music switch). One studentwas new to the class but participated well. All students engaged. We appreciate the two new stories. The students will benefit from a range of new props that will come with the stories."
  • "The storyteller was calm and softly spoken and the children listened intently. She gave every child time to experience each part of the story and did not  rush those who were wary. We have several children who find it hard to sit for long periods of time but they all stayed for the whole story and enjoyed it. [In the longer term this will help] improve listening skills."

Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool. 06/07/16

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of seven children. The teacher judged that all of the children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling and rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. They commented "Children and staff really enjoyed the storytelling and enjoyed using the story props. Stories were enjoyable and fun. All enjoyed the participation. [The Storyteller] was great. Thank you"

Highfurlong School, Blackpool. 27/05/16

Our storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 24 children (half of the entire school) with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all 24 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. One rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good" and two as “4/5 - Good". One added, "Engaged all children - Storytelling good." Another commented, "Great sensory resources. Good for ASD. Some children didn’t want to join in at first but were involved by the end so well done."

Aim Habonim, Salford. 25/05/16

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 30 children (two-thirds of the entire school) with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 30 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "Thanks. Great props and kids enjoyed and listened well."
  • "We really enjoyed the stories and our children really benefitted. Thank you."
  • "Kids really enjoyed it and were focussed. Would like to try and work on some of our own stories."
  • "The children really enjoyed . Thank you."
  • "Really excellent. Children loved it!"

Rodney House School, Manchester. 10/03/16

Our storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 23 children (two-thirds of the entire school) with profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "The repetition was great for our children's learning. The sensory element was just what our children need in storytelling. All children were engaged - particularly enjoyed "What am I " so much."
  • "Performance of the storyteller was excelle
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