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Storytelling In Your Area - Northern Ireland: 2011 onwards

Since November 2011 we have organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

Parkview Special School, Lisburn. 14/10/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 32 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:

  • "Range of multi-sensory resources to engage participants. Storyteller engaged with each participant. Length of story was appropriate for participants. All participants engaged with different parts of the story. One pupil reacted and interacted for a much longer duration than I had expected. Another experience for pupils to develop their ability to sit in a group together, and experience/participate in a multi-sensory activity."
  • "Afterwards the children were very calm and relaxed. The storyteller had an amazing attitude towards the children, which added to the success of the story. A bare room with no distractions probably would have resulted in an even better result, but otherwise it was an excellent story session. All three children interacted better than expected even though they roamed around the room (NB: All severely autistic.) They were still listening and engaged in the story. The hairdressing story in particular was very relevant to one of our pupils who has issues with getting hair cut. The props used in the story were great for desensitizing in preparation for hairdressers."
  • "Lots of positive interaction and fun, which they all enjoyed. All pupils responded well. [In the longer term] it will benefit all areas of the curriculum."
  • "Enjoyment. Trying new/different experiences. Meeting new people. Listening/attention-building skills. Vocalising. Excellent. Reaching. Looking. Vocalisation. Touching items they wouldn't normally touch. Classroom staff will be able to try doing this activity more regularly in class."
  • "The pupils enjoyed the story from start to finish, eagerly awaiting the next part. From the storyteller's voice and tone, to the touching/wearing of the props, they were fully engaged. I found everything to be perfectly suited to our class needs. Thank you. One pupil who can easily lose concentration, was fully engaged and sat happily and still in her seat waiting for her turn. It has shown them how much fun can be had during storytime. Now the staff have seen how best to deliver each story, we can try to recreate the setting and use of the props."
  • "I think the pupils benefitted as they reacted to most of the props that were being used, smiling, laughing. Length of story was appropriate for our pupils. I thought everything was excellent! Some pupils reacted by smiling, laughing and when smelling they reacted by grimacing with the foul-smelling one! The children loved the storyteller's interaction with them and they were very engaged throughout. Great group activity and experience for the children to develop further."

Riverside School, Antrim. 13/10/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 35 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from 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:

  • "A very interactive session. The Storyteller was really good at working at the pupils' level and his use of makaton. Resources and sensory objects were fantastic at getting the attention of the pupils.  It surprised me that some of the pupils sat very well throughout at least one story, and all were able to take part in some manner. The session was good at helping to build the pupils attention which will, in turn, benefit pupils during activities especially group work and attention autism."
  • "All pupils enjoyed the session and were able to participate with the stories. The multi-sensory items helped them bring more understanding to the story. All pupils reacted really well to the Storyteller and one showed great emotion to the different voices he was doing, and the props. I feel the session will help the pupils build attention within other group situations."
  • "Completely interactive. Pupils all fully engaged and motivated to participate. Excellent. Pupils all fully reactive. Two pupils who have ASD in particular, showed brilliant responses to The Fairground story. Gave me as teacher, better insight to the books, and will use them within my literacy lessons."
  • "Kept attention of all pupils throughout both stories  Pupils were not distracted as they would be through class activities. Helped with attention and let everyone feel different textures."
  • "It was a wonderful multi-sensory approach. Pupils loved the interactive element of the story. It was excellent! Pupils enjoyed the sensory experience touching / smelling / feeling new textiles and smells. [In the longer term this will help with] linking to literacy & communication and developing makaton."

Clifton Special School, Bangor. 12/10/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 41 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from eight teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Multi-sensory, interactive session that involved each individual child. Pitched at just the right level for children. A great session in class due to the nature of the children participating which was greatly appreciated. Some of the pupils made an individual effort to interact with the props which showed how engaged they were with the story. Looking forward to using the Bag Books the school will be receiving. Lots of great ideas for how to take storytelling forward in class too."
  • "The children enjoyed feeling, smelling, pulling, pushing and listening to the voices used to tell the story. This kept their focus and enjoyment for the full 30 minutes. Children reacted positively and listened extremely well. Thank you for the stories! I feel this will improve their fine motor skills, interest and imagination."
  • "Lots of sensory input. Great fun-loads of giggles from the kids. Kept their attention really well. One of our CAs said that a lot of people who come into our classroom cannot come down to the level of our kids, but your storyteller certainly did! One boy touched the equipment a lot more than we expected. Great focus from another boy. Will help their attention. Gives some nervous kids confidence to try new things."
  • "Sensory experience appropriate to levels of ability of children. Great reactions from one boy who really giggled and laughed - lovely interaction. [In the longer term this will help] if continued in classroom by teacher."
  • "Children's enjoyment was clear. All children fully participated. Both children from my class reacted more than I expected, fully interacting throughout. [In the longer term this will help through being] another sensory-based activity for them to enjoy."
  • "Every child was engaged in story. All participated in the sensory opportunities. All showed signs of enjoying the session. A few children I didn't expect to interact were not at all hesitant in getting involved. [In the longer term this will help with] sitting, talking, taking turns, waiting and listening."
  • "Our pupils are on the SLD spectrum, many of whom are diagnosed with ASD. This sensory approach to storytelling is a preferred choice for many, allowing them to experience new things, build tolerances, and have fun. [I didn't expect] smiling, vocalising and interacting with the reader and the props. [In the longer term this will help] extend their enjoyment of reading."
  • "The interaction on an individual level to each. Every member of the group was engaged. Each pupil enjoyed this. Some pupils within the group really reacted with facial expressions of excitement. Others reacted with more eye contact which would not normally take place in the classroom. [In the longer term this will help with] developing skills needed to learn, such as 'sit' and 'listen'."

Horizon House Children's Hospice, Newtownabbey. 02/06/15

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of five children and a sibling. The hospice staff judged that all five children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. They added, "The storyteller was friendly and took our children on an adventure, giving each child individual attention ensuring that they all experience each part of the story."

Horizon West Children's Hospice, Enniskillen. 02/06/15

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

Kilronan Special School, Magherafelt. 26/06/14

Our Storyteller ran six sessions for a total of 39 pupils. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all bar three of the pupils. Five teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. One added, "Very beneficial and set at their level."

Sandelford Special School, Coleraine. 25/06/14

Our Storyteller ran five sessions for a total of 31 pupils. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all of the pupils. All five teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”.

Knockavoe School & Resource Centre, Strabane. 24/06/14

Our Storyteller ran six sessions for a total of 40 pupils. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all of the pupils. All six teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”.

Sperrinview Special School, Armagh. 23/06/14

Our Storyteller ran seven sessions for a total of 55 pupils. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all of the pupils. All seven teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "Lovely session - we had lots of fun!" Another commented, "Very beneficial for children with sensory issues." We subsequently received an email from the Principal who said, "I just wanted to say a huge thank you from all in Sperrinview for the wonderful story telling from [the Storyteller] on Monday.  I have been inundated with staff telling me how great it was and how much the children got from it so thank you from us all."

Riverside School, Antrim. 20/06/14

Our Storyteller ran seven sessions for a total of 47 pupils. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all bar one of the pupils. Six teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as "4/5 – Good”.

Roddensvale School, Larne. 19/06/14

Our Storyteller ran five sessions for a total of 36 pupils. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all bar two of the pupils. All six teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, Super! Brilliant responses and interaction!"

RNIB, Belfast. 23/02/13

Our Storyteller ran four sessions for a total of 23 children. No feedback was received.

RNIB, Belfast. 31/03/12

Our Storyteller ran three sessions for a total of 24 children. No feedback was received.

Lisanally Special School, Armagh. 02/12/11

Our Storyteller ran eight sessions for a total of 39 pupils. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all the pupils. All seven teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, “Excellent for all.” Another commented, "Maybe a little bit of info re times and breaks with initial letter would have helped me co-ordinate the event. This in no way detracted from the event. Pupils really enjoyed stories. [The Storyteller] was excellent. Wonderful experience for our pupils."

Knockevin Special School, Downpatrick. 01/12/11

Our Storyteller ran seven sessions for a total of 39 pupils. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all the pupils. Four teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. One added, “Pupils responded to the storytelling very well. For the ability of this class, it was very suitable and an enjoyable experience.”

Clifton Special School, Bangor. 29/11/11

Our Storyteller ran six sessions for a total of 34 pupils. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all bar one of the pupils. All five teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "The storytelling was fabulous. Every child interacted throughout the sessions. They were very focussed and we had terrific responses from even the quietest children. Thank you!"
  • "Class enjoyed the story sessions. The sensory approach was excellent. Would highly recommend it to others."
  • "Sensory approach was very beneficial - lots of good responses - eye contact, smiles and body movement."
  • "The storyteller and the stories were fabulous. The children all interacted well. They thoroughly enjoyed the session. Their attention was engaged. An enjoyable time for all."
  • "The children all enjoyed the sensory aspect of the storyteller's materials."

Arvalee School & Resource Centre, Omagh. 28/11/11

Our Storyteller ran six sessions for a total of 43 pupils. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that the multi-sensory storytelling had been beneficial to all the pupils. All five teachers rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, “Excellent storytelling session - great interaction between storyteller and pupils using props. Lovely session. Many thanks.”

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