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Storytelling In Your Area - Scotland: 2017 onwards

Since January 2017 we have organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

Kaimes School, Edinburgh. 21/03/18

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 28 children with 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:

  • “All children could engage with the sensory activities. Children were able to show a range of emotions/feelings - including surprise. One child seemed more relaxed than I expected and was able to interact with the clippers/scissors which he has found upsetting before. Children benefitted from being part of the group, positive interaction with new people, and engaging in story.”
  • “They had great fun and enjoyed the interaction. All loved it. Much happier.”
  • “They were all engaged and were able to listen to the story. They interacted when directed to. They displayed emotions such as shock, surprise and pretending to scream in fear during the haunted house story. [I was surprised that] all pupils accepted and touched the sensory objects with no prompts. All sat well and interacted well. [In the longer term this will help with] accepting, waiting and turn taking in a group session with peers. It will develop imaginative skills and give teachers ideas for developing sensory stories in class.”
  • “They were all so engaged and totally relaxed. A joy to see. One learner was more confident that usual. [In the longer term] I will try and do this in class although it must be very time consuming to organise the resources. It was brilliant!”
  • “Pupils engaged in the sensory activities well. One child listened better than he usually does. Good to have new experiences.”

Oaklands School, Edinburgh. 14/03/18

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

  • “Lots of close interaction. Loud clear voice. [I was surprised that] two of the pupils were very alert and looking at the holographic pages, following it. One pupil was watching and following [the Storyteller] giving eye contact. It was really good the way it was presented.”
  • “Our pupils really enjoyed participating and listening to the story. Lots of anticipation, excitement. Lovely interaction between storyteller and pupils. Brilliant session. Thank you. [I was surprised that] all pupils really interacted well apart from one who was very sleepy. Lots of smiles, reaching out to prompts. [In the longer term this will help with] anticipating and participating.”
  • “Individual attention and good engagement with [the Storyteller]. The pace was also very good. [I was surprised that] one child's eyes were fully focused on the sea (blue sparkly paper). Another child began making noises and reaching out for the sweeties. [In the longer term this will help with] feeling that the children are valued and are given the chance for engagement 1:1. Excellent.”
  • “They enjoyed interacting with the very talented storyteller and loved playing with the props. An active boy was a bit unsettled when he arrived and finds new things difficult but settled more quickly than expected - also liked the numbering on the boards. [In the longer term this] gave the adults some ideas that could be used.”
  • “Interesting things to touch and hear. Group participation helps with listening and attention skills development. [I was surprised that] some of the more sensory pupils were very engaged and enjoyed banging the stick and opening the card. [In the longer term] the staff have been reminded of how to present a story and feel more confident doing them themselves.”

Mavisbank School, Airdire. 07/03/18

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 19 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder.

Parklands School, Helensburgh. 21/02/18

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

  • "All of the children sat and engaged fully with the story. If they hadn't enjoyed they would have left our story circle. One pupil who finds it difficult to sit so long - sat beautifully! Two who had their swim session delayed and who could have become upset because of the delay didn't. Because of their clear enjoyment the pupils will engage more readily with stories. The pupils also managed the change in their timetable very well and will therefore cope a little better with change."
  • "Being the older pupils the spelling/reading was excellent in "Winner". All the boys participated and especially enjoyed dropping the cans and banging the gong! One boy not keen on reading/literacy spelt out the word MILK - this could be adapted to include more shopping items to encourage reading. [In the longer term this] gave some ideas for future stories and also gave an excellent example of how to deliver the stories."
  • "Storyteller fantastic at engaging pupils. Another new face helped set the atmosphere for an exciting story. Good to remind me of how to present the bag book stories. We had great engagement from all including a pupil who hasn't been as engaged (hopefully reminding him that those stories are fun)."
  • "The story was familiar to some of the group but it was lovely to hear someone else read it. [I was surprised that] one of the pupils engaged well with the storyteller and reached out to explore the props. One of the participants is a reader but still enjoyed the "drama" of the session. It's beneficial for the pupils to work with unfamiliar people. It builds up confidence and communication skills. A lovely storyteller. Thanks."

Croftcroighn School, Glasgow. 07/02/18

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 45 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar five of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Any interaction is beneficial and the use of adapted communications with the talking tiles was something they were familiar with."
  • "Fun. Held attention. S was extremely vocal."
  • "Pupils listened well and displayed good waiting and turn taking skills. Engaged well with resources. One child sat for longer than usual and remained on task. I think it develops listening for enjoyment."
  • "Individually they were able to engage in their own way. [I was surprised that] they were giggling and looking at the boards when shown. Also touching resources. They have participated in a new experience."
  • "The Storyteller continued to interact with children when they were wandering about. Kids really benefited."
  • "They seemed engaged and most enjoyed the props to the story. Listening well. [I was surprised that] E seemed to enjoy the last props and reacted well to most of the story. Encouraged interaction and turn taking."

Ochil House, Stirling. 31/01/18

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 18 children (the whole school) with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all bar one of 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:

  • "They enjoyed the interaction. The story was funny. All were alert and showed interest. [I was surprised that] the two most complex pupils showed enjoyment by smiles and interaction. [In the longer term this will] help concentration and focus."
  • "Multi-sensory story kept all pupils engaged and gave them a controlled experience of a real life situation. [I was surprised that] all pupils reacted and interacted very well. Today's session may take some anxiety away from pupils who are going for a haircut as it allowed them to hear noises of tools used and the kind of things that may happen when they are there. Children will also look forward to storytime as they enjoyed interacting."
  • "The children enjoyed being part of the story, it gave them some responsibility, fun and sensory. They were relaxed and calm. It allowed the children to experience real life situations. Our children sometimes may not pay attention, however all children did today and listened well. It encouraged children to talk and join in with the story. [In the longer term this] will help with their listening and communication skills, real life experiences, storytelling, imagination. Help them be responsible."
  • "Children were engaged for most of the stories. Stories were long enough. Both stories were very good and the children engaged with the stories."

Woodlands School, Edinburgh. 05/12/17

Our storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 19 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all 19 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Learners really enjoyed the stories and the props. [The Storyteller] was very friendly and made the sessions very accessible and exciting for the learners. It was perfect.”
  • “The repetition and participation enabled learners to engage with the stories. Learners thoroughly enjoyed the stories. Many thanks.”
  • “They loved the tactile nature of the narrative. And the humour. [I was surprised that] one learner who rarely follows instructions did as he was asked. [In the longer term] it will help them make sense of the world and structure their own powers of expression verbally.”

Kirkriggs School, Glasgow. 28/11/17

Our storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 17 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all bar one of the 17 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Children were fully engaged in a multi-sensory experience for 25 minutes which is a great achievement in itself. [I was surprised that] D settled after initial board and fully engaged. C and J thoroughly enjoyed the activity throughout. [In the longer term] it is great for us as staff to see as we can then re-enact. All great.”
  • “They fully engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the session. [I was surprised that] M was trying to repeat parts of the story. [In the longer term] it will engage them more with books and stories if they experience more sessions.”
  • “They all enjoyed that the story was interactive and they all got to take part. [I was surprised that] one of the boys was very excited and one of the girls was more reluctant in the second story - she thought spiders and ghosts were real. [In the longer term] I will be using the boxes we have in school in class. All very good.”

Hillside School, Cumnock. 21/11/17

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 15 children with profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all 15 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “Both pupils responded very well to the multi-sensory experience. They were engaged and thoroughly enjoyed participating. [I was surprised with] L - the staff heard him laugh out loud today for the first time. Both children managed to sustain concentration for longer than usual. [In the longer term this will help] increase the level of engagement and length of concentration. Develop anticipation and recall/prediction during storytelling through repetition of the same story.”
  • “Very engaged - good listening overall! New face telling a story - interacted well! [I was surprised that] all children interacted well. They all love hands on items when telling a story. [In the longer term this will help] trying other bag books around the school. Well done and thank you.”
  • “Very interactive with our students. One student stopped rocking to feel the sensory objects. The other students were very focused too. All three participants reacted and interacted better than expected. One child was very engaged and surprised us when he enjoyed the song. It was good to model the way we should/could do these.”
  • “[The session helped with] listening and concentration skills. Enjoyment. Participation. Sensory experience. Lots of concentration and interaction. Lots of smiling and laughter. [In the longer term this will help with] improved interaction/social skills/turn taking. Improved concentration. Relating own experiences to story.”
  • “They showed a lot of enjoyment. Enjoyed the participation. The fact that [the Storyteller] read the story and did so in a different way from us made it more interesting. For those who had not experienced a bag book it was a great introduction and a base to move forward. Interaction in stories will improve.”

Hampden School, Glasgow. 08/11/17

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 32 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all bar six of 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 interacted well with story boards. [I was surprised that] a child was laughing at creepy spiders and the ghost train. [In the longer term this will] help them understand and participate in the story. I think it was well prepared and storyteller adapted to our kids.”
  • “The children enjoyed the big cards with things for them to do. Most of the children reacted in some way which was unexpected - reaching out to touch unknown objects or smelling something. [In the longer term] the children will perhaps be more likely to reach out and try touching things.”
  • “Each of the four children interacted with the storyteller in an appropriate enthusiastic way. The children responded in different ways than I had seen in class when taking part in story time. [I was surprised that] A was very vocal and enthusiastically taking part - she is tactile defensive but was able to touch most of the materials. R was much more engaged and showed by smiling and reaching out to interact with materials - he is not usually so happy at storytime and doesn't always want to take part. C stilled, listened, responded and was more involved, attending and actively listening with the story props. J really loved taking part in the first story but lost his concentration for a bit after that. [In the longer term] it will benefit them as I feel I have taken part in a training session and I know how to deliver a Bag Book the best way so the children/participants will benefit from this as they will be able to interact with the props and take part in the story in a more engaging way for them - making the language come alive. It was a wonderful session. The Storyteller was super and really honed in on each of the children's abilities and differentiated each part of the story very well without having met these complex participants before - this is very impressive. Sometimes storytellers or session givers can be a bit intimidated. I know that we were given DVD and booklet but I, as a teacher, found it very useful to see how to deliver a Bag Books story (i.e. tips like having the boards in boxes and other story support) and how to say the storyline once to each child. I would like to thank Bag Books for this amazing session. I am using "Gran's visit" in class and will do it differently/better now I have seen it done by a pro.”
  • “The session started with six children and was reduced to three due to high arousal. The three remaining children participated well with the props and enjoyed the storytelling. All participating pupils responded as expected. [In the longer term] I think it would be beneficial if pupils became used to a familiar story and then became more aware of what was coming next.”

Pilrig Park School, Edinburgh. 20/06/17

Our storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 20 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. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "All young people were completely engaged in the story and so animated. They listened, they took their turn and they laughed! All young people exceeded my expectation of how they would interact. This was due to the way [the Storyteller] delivered the stories - superb storytelling. Extremely positive experience and young people will hopefully be motivated to look and read appropriate story books more often. I don't think the session could have gone any better."
  • "Presentation was excellent: no extraneous language; greeting each child individually was a good start; everyone getting a turn of everything was great; repetition of sentences around the group made the story very clear. [I was surprised with the] better concentration and eye contact from one pupil. Another who tends to hog attention listened very well; Two boys in our school for the first time were very relaxed in the group. [In the longer term this will] help to improve communication skills and lengthen concentration time. Could introduce new vocab or help children get used to new situation. It was brilliant!"
  • "I think they really enjoyed this because the delivery was excellent, interactive, lively and funny. It was a multi-sensory session with lots of feeling, touching and repetition - each child involved. Excellent for our pupils. [I was surprised that] all of the participants were involved, even two that were slightly reluctant to start with couldn't help but get involved. Done in a very sensitive way which encouraged all and made them feel special. [In the longer term] I think it will encourage them to get involved in texts and stories. It will encourage them to read, listen and act out stories. Excellent delivery."

Royal Blind School, Edinburgh. 13/06/17

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 16 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "One of the young people who does not attend many group activities participated today which we were very pleased with."
  • "Pupils took huge enjoyment in the story which was relevant to their experience and level. Pupils anticipated their turn to engage with sensory objects too. One young pupil who can find new/longer activities difficult managed to participate for the whole activity. We will use resources with our young people and recommend parent resources on website to parents."
  • "R enjoyed The Haircut story so much. B was very vocal. R was very happy. M was very happy and joined in. [In the longer term this will be] very good for communication and listening skills and great for turn taking."

Kilmaron School, Cupar. 07/06/17

Our storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 18 children (nearly the whole school) with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from one teacher who judged that all of the children in their class had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. They rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and added, "Our children are at very different story/listening stages and [the Storyteller] was amazing at changing voice etc to relate to every child. All got the same individual time. One of our children isn't always able to wait - take turns or listen well. This child did all this and took part until the end. Very happy class 2. We will be looking into more books."

Saltersgate School, Dalkeith. 06/06/17

Our storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 25 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "Everyone engaged, more alert, more vocal. [I was surprised that] one was laughing, more verbal pupils used their vocabulary. [In the longer term] we will possibly attempt more sensory stories."
  • "Good pace and individual attention. Pupils very engaged and interacting with sensory objects. Much better concentration and interaction that expected. Just tailed off at end but held it well until then. Finished at right time. [In the longer term this will help with] encouraging enjoyment of stories and improvement of concentration. [We would like] more of this on a regular basis."
  • "All the children were engaged and enjoyed having physical objects to touch during the session. The pupils all sat really well for the session which can be a challenge to sit for a 10 min period. One child in particular who has anxiety joined in and watched from a distance which was a big achievement for him. [In the longer term] we would like to make similar resources to continue this in class."

Redburn School and Nursery, Glasgow. 22/05/17

Our storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 12 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "The children enjoyed the variety of stories and loved the interactive story pages. The adults also enjoyed them! Thank you. One pupil in particular was using lots of language and joining in with the story. He was also counting and laughing along. [In the longer term] they will recognise when it is time for a sensory story and be aware of sensory pages." The other commented, "Story was very good, lots of use of AAC. Most of the pupils interacted well, some more than usual. [In the longer term this will help with] listening skills, attention, participating."

James Reid School, Saltcoats. 19/05/17

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 43 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of 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 session helped with] feeling good; following instructions; listening well to the stories; participation. 8 out of 9 interacted better than expected [In the longer term this will help them] progress their enjoyment of stories. Work to write their own stories."
  • "Pupils really enjoyed the session. They enjoyed the way the stories were told, the voices and props were great. Everyone relaxed and happy to join in. We can link this when reading. The pupils reacted really well. Some were repeating phrases from the story which showed they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Props allowed interaction - fantastic! Pupils said they would like to make a story with props to tell the younger pupils. Using voices to read aloud will be of benefit."
  • "Every child listened to the story and touched/felt the accompanying sensory materials. [I was surprised that] an autistic child laughed when the sea urchin moved, he also wanted to play with the seagull. [In the longer term this will] help with communication - brought story to life."
  • "Today the children really engaged well. Listened and participated well. The children thoroughly enjoyed the story smelling the candy floss, being scared of the spiders. All the senses were in use through the story. All the children sat very well listening they all got excited being able to touch and feel the props. The spiders worked well. This allowed the children to see how to do a story with props and perhaps try something similar with themselves writing the story and finding props they could tell the story to their friends. We had the funfair story and I think it was terrific. It could not be better."

Westfield School, Fraserburgh. 02/05/17

Our storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 31 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of 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:

  • "Friendly, interactive, turn taking, enthusiasm, sensory. They all seemed to really enjoy it. Quite excited! I was particularly excited. L was interested the whole time."
  • "The story was obviously well known by the teller and was told smoothly, with lots of opportunity for hands on interaction. The pupils clearly enjoyed it and were all responding with enthusiasm. J was animated and really got involved. F was alert throughout, and watching with interest. Good for staff to see how to tell it properly!"
  • "[The pupils were] focused and interested due to both props and storytelling. All interacted well. [In the longer term this will help with] improved listening skills and improved attention span."

The Camphill Rudolf Steiner School, Aberdeen. 01/05/17

Our storyteller ran two multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 18 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "Lots of interaction and sensory activities. [It was helped by] the ability of [the Storyteller] to make good contact with the youngsters. An experience which they can appreciate." The other commented, "[The pupils] engaged, enjoyed sensory aspect. [I was surprised that they] showed lots of interest in the sensory toys and seemed to have been very relaxed and engaged. [In the longer term we would like] to have more regular sessions."

Greenburn School, Glasgow. 15/03/17

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

  • “A great deal of sensory objects provided for each sense including music. The storyteller was very pleasant and interacted with each child through the story. [I was surprised that] two children really benefitted from the change in environment and different resources for them to touch. I particularly enjoyed the engagement with the storyteller. [In the longer term this will help with] being able to participate in more sensory stories.”
  • “[The children were] highly engaged. Enthusiastic presenter who was experienced in the needs of the children and differentiated accordingly. Great fun for all. One child can be apprehensive in unfamiliar activities or with unfamiliar adults yet he clearly loved it! [In the longer term this will help with] ideas to implement in class.”
  • “Story was short and repetitive - suitable for age of class. [I was surprised that] N was really focused and had lots of smiles. Also B sat for the whole session [In the longer term this will] encourage children to sit and interact with a story.”

East Park School, Glasgow. 03/03/17

Our storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 16 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 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:

  • "Engaged very well. [I was surprised with] complex pupils who responded with lots of engagement. [The pupils] happily participated in a group activity for a duration of time. Remained engaged in a story for a duration of time. Engaged with unfamiliar adult. Experience of hair clippers. One pupil in particular who usually is taught individually spent the full session in the main class. [In the longer term] the school will try to recreate the experience and look for opportunities to engage with Bag Books again."
  • "[The pupils] appeared to really enjoy the stories. Remained at activity for long duration. [I was surprised that] one participant remained sitting at a table for the duration of two stories. Interacted well with the story, touching sensory items and laughing."
  • "The child involved enjoyed the story and stayed focused to the end".
  • "They all paid attention and were looking and touching the boards. One of them stayed at the table longer than usual."
  • "They were all engaged in the stories. [I was surprised that] one student remained engaged for the entire session."

Daldorch House School, Mauchline. 23/02/17

Our storyteller ran two multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of eight children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "L coped well with unfamiliar person speaking to him and even touching him with a [fake] razor. L did surprise me with how much he participated well in the story. [In the longer term] I think it would be beneficial especially if the young person has a fear. As L doesn't like razor shaving his hair he coped really well." The other commented, "Beautifully interactive. All the pupils responded nicely. Lots of smiles. [I was surprised that] G seemed to really enjoy the session e.g. he wore the wig in The Haircut and loved the grass in Jason’s Wish. He really enjoyed the participation involved. [In the longer term this will] give us more ideas on how to interact with the pupils at a suitable level and ideas for materials. Everything was excellent. Great storyteller - understood our pupils' needs so well."

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