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Storytelling In Your Area - South East England: 2017 onwards

View 2012-2014, 2015 and 2016 feedback

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

Norman Gate School, Andover. 06/07/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 28 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all 28 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “They were very engaged and all had a go trying all the props. [I was surprised that] E in the afternoon session was engaged and stayed for both stories. This also applied to D in the morning session too. [In the longer term] we could use similar items to involve the children in the stories adding signs. Thank you.”
  • “All the children were engaged and participated in the story. They really enjoyed them. [I was surprised that] all interacted. Two were very reluctant at first but soon joined in. [The Storyteller] was brilliant at getting them involved. Children showed their confidence in joining in with the story.”
  • “Very interactive. Explored all the boards. Great communication and relationship between storyteller and children. One child finds it difficult to engage but sat for most of the story, touched and explored everything and wanted more. [In the longer term] they will develop their engagement with stories , their love for stories and anticipation and exploration skills.”
  • “I brought six of my class to the session. They sat quietly and were engaged. Repetition was useful and encouraged all to join in. A girl who is always reluctant to engage and join just loved the stories. [In the longer term] it has given me ideas. It was fab and I will use in Sept with my new class.”

Freemantles School, Woking. 22/06/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 40 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar three of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • “They benefitted greatly from today. Every participant was given the chance to get involved and the style of the stories was basic but very effective. Each child had a great chance to fully interact with the story. [I was surprised that] a couple of students who don't usually interact verbally very much, interacted a good few times. [In the longer term this will help] by allowing them to gain a better understanding of the world through telling a sensory story. It was perfect for the ability of participants.”
  • “All children sat, listened, and joined in with the stories. Also our children love sensory. [I was surprised that] one child was very engaged and joined in.”
  • “Good interaction. Simple stories that the children could understand. Good visuals for non-verbal children. [I was surprised with] lots of participation from children that would normally be quiet and shy. [In the longer term this will help them] engage for longer sessions with longer stories. Presented really well.”
  • “Engaging storytelling (different voices / actions). All children benefitted from overall sensory experience offered. One student did particularly well as rarely sits for longer than five minutes before needing to be on the move, but the stories both captured and kept his attention throughout. [In the longer term this will help improve] attention span, anticipation skills, sharing a story and turn taking. It was perfect.”
  • “[The session helped with] interactions and anticipation. More anticipation than expected.”
  • “[The session helped through] props and interaction. [I was surprised that] one student engaged when previously refused. [In the longer term this will help with] joint attention / engaging for prolonged periods of time.”

Forest Bridge School, Maidenhead. 20/06/17

Our Storyteller ran four 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 32 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “They all got a chance to join in and were focused. The story was perfect for them. [The Storyteller] was very welcoming to them all and and he made the story fun through his interactions with individuals in the class. They all participated as expected. However, you were left in no doubt they enjoyed it. [In the longer term] it will be incorporated into future story times.”
  • “All our children were fully engaged at all times, which does not happen when just reading a book. They were involved and got to touch and see the props which they loved. I was surprised with the reactions from all of them! Their attention was on [the Storyteller] for 30 minutes, which doesn't usually happen. [In the longer term] if children are more involved in the story then they will understand it more. It was great.”
  • “All were engaged and enjoyed the session.”
  • “They loved the interactive nature of the stimuli combined with the story. They benefitted from all children having the opportunity to see / touch stimuli one at a time. Some children sat and fully attended for longer than I'd expected and behaved appropriately throughout. Our children don't always respond well to exposure to strangers. It will encourage positive interactions when future guests visit our school.”

The Ridgeway Community School, Farnham. 19/05/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 29 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. 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. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • “[The children] participated, they were fully engaged and remained seated. [I was surprised that] all engaged throughout session. [In the longer term this will help] during English, use more sensory items.”
  • “They all sat and listened to the story. Learning to sit and pay attention is difficult for them. They were engaged in the story and liked looking at the props. One of our students finds it difficult to be in crowded rooms, but sat throughout. Other students that find sitting in group situations hard also stayed and sat throughout. Today's session was a taster. If done on a regular basis it would encourage the children to stay seated and concentrate when in a group setting.”
  • “Our students have complex needs and need sensory stories to engage and be involved in the story. [I was surprised that the] students were engaged. The Storyteller was animated and enthusiastic.”
  • “I think they really enjoyed the interaction and the suspense of the stories. The storyteller was very good!. [I was surprised that] a non-verbal child made noises. Also we had an unexpected response from child who finds it difficult turn taking. [In the longer term this] help give them a voice, help with turn-taking and listening skills.”

The Jigsaw School, Cranleigh. 08/05/17

Our Storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 22 children with 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:

  • “Participants were able to take part in Joint Attention activities as a group. The session encouraged listening and imitation skills amongst others. Participants also engaged in 'turn-taking', waiting and sharing, which promoted social skills. [I was surprised that] most participants were able to interact with all the sensory props. Participants reacted better than expected, i.e. they showed likes and dislikes of different smells. [In the longer term] it will allow the curriculum to be tailored more creatively when targeting early skills, such as imitation and listening in a group. Sensory activities will also help to focus attention on learning targets.”
  • “Participants mostly benefitted from opportunities for sharing, turn-taking, and listening to various stories. It was particularly good to have stories linked to functional-like skills for our KS4 group. Fine motor skills were also good to practice. [I was surprised that] all participants reacted and interacted very well. They were eager to try all the resources. [In the longer term] we are going to try and incorporate more opportunities into the curriculum where functional-like skills are practiced in a storytelling session.”
  • “All participants had the opportunity to interact with various sensory resources, and also with [the Storyteller]. He encouraged language development by repeating sections and waiting for pupils to respond, too. The session also promoted social skills of turn-taking, sharing and waiting. [I was surprised that] pupils reacted very well, they particularly enjoyed the auditory and olfactory stimuli. They also understood the jokes / funny actions, and they smiled / laughed which was good to see. [In the longer term] story listening was reinforced and this will encourage pupils to seek out books and other activities that link to early reading skills.”

Frank Wise School, Banbury. 26/04/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 48 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. 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:

  • "The children were fully engaged and clearly benefitted from how the story was presented, drawing on all of their senses, and each having the opportunity to explore each page / object. [I was surprised with] the level of eye contact and independent exploration / imitation of the actions and pages presented. I would welcome further opportunities to engage with Bag Book sessions."
  • "[The session helped with] generalising classroom-learnt skills in a different context and with a different person. One little boy, sometimes reluctant to join in with new people, actively participated throughout. [In the longer term this will be] part of their ongoing learning experiences."
  • "The session was highly engaging and very well resourced to meet pupil needs. One pupil in my class was more engaged than he is known to be during storytelling. [In the longer term] I could bring similar storytelling approaches / use the resources within my lessons. It was brilliant!"
  • "All the children were entertained by story and the storyteller. All the children were given the chance to engage with resources. The story was motivating for all children. [I was surprised that] they all remained seated! [In the longer term] they will be more familiar with reading future Bag Books."
  • "Due to the various support materials, there was something to interest / stimulate / excite each pupil. [I was surprised that] some pupils who may have stood up / walked away / not taken part, did seem on-task during the story and did take part. [In the longer term] they may refer to the resources during another lesson or talk about them during their free time between lessons."
  • "All children engaged for the whole session and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the interactive elements. The delivery was high-energy and the pace was suitable for group. [I was surprised that] they focussed so well. PUPIL COMMENTS: "Fantastic!" "Like the sharing." "Like the parrot." "I like all of it." "I like the skunk." "Pig!" "Elephant!" "Pirates!" [In the longer term this will help with] good memories. Reminder to adults / inspiration for future storytelling, maybe. "Come back for more stories!" - Pupil comment."

Abbey Court School - Primary Site, Rochester. 22/03/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 44 children with severe or profound & multiple 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:

  • "Age appropriate. Picked up on students' individual needs. Positive interactions. Engaged all students. One student was engaged in the tactile nature of story, when they can be reluctant to engage in this sort of activity. Will give support staff enthusiasm for sensory storytelling."
  • "Very interactive - very skilled storyteller. Quickly learnt pupils’ names - this settles them well. [I was surprised that] a PMLD pupil looked in the mirror if they thought no-one was looking. It will support my sensory storytelling - reminded me to rotate who's next / turn so some pupils not always starting or left to last."
  • "They thoroughly enjoyed the stories and the opportunity to join in with the props and making the sounds to go with the story. One pupil smiled and joined in with all parts of the story when usually he is reserved and unwilling to participate. Another pupil sat and attended to the stories for 30 minutes when often he can only attend for short periods of time. [In the longer term] they'll be more willing to join in with some stories and we have discovered some motivators when exploring the props that go with the stories."
  • "Sensory, interactive, storyteller enthusiastic, very visual, resources fit for purpose, pitched at the students' level and focussed them, audience participation, enjoyable, very inclusive for all levels.. [I was surprised that] all the students interacted and sat well. Some have extremely challenging behaviours but they focussed. PMLD students interacted and focussed well, too. [In the longer term this will help with] communication, turn-taking, sharing, trying new activities they find hard, incorporates the curriculum."
  • "Each of our pupils got something from the session. Our PMLD pupil enjoyed the sensory element and our higher achievers enjoyed the enthusiasm of [the Storyteller] One of our ASD students reacted extremely well. He usually enjoys reading to himself in isolation, but this session involved everybody and helped him learn turn-taking and social interaction in a fun way. Storytime will now be associated with ‘fun'!"

Woodlands School, Leatherhead. 15/03/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 36 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 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 story could be accessed from many different levels. All of the children were encouraged to explore with their senses, the verbal children learnt some new words, and ALL enjoyed interacting with a new adult. [I was surprised that] all of the children were well engaged. [In the longer term this will be] great for encouraging interaction and confidence. It was very well pitched for our children."
  • "All students engaged, enjoying the different storyteller and resources. Appropriate for PMLD group using different senses. It was good to mix the students up so they came together from different classes. [I was surprised that] R gave good eye contact and used both hands to explore resources. T was also able to feel and listen well with size of resources. Good ideas / modelling for staff to take back to class. Simple but very effective."
  • "Very good stories that use touch, smell, listening and looking. Very good for PMLD. Stories interesting and simple enough for children to follow. Stories were a good length. R held his hand up very well showing he was interested and wanting to interact. All responded well and enjoyed [the Storyteller’s] voice and storytelling. It showed staff that stories can be simple and still effective and how to use the props. The Bag Books that were given to the school will be well used.""
  • The pupils in the class engaged with the story and enjoyed the sensory items. One child who finds it particularly difficult to engage in activities for long periods sat and joined in with the story. Other pupils really engaged and participated with the story. The pupils are already looking forward to the other stories left behind. It was good for the staff to see how the story was presented. Simple language but engaging with lots of props / sensory items. Would love to see you again."
  • "All the children were thoroughly engaged in the story and smiling throughout. The multi-sensory book was really good as it enabled all the children to participate, as some have visual problems. The tactile element of the story was great for our children. All children reacted really well to the story. The children all reacted well to [the Storyteller’s] touch cues. He modelled the book extremely well and we can now use the books with confidence."
  • "Very involved, engaged. [I was surprised that] L, L and T all wanted to take over. S showed great anticipation. S engaged more than expected."

Optalis, Wokingham. 20/02/17, 27/02/17, 13/03/17

There were a total of 20 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees. Two rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Very interesting with positive feedback from trainer."

Norwood Ravenswood, Crowthorne. 20/02/17, 27/02/17, 13/03/17

There were a total of 16 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. One rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and the other as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Bag Books seems a very well thought out method of storytelling and I'm confident in using the. Practice will improve my technique to make most of them." The other added, "This storytelling has expanded my confidence and knowledge."

Abbey Court School, Rochester. 13/03/17

A Build-A-Book day involving seven children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. The teacher commented, "All pupils experienced a variety of activities to try - working together and taking turns was very beneficial. It's great they all start and finish this project over the day. Good to try new skills - using "dangerous" tools/equipment. Opportunity for every pupil to try everything. Very practical and motivating. Supported extending engagement and focus in a group activity. Students have now a clear understanding of how Bag Books are created and have developed a great sense of ownership in regards to their work. Those pupils whom possess challenging behaviours tried lots of the tasks involved. All had fun and observed their peers. One pupil managed to stay on task for most of the day and allowed peers to share resources with him. This particular student finds it difficult to concentrate on the same activity for more than 30 mins. Gives us ideas on creating sensory stories. The pupils will be familiar with using new and different equipment. The pupils involved can show their work to their friends. Great team working day. They should now be more able to work alongside others and will develop their vocational skills. Great pace, good fun and pupils were achieving throughout. A lovely idea and relaxing day. More of it please!!"

Milestone Academy, Longfield. 10/03/17

A Build-A-Book day involving six children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. The teacher commented, "All engaged which for one student is very rare and was wonderful to see. They all experienced stimuli they would not normally and had something to show for it at the end. Two of our students watched what their hands were doing which is a skill they are working on. Has given us as staff more insight into stimuli that will engage the students. Has given our class something to share with the rest of the school."

Rachel Madocks School, Waterlooville. 09/03/17

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 six teachers who judged that all bar four of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "They enjoyed the different voices used and direct interaction. [I was surprised that] one of our children laughed throughout one of the stories, enjoying the different voices used. [In the longer term] we will do more multi-sensory stories in class."
  • "The storyteller reacted with the children really well. They enjoyed the story. [I was surprised that] D really came to life when the storyteller was interacting with her. [In the longer term] we will hold more multi-sensory stories within our class."
  • "The children loved it, really good for them to hear a story from someone else! Thank you. [I was surprised that] there were lots of smiles and engagement. [In the longer term this will help with] exploring sensory stories that are very simple - not too complicated. We really enjoyed the experience of having the story."
  • "[The session helped with] responding to new people. The pupils enjoyed exploring the props with a variety of sounds / textures. All behaved better than expected. In particular, two pupils responded well through sitting quietly and waiting for their turn. [In the longer term this will help with] enjoyment of a new experience - props, sounds, etc."
  • "The different cards with items to help tell the story was great. [I was surprised that] the elephant trunk and sound was well received by one pupil. [In the longer term it can be used for topic, history, etc."
  • "The children really enjoyed the sensory story and resources. They were responsive and focussed. They had a great time. They have experienced and learnt new things. It has supported their focus, attention and literacy skills."

Hill House School, Lymington. 08/03/17

Our Storyteller ran thee multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 17 children (almost the entire school) with severe 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:

  • "A good amount of student involvement ranging through the different senses. A few students were more interactive than usual. [In the longer term this will help with] more sensory awareness, group work."
  • "The storytelling was very interactive for our young people. [I was surprised that] the storytelling got all students smiling. [In the longer term] it benefits the young people as they are interacting. They are learning and all understanding different areas. It was very good."
  • "Participants were very sensory and the session met their social sensory needs. Amazing facial expressions and interactions from ALL students. [In the longer term this will help them] develop managing their leisure time. It was perfect!"
  • "Very sensory, fun and silly. Enjoyed the different sensory items and surprises in the story. [I was surprised that] one student was really enjoying it and was laughing and smiling away. Students didn't know what to expect and I didn't know how they would react, but they really enjoyed it. I think this is a step forward for our students."
  • "Participants are very sensory-based, so the sensory boards made the story more interesting & easier to understand. [I was surprised that] all participants took part and interacted well. [In the longer term this will help with a] better understanding of the story."

Brookfields Special School, Reading. 07/03/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 32 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all bar three of the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”, two as “4/5 – Good” and one as “3/5 – Average”. Comments were:

  • "First story was great! Second story a bit more challenging. [I was surprised that] A did some great looking and interacting."
  • "Two out of the three children were engaged entirely throughout. The other child flittered in and out of sleep. However, when she was awake she was very aware of the storyteller's voice. [I was surprised that] one of the children was able to repeat the different animals the storyteller talked about within the story. Normally this child will repeat the same words (unrelated to the task) - this suggests that she reacted to the story better than expected. [In the longer term] it provided my pupils with a lot of experiences - the vast majority of which were accessible to them, i.e. different smells, tactile resources and interesting vocalisations made by the storyteller. The children and staff thoroughly enjoyed the two stories shared."
  • "The kids in Orange Class have very challenging behaviours, and they were all engaged in the turn-taking element of the story, and all remained sat throughout (almost!) which for our class is a big thing! Well done, thoroughly enjoyed the story! Prior coming to the story, a couple of our kids were upset / angry in class, and the storytelling took their mind off this! I think more than anything it gave us staff better ideas on how to engage the pupils during sensory storytime, and this will greatly benefit them in the future!. Really good, thank you!"
  • "Good levels of interaction, lots of sensory materials to explore and each given individual attention to explore. Big, clear, facial expressions. Simple language and clear variety of tones. All of above led to participation and engagement. [I was surprised with the reactions of] four out of the six pupils. Interacting & engaging for a long period of time. Exploring the props and using the activities. If it were regular it would improve interaction. Staff gained from today's session too, which will allow us more ideas for sensory stories to build on this."
  • "B enjoyed the pirate story."
  • "First story engaged all students which was great for our level of students. The second story not as much - however I feel one was enough. No fault of the storyteller. All interacted so well. It was lovely to see. We all really enjoyed it. Thank you."

Danecourt Community School, Gillingham. 01/03/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 38 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. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Very visual and the kids loved the sensory parts."
  • "Engaged and enjoyed sensory experience. One engaged more than expected."
  • "Suitable for our topic: 'Animals'. Calming, sensory, interactive. Child A - stayed in room. Child B - joined in. Child C - quiet. [In the longer term this will help with] focused attention."
  • "The children were very observant and focused - one who has difficulty talking even tried to copy. Encouraged speech. [In the longer term this will help with] improved speech. Confidence to join in. More likely to try new things."
  • "The children were a lot more engaged in the story because of the sensory elements. A child who doesn't usually participate in whole class activities stayed with the other children for the whole session. After the sensory story, children may be more keen to listen and participate in future storytelling. Given teachers / TAs ideas of how to make storytime more interesting. It was fantastic!"
  • "The children demonstrated active storytelling and participation with all the sensory elements. The majority of these children have sensory processing difficulties and sensory needs - it hit the spot. One autistic boy was the most engaged that he's been all day. We will try to include sensory elements in all our storytelling. It was excellent. Thank you so much from Rainbow Class!"

Bradfields Academy, Chatham. 09/02/17

Our Storyteller ran three multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 18 children with severe 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:

  • "Short and very sensory. [I was surprised that] one pupil answered questions and was laughing. [In the longer term this will help with] all participating - extending vocab - developing imagination."
  • "They absolutely loved it, were smiling, giggling, and joining in the whole way through. They loved touching the sensory boards. [I was surprised that] one child interacted fully and was laughing the whole time."
  • "The children enjoyed the humour and sensory activities. [I was surprised that] M interacted. [In the longer term this will help with] developing storytelling skills and imagination."
  • "All four of our sensory complex students were able to be kept focussed for most of the time. [I was surprised that there was] some great interaction with sensory boards. Some good eye contact given. [In the longer term] it encouraged them to interact and they were given the chance to make noises - these are non-verbal students. It was fab!"

The Ifield School, Gravesend. 06/02/17

A Build-A-Book day involving six children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. The teacher commented, "The children have experienced using tools which they have not used before and they enjoyed using them as well. They were all involved in the telling of the story which they enjoyed as well. They all tried using the different tools, even if they were unsure, with a little encouragement. Big achievement. It's given them some independence in using items they have not used before, talking about their experience and what they enjoyed doing. So in future they can use this experience interacting and talking."

The Castle School, Newbury. 30/01/17

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 20 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all 20 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and one as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Great delivery. Engaging and multisensory. All students are PMLD so exactly the type of learning experience needed to suit needs of pupils. FAB! Another multi-sensory teaching session. Exactly how my class need to learn."
  • "They have all practised listening and interacting which helps develop language skills. They all interacted better than expected. [In the longer term this will help] because it is practical and had props simplified to help with understanding."
  • "One of our students benefitted from the sensory experience delivered in the stories as they have a visual impairment and was able to access the story through sound and touch to reinforce their experience. Another of our students became very animated during the story whereas otherwise they find it difficult to engage. I think our students will enjoy future sessions and will be more focussed towards the sensory experience."
  • "All engaged and took part, listened, touched, smelled the bottles when asked. [In the longer term this will help with] sitting and listening."

Icknield School, Andover. 16/01/17

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 38 children with severe 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:

  • "Story was fun, lots of sensory parts which our students enjoy. Great storytelling. O - who is rarely quiet - listened throughout lots of stages. H and L enjoyed anticipating parts. C showed interest in first story, and smiled and laughed at appropriate times. [In the longer term this will help with] listening and waiting skills, interacting with each other and props."
  • "[The session helped with] different storyteller, different voice & presentation, different sensory props, different story. The students enjoyed the storytelling experience a lot as part of a group activity. [In the longer term this will help] as a consolidation of previously learned skills in school-based sensory stories."
  • "All the children were able to join in - even the most disabled. Very tactile. All children encouraged to listen. Age appropriate. One girl who is in a wheelchair was able to join in with everything. You could see how animated she was. [In the longer term this will be a] great encouragement to sit and listen & take turns. One child was talking about other things connected with the story."
  • "They all attended the storytelling. They all accessed the resources and interacted with the story. Their concentration was good throughout. J in particular concentrated well and was willing to touch the sensory items."
  • "The children liked the sensory approach with five senses. C and G smiled a lot and followed instructions well. The children will participate and interact more during these kind of sessions."

Kingfisher School, Abingdon. 10/01/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 49 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all bar four of the children in their classes 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:

  • "It was set at the students level. [The Storyteller] was full of enthusiasm which was passed on to each child. He knew how to encourage each child, even the blind child. [In the longer term this will] help students to engage, turn taking, focus and learning."
  • "Lots of multi-sensory props, e.g. things to smell as well as touch/hear. Lots of time and repetition to take their turn - repeated phrases. Storyteller was very facially expressive. One child with multi-sensory impairment maintained interest throughout the session and really engaged with each prop."
  • "Children were able to engage with the story on their own level. All children engaged with multisensory items in some way. O - often runs off but sat for story. A - finds it hard to touch new things, but touched all items. [In the longer term we will] use some approaches in the classroom. Already have daily stories but great to have approach modelled."
  • "It was very tactile and accessible to explore the resources. It was a good pace and fun. We felt it was a successful story session. Two students interacted more [that expected], but they were slightly more able. [In the longer term this will] help them to understand the world around them. It also encourages them to use hands and senses to explore."
  • "It was lovely to have a new voice to listen to and one of our pupils particularly loved [the Storyteller's] 'pirate accent'! The pupils all benefitted from the interactive nature of the multi-sensory props. One pupil doesn't usually engage but loved the compass and the worms. Most of them showed a keen interest and interacted better than expected. The ideas will help the adults to plan future sensory stories which will hopefully further engage the pupils."
  • "[The Storyteller] was animated and interesting to watch - good voice intonation and engaged the children well. Two of the students interacted far more than during our own storytime - making good eye contact and engaging with props well - loved the elephant trunk! It encourages the students to engage and focus for extended periods of time. Improving their experience with materials and fine motor skills (key placing, etc.)"
  • "The students responded well to the range of resources and the animated telling. They all reacted with the resources by looking, reaching or smiling….or refusal! The stories were at different levels but both were appropriate. It was really well done. Lots of smiles from one particular student who doesn't always respond (but takes it all in). As we do a session every day, this has given us new ideas. It has been valuable to see a professional storyteller do it. This will enable staff to develop their own skills."
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