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Storytelling In Your Area - South East England: 2015

View 2012-2014, 2016 or 2017 onwards feedback

During 2015 we organised the following multi-sensory storytelling sessions:

Herons Dale School, Shoreham-By-Sea. 25/11/15

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 31 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 four 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:

  • "Excellent delivery, all the children were enthralled! Best start of the day for a long time. We are still saying "Don't make a mess." Thank you."
  • "Fantastic stories and props used very good. Sensory things to hear, feel, smell. On a different day we all would have sat, listened and engaged, but the ones who remainded loved the stories!"
  • "[The] storytelling captivated my class. Despite significant impact of autism and short attention spans, he engaged them and gently controlled and brought back attention wanderers. [He] was the most skilled and captivating storyteller I have listened to for over a decade. This impact on my class was magical."
  • "[The Storyteller] was very engaged with all the children, and they really enjoyed both stories and the items to explore."

Portesbery School, Camberley. 24/11/15

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 30 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:

  • "We loved watching the children's reactions and the story boards. Thank you."
  • "Really enthusiastic and engaging. Even those who didn't sit conventionally were still included and were still interested in the props and story."
  • "All students engaged for the full session which is a rare treat with students with the needs and attention span of our learners. They all loved it! Staff couldn't praise the session highly enough! Thank you."
  • "Really engaging session with very clever and inventive resources."

Strathy Close Day Service, Tilehurst. 26/10/15, 02/11/15, 09/11/15

There were a total of 18 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees. Two rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Excellent storyteller."

SDR Centre, Reading. 26/10/15, 02/11/15, 09/11/15

There were a total of 27 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees. One rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good" and two as "4/5 - Good". One added, "Very good. An exceptional tool though I must tone down my natural showmanship. Very interesting way of engaging on different levels."

Mary Rose Academy, Portsmouth. 06/11/15

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 39 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 39 children 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:

  • "Pupils enjoyed this session. Would be beneficial for brighter more vibrant props - elephant prop was lovely, more like that. Vibrancy and stimulation from newer props could really benefit this session and the storytelling. Overall a lovely change for pupils with some great responses. Thank you."
  • "Fantastic to see how engaged students were with a story, especially those with visual impairments/blind (4 students). All students engaged and reaching for objects which they don't always! Thank you very much."
  • "Storyteller was fantastic and very interactive with the children - the children responded very well to him. The books themselves were simple but effective."
  • "Animal story was a little young for the pupils. Haircut was good - really enjoyed it. Storyteller was very good and very enthusiastic. Props: could have done with more. 1 prop between 2 pupils as one pupil didn't like waiting. Would be great to see/hear more from this storyteller as the pupils really responded to him. Thank you for coming."
  • "Maybe brief info beforehand about needs. Visual impairment in particular maybe beneficial? Possibility of more than one prop to decrease waiting time? A lovely session which engaged all children which can be a rare occurrence - so shows how fab it was."

The Cedar School, Southampton. 04/11/15

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 36 children with severe learning disabilities and severe autism spectrum disorders. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar one of the 36 children 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:

  • "Fun and engaging. Thank you."
  • "Thank you for going round to every child and engaging them. Lovely to go under the desk with D."
  • "It was great to see how the children interacted with [the Storyteller]. All children were engaged throughout and all enjoyed the session very much."
  • "Children were so engaged throughout and enjoyed the multi-sensory elements incorporating different senses. [The Storyteller] was fantastic and children enjoyed the dramatics and watched with full anticipation."

The Willows Centre for Children, Portsmouth. 03/11/15

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 32 children with severe learning disabilities and severe autism spectrum disorders. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 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:

  • "The storyteller was very clear in his speech, had lots of facial expression which the children loved. The props of the story were very good and the children loved the smells and the tactile quality of the props. The children remained engaged with the story the whole time."
  • "The performance of the books was very engaging for all seven children. They all focused throughout the stories."
  • "[The Storyteller] engaged every child and allowed them to participate in the storytelling activity individually. The sensory approach brought each story told to life. What a wonderful imaginative idea!"
  • "It was really nice to see a child who is struggling to talk attempt to join in with a repeated refrain."
  • "Both story and storyteller were very engaging and interactive. All the children really enjoyed it."
  • "Very good. Children were really engaaged and enjoyed the stories."

Bishopswood School, Reading. 14/10/15

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 35 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:

  • "All pupils really enjoyed. Age appropriate and good fun!"
  • "Brilliant storytelling. Great personality, calm and unphased. - Great story kept the children interested for the whole of the story."
  • "Zoo story super. Engaged all pupils."

Cowley Daytime Support, Oxford. 10/09/15, 17/09/15, 24/09/15, 30/09/15

There were a total of 14 adult participants across the four sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good". Comments were:

  • "Fantastic training, performance!"
  • "From the training [The Storyteller] has given us, I have learned some good tips and ideas that I will continue to use."
  • "Overall brilliant!"

Abingdon Daytime Support, Abingdon. 10/09/15, 17/09/15, 24/09/15

There were a total of 16 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Really enjoyed this. Very interesting way of storytelling."

Helen House Children's Hospice, Oxford. 16/08/15

Our Stroyteller ran sessions involving a total of five children. The hospice staff judged that all five children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. One added, “Thank you so much for our storytelling session this morning. We had some lovely reactions from the children and young people. Stories were pitched exactly righ for all the children and young people. Thank you.”

Kids playscheme at Forest Park Primary, Fareham. 06/08/14

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of eight children. We received feedback from two staff who judged that all eight children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "Amazing. So so so good. Children loved it! Thank you!" The other commented, "All the children enjoyed the storytelling, enjoyed getting involved with the story. Really engaging. Really good manner with the children. Very beneficial. Lots of smiles and engagement from those we don't usually get lots of communication from."

chYps Ellenor Lions Centre Children's Hospice, Dartford. 04/08/15

Our Stroyteller ran sessions involving a total of five children. The hospice staff judged that all five children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. One added, “[The Storyteller] performed excellently, children enjoyed listening and reacted appropriately. The stories were entertaining and were perfect for our children. Do come again and thank you very much.”

The Loddon School, Hook. 21/07/15

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 21 children with severe learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders (it is a small school with just 28 pupils in total). We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all bar three of the children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Both rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "Both [pupils] enjoyed the storytelling. Very beneficial session. Please could we have more sessions like this?" The other commented, "Excellent sessions for all children. [The Storyteller] had a lovely, interactive, approach. Highly recommended."

Woodlands Meed School, Burgess Hill. 10/06/15

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 76 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities.

Park View Day Centre, Alton. 20/05/15, 27/05/15, 03/06/15

There were a total of 13 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "I need more practice!"

Aldershot Day Centre, Aldershot. 20/05/15, 27/05/15, 03/06/15

There were a total of 26 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees: three rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "4/5 - Good" Comments were:

  • "I enjoyed telling the story on the last session of training. All the service users enjoyed the stories."
  • "I found it very interesting how much the clients enjoyed it which showed in their smiles and how much they engaged. This seems a great way to tell a story to people with learning and physical disabilities for them to be involved as much as possible."
  • "I wish there was freedom to interact and embellish."

Lockwood Day Centre, Guildford. 16/04/15, 05/05/15, 14/05/15

There were a total of 23 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "The Bag Books trainer was excellent, thorough, experienced, patient and fun to work with."

Fairways Day Service, Staines. 16/04/15, 12/05/15, 14/05/15

There were a total of 23 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees who both rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "Very good experience to do - to be out of comfort zone doing the story. Very useful for Fairways. Customer will benefit greatly."

The Lindfield School, Eastbourne. 07/05/15

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 40 children with severe learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. 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:

  • "Just fantastic interaction. Exciting session. All pupils joined in by the end."
  • "Superb interaction, pitched brilliantly! The pupils hung on every word! Anticipation of story! 100 out of 10 say the pupils. It was cool, funny, exciting, fantastic."
  • "Pupil quotations: "Crying out for more!", "100/10", "It was good and funny", "I loved the elephant", "I loved the wig", "Please come and visit again"
  • "Superb interaction. Loved the faces of our pupils as they help tell the story. "Skunk smell bad", "Coffee smell good". Pitched at the right level - priceless moments!"
  • "Superb!" Watching pupils who are reluctant to interact usually was fantastic! "Funny", "Water pistol very funny", "It was very good indeed."
  • "Pupil comments: "Excellent", "10/10", "Best day ever", "It made me laugh". Thank you for coming. Please come back."

Queen Elizabeth Foundation - Brain Injury Centre, Banstead. 22/04/15

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 8 adults

Tilehurst Library, Reading. 26/03/15

Our Storyteller ran three storytelling sessions involving a total of 15 children with severe learning disabilities from The Avenue School, Reading. We received feedback from three teachers who judged that all 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 very engaging, thoughtful and experienced storyteller. Gave all students plenty of time and encouragement. All students showed some great reactions and anticipation. Resources were wonderful and expertly used. We are so glad we came. Thanks!”
  • “The stories performed were all really entertaining and the children were all really engaged - Thank you. Please let us know if you are doing any more training any time soon!”
  • “All three students thoroughly enjoyed the session. Student responses were excellent. A memorable session for our students. Many thanks.”

Four library staff observed the sessions and were then trained in multi-sensory storytelling. All four rated the training as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • “[A good] opportunity to gain familiarity with Bag Book stories, props and delivery.”
  • “An insight into how to use multi-sensory stories with different ability levels and that the stories can be adapted. The training was excellent and thought provoking. I will be arranging with the Avenue School for visits to the library for story sessions.”
  • “Learning what methods to use for various disabilities and how these can be adapted. Perhaps using one of the Bag Books that we have. I mainly tell stories to nursery children without disabilities but this has shown me how to involve even the most shy children.
  • It was practical and concise. Small group of people.”

Worthing Library, Worthing. 23/03/15

Our Storyteller ran storytelling sessions involving two children from Oak Grove College, Worthing and four children from Herons Dale School, Shoreham-By-Sea. 29 library staff observed the sessions and were then trained in multi-sensory storytelling. 21 rated the quality of the training as “5/5 – Very Good” and 8 as “4/5 – Good” . Comments were:

  • “Has given me a useful insight into the various ways people of different abilities learn."
  • "Some props quite odd! How could they be made more user-friendly?"
  • "Very good session."
  • "It would be beneficial for topic stories to be adapted in mainstream school, i.e. 3 little pigs, up, up and away."
  • "Very useful session."
  • "Excellent course!"
  • "[The Storyteller] is excellent!"
  • "Enjoyable, relaxed, producctive training session."
  • "Thank you for a very interesting training session."
  • "Maybe put the text on the back of the cards as well. Clearer instructions on how to use the props."
  • "Very good facilitator, obviously very passionate and what he does and full of very useful ideas of how to use books."
  • "I think they are very good. Well made."

The Walnuts School, Milton Keynes. 05/03/15

Our Storyteller ran ten multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 48 children with severe learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 –Good”. Comments were:

  • "Fantastic sensory experiences for my children."
  • "Fantastic ideas of making stories come alive."
  • "Loved the variety of the story boards. Aware of children's fears. Lovely interaction with children. Great story boards. Excellent resources and well paced story matched to children."
  • "The two pupils were very engaged and enjoyed trying each item in the story."
  • "More smelling and textured stuff for our sort of class."

Osborne School, Winchester. 05/03/15

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 51 children with severe learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders.

West End Art Centre, Aldershot. 16/02/15

Our Storyteller ran four multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 17 children with severe learning disabilities for the PAG Family Festival. We subsequently received an email stating, "You got a big round of applause at the finale to thank you for your magical stories. We were surprised at the responses from some of our young people that had been unable to settle for most of the day, yet were mesmerised by the rhythmic flow and sensation of your stories. Best wishes and thanks again."

Medina House School, Newport. 12/02/15

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 37 children with severe learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. 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 storyteller had this very young group absolutely transfixed for a good half hour. Excellent!"
  • "Not sure this group have ever sat still for so long! One boy apparently refuses to have his haircut, but let the storyteller run clippers over his hair. Maybe this story will help!"
  • "Superb. I was a little worried about how some might respond when the storyteller started "shaving" heads, but they all accepted it."
  • "Probably would have been slightly better with a smaller group, but was wonderful nonetheless, and all the children enjoyed."
  • "Great stories and great presentation."

Crawley Library, Crawley. 10/02/15

Our Storyteller ran two multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of nine children with severe learning disabilities from Manor Green School and Manor Green College, Crawley. The storytelling was observed by a total of 30 library staff who then had a training session. We subsequently received an email from the organiser stating, "I thought I would send a quick note to say what a fantastic training day we had with [The Storyteller] at Crawley Library on Tuesday. All of the participants had a great day and went away feeling inspired, excited and enthused by [her]."

Henry Tyndale School, Farnborough. 10/02/15

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 55 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and two as “4/5 – Good”. Comments were:

  • "Wonderful storyteller!"
  • "The above P8 child really enjoyed the story and joined in but educationally wasn't at the right level for her."
  • "More resources for the group. Maybe two sets so that didn't have as long to wait. Elephant's trunk was lovely, big and visual. Pillow worked well too. Fun, engaging activities. With some students, could have had resource to explore until all had had a turn. Overall really good."
  • "[The Storyteller] was fantastic and very engaging for the children. He very quickly differentiated tasks based on how the children responded."
  • "Correct pace for group and [The Storyteller] responded well to all children - giving them time to accept and then explore props independently."
  • "Story sessions were very good. A lively presenter who brought the stories alive, especially as he didn't have to keep stopping to "read" the pages - it flowed very well. Presenter quickly picked up children's different abilities and those who didn't want to join in particular parts. Presenter gave each child enough time to respond to each page by responding to adult's advice about the children."

Care Management Group, Hove. 14/01/15, 19/01/15, 09/02/15

There were a total of 19 adult participants across the three sessions. There were four trainees: three rated the overall project as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "4/5 - Good" One added, "Excellent and useful training for sensory support for the people with learning disabilities and throughout our organisation. Informative by an excellent trainer."

Care Management Group, Hove. 14/01/15, 26/01/15, 04/02/15

There were a total of 6 adult participants across the three sessions. There were two trainees. No feedback was received.

Prior's Court Foundation, Thatcham. 03/02/15

Our Storyteller ran eight multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 40 children with severe learning disabilities. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. Comments were:

  • "Students engaged well and lovely storyteller. Good rapport with students, excellent resources."
  • "The sensory storytelling was excellent. It was so nice to see our young people enjoying it so much and taking part. [He] was an excellent storyteller and engaged so well with the students. The sensory equipment was so simple yet so effective. Thank you very much for bringing a smile to our young people's faces."
  • "Two of the students that are verbal in the storytelling said they really liked it and want to come again. All students in the session really enjoyed the stories, they were really happy and were really interesting. The storyteller was fantastic with our students and very professional in what he was doing. Thank you."
  • "It was lovely to see all students taking part and smiling!"
  • "Superb storyteller."
  • "What a lovely session, with all of the students taking part and very much enjoying the story. Lovely time had by all (students/staff)."
  • "An amazing session and tailored to individual needs of the children. [The Storyteller's] use of props (simple) and intonation, expression and empathy with the children was wonderful. Thank you."

Woodlands Meed School, Burgess Hill. 02/02/15

Our Storyteller ran five storytelling sessions involving a total of 29 children with severe learning disabilities. 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:

  • "Good range of activity types. The novelty factor really made our pupil smile and want to explore further. [The Storyteller] pitched it really well for our young man. Some of the pages were easily/temptingly destructible. That would be the only negative for this particular pupil."
  • "All students thoroughly enjoyed both stories! All were engaged throughout both stories which isn't always easy to achieve with this group of students. [The Storyteller] had a fantastic rapport with the students and they all found him funny and fun to be with. We were all very impressed with [the Storyteller] and the stories and all the students said they loved their time with [him]. It was pitched at a perfect level for our class. Thank you for the session, we are very grateful and would love to see you again soon. Many thanks."
  • "We really loved your show. All of the boys really enjoyed the different sensory aspects of both stories, getting very excited in the process."
  • "[The Storyteller] told the stories with enthusiasm and the class were all instantly hooked. At the end of it the pupils said "I loved the story" and "I'm going to dream about the story tonight." The range of props were very appropriate for the developmental level of the pupils and they were all keen to interact with them. Fantastic! Thank you."

Newbury Library, Newbury. 28/01/15

Our Storyteller ran three storytelling sessions involving a total of 17 children with severe learning disabilities from The Castle School, Newbury. We received feedback from two teachers who judged that all the children in their classes had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. One rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good” and the other as “4/5 – Good”. One added, "The children really enjoyed the story and the storyteller brought it to life by fully engaging and including the children. Some stories are better than others but over all very good." The other commented, "All enjoyed it." Six library staff observed the sessions and were then trained in multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the training as “5/5 – Very Good”. One added, "Brilliant, enthusiastic delivery of very helpful information." Another commented, "Totally awesome. So glad I came!"

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