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Storytelling In Your Area - Yorkshire and the Humber: 2016 onwards

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

Norfolk Park School, Sheffield. 25/03/19

Our Storyteller ran five 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 31 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • “The story had an expected structure and involved lots of 1-1 sensory elements. Our class benefitted by understanding the routine and engaging with the touch sections of the story. One member of our group was extremely engaged - sitting in their seat and anticipating the steps of the story. [In the longer term we will] think more about 1-1 engagement during class sensory stories. It was great!”
  • “Each child from this group fully engaged in the touchy feely story. We have also gained from this as staff, it's give us some ideas to take back to the classroom. [In the longer term this will help] the pupils to sit for a while during the story telling period and will help take some fears away. The story was delivered perfectly - really impressed as a whole.”
  • “All pupils engaged for two sensory stories which some of them can find difficult. I asked a pupil and he said the props were best - especially the elephant! [I was surprised with the reactions] as three of them find it challenging to engage in activities. [In the longer term this will] help in whole group activities.”
  • “Lovely interaction with the children. The Storyteller took her time, lots to feel and smell. Plenty of 1-1 work. Lots of sensory items used as part of the story, plenty of good interaction with participants. Lots of smiles, listening. An enjoyable story plus hearing different sounds and feeling different textures than usual.”
  • “The sensory props were motivating and kept the children's attention. All enjoyed the experience.”

East SILC - John Jamieson School, Leeds. 11/03/19

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 42 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 42 children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • “Engaging stories and resources!. [I was surprised that] pupils who struggle to sit, sat well and engaged! [In the longer term this will help with] attention skills and concentration.”
  • “The story allowed all pupils to be engaged and involved with the story by feeling the props and saying the keywords where possible. They sat for a long period of time and really enjoyed [the Storyteller] and the story. One pupil who usually dislikes visitors engaged with [the Storyteller] and loved the story Pupils sat well, some engaging for two stories. Pupils felt and explored a range of textures including different sense - smell, sight, sound and touch.”
  • “[The objects were] accessible within their abilities and skills. Short focus, each turn, allowing processing time and uncomplicated. One student giggled more than she would normal to objects and smells. It held her focus and attention for extended periods. Added willingness to engage for longer. Another student who can be tactile defensive was comfortable with the resources throughout. [In the longer term this will help with] added practice to stay attentive for a 25 minute session while in a large group. Motivation to attend, reach, focus and respond. Perfectly paced and the content of the story, with the resources, were perfectly pitched. Clearly an experienced storyteller comfortable and skilled in working with this group.”
  • “All the pupils really benefitted from the multi sensory approach. They also were able to develop their attention, focus and turn taking. [I was surprised that] a few of the pupils used a few new words when describing parts of the story. Some of the pupils also managed to stay focused on the activity longer than usual. It was good to see the children' reactions and how they benefitted so I know who to plan similar sessions for in the future.”
  • “All the children enjoy stories much more when they come to life with touch, sight, sound and scent. All of our class require stories that appeal to all of their senses, the stories we heard were very well resourced and appropriate for their ability level. Each child laughed and smiled throughout and they were fully engaged. Some children who can be difficult to engage were fully engaged for 30 minutes (two stories). A continuation of similar sensory stories will benefit the children's sensory processing ongoing. [The Storyteller] was excellent.”
  • “They really enjoyed experiencing the sensory materials. [I was surprised that] they sat really well and listened to both stories. They reacted well to the smells (we will definitely try this in school). [In the longer term this has] given staff ideas to use in school. Gave the students a positive experience.”

Brooklands School, Skipton. 11/02/19

Our Storyteller ran six 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 bar one of the 36 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • “Good engagement and interaction with sensory props. T and S were more engaged than normal, especially for a Monday morning! [In the longer term] I think we will do more of them in class.”
  • “Three of the students really enjoyed the touching, feeling and smelling. Lots of laughs throughout. The students loved being involved in the story. The other three students didn't interact as well but all had a feel and a look at the resources. During the second story, all of the students interacted fab and got involved. [I was surprised that] one student was very tolerant of feeling and smelling which she sometimes isn't. The interaction and sensory aspects made the story extremely enjoyable and the students responded very positively. Lovely for them to sit with their peers and have so much involvement in a session. I thought it was fantastic and from the students faces they did too!”
  • “Aimed at their level and the story topic suited them very well. The resources were fantastic and kept all pupils engaged. They all loved the elephant's trunk!. [I was surprised that] they all loved it, but one pupil was a little unsure. [In the longer term this will help with] experience of someone new working with them.”
  • “All really enjoyed the session, supported their storytelling and sensory needs. Supported speaking and listening, turn taking etc. J had had a meltdown prior to the session due to the change of timetable but the fun session made him relax and enjoy it. [In the longer term this will help with] enjoyment of stories, attention, listening skills. Also dealing with change of person leading for autistic students. Excellent session, great presentation! Thank you!”
  • “All pupils were engaged in the multi sensory story. This was useful for me to see as I am new to school and was unsure how to use these stories. [In the longer term] we can use the story again at school to experiences it again.”
  • “All pupils were engaged but they weren't forced to do anything. Great encouragement! The stories were also long enough, not too long. [I was surprised that] some of the older pupils were engaged and took part! [In the longer term] I think I know how to lead a story session now.”

Heatherwood School, Doncaster. 03/12/18

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 30 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 benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • “All three pupils were very focused, calm (nice quiet area) clued in to the story. The Storyteller introduced herself to our children (gave lots of physical prompts to the VI child). All children were individually given every turn with each sensory item. [I was surprised that] the VI child was very calm, quiet and gave good responses to different items she was touching (a big frown to the fall of the spider). All children enjoyed lots of smiles and participation (relating to their abilities). [In the longer term this will help] build again on reaction to see if we get a similar reaction. We can try the same story in class.”
  • “All pupils participated and lots of smiles and positive reactions. [I was surprised that] all pupils reacted in a positive way and two that can be jumpy really enjoyed it. All the pupils use Bag Books regularly so they really enjoyed it being provided by someone new.”
  • “Lots of eager anticipation. [The Storyteller] engaged the children right from the start. She used a lot of repetition; same words and phrases for each pupil which helped with consistency - the pupils were able to join in better because they could respond appropriately. [I was surprised that] a pupil who didn't like spiders was gently encouraged to explore them and with help and support from [the Storyteller], the pupil succeeded - gave us all a very big grin! :-) It helped to promote social interaction, because it was done in a small group. Helps our pupils with turn-taking. [The Storyteller’s] enthusiasm and professionalism shone through and our pupils really responded in a positive way. A lot of smiling and [the Storyteller] engaged them all from beginning to end.”

South SILC - Broomfield, Leeds. 19/11/18

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 28 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 28 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and three as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • “[The session helped with] engagement; increased attention; motivation to move (arms to touch). [I was surprised with] one child who doesn't usually touch new items but by the end he was touching all and enjoying it - saying "yeah" and clapping along. [In the longer term] I think it has provided us as staff with initial ideas and confidence that it can be done simply - but well!”
  • “[The session helped with] interaction with storyteller and resources. Sat and listened, followed storyteller with their eyes. [I was surprised that] children used good eye contact and reacted to the elephant and pig in an excited happy way. [In the longer term this will help] to focus on activities for long periods of time, interacting in stories, sharing space and resources.”
  • “Both children listened throughout. One child arrived quite anxious and when [the Storyteller] started to read he calmed instantly. Both children interacted better than expected, touched all objects of reference. We already use the Bag Books daily, our children love them especially a visually impaired child. It was excellent.”
  • “[The session helped with] resources that were very appropriate to engage pupils. Let them use all their senses, did just rely on pictures to bring the story to life. [I was surprised with] the noises – pupils’ eyes went wide to show engagement and listening. [In the longer term this will help with] seeing different resources to engage them in stories.”
  • “[In the longer term this will help with] it teaches them to sit, listen and join in. Helps them with turn taking.”

Kingsland Primary School, Castleford. 21/05/18

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 26 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 benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and two as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • “Children sat in a quiet environment. All children that were in the session engaged well. Sensory books were great. Children explored them and all. Children were calm, settled and engaged. [I was surprised that] the children interacted with all equipment. Stories were the correct time length to keep the children engaged and they interacted better than I expected. [In the longer term this will help with] transiting to different rooms in the school setting and engaging - working with different peers.”
  • “Inclusive and at a level they understood and enjoyed. [In the longer term this will help with] turn taking, different textures to feel.”
  • “The children loved the sensory items (animal photos of sensory boards would have been good). [In the longer term it will help] to have more of these sessions.”
  • “They got to feel different textures and smell smells. They got involved in the story and were able to experience the words. They did really well and sat for longer than expected. [In the longer term] it will promote sitting and concentrating on stories, listening skills.”
  • “The children are very sensory. The story had a range of objects for them to touch, smell and more. If the sessions are delivered on a regular basis the children will hopefully interact more.”

Kingsland Primary School, Wakefield. 14/05/18

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

  • “[The session helped by] developing on sensory touch and smell. Good interactions with storyteller. Each child interacted well with the sensory boards. Enjoyed looking in the mirror. [I was surprised that] there was such good eye contact, facial expressions (smiling) and making faces. e.g. pig (nose twitching) laughing at the animals. "Again" one child said. This will develop on their skills when looking and interacting with stories for the future in class. Hopefully will allow the children to join in more during sensory stories.”
  • “Super responsive reactions to all of the tactile props. Children listening, paying attention at their own level and showing anticipation. All children participated well in their own way - some children surprised us with how well they did. One boy in particular felt and played with resources much more than expected. Super for adults to use ideas and structure.”
  • “Good use of different senses, touch, smell, etc. good turn taking. All enjoyed the story and interaction.”
  • “Use of all senses to tell a simple story. Over time, children can anticipate what comes next. [I was surprised that] one child tracked the storyteller across the room, another was very alert when usually she would be sleepy, whilst a third became more independent in exploration as the story continued. [In the longer term this will help with] access to a range of stories.”
  • “Interactive boards used throughout - use of smells, different textures to feel. [I was surprised that] one girl interacted with lots of noises.”
  • “[The session helped with] turn taking/waiting. It involved the senses - smell touch, sound. Time was given to allow the participants to explore each board. They focused on the boards giving eye contact. Good recognition of a familiar second story. All reached out to explore props. We already do sensory stories every week anyway including Bag Books.”

The Woodlands Academy, Scarborough. 23/04/18

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 36 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar two of the 36 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and one as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • “Both stories were interesting to the pupils, they all got involved, and really enjoyed the session with the Storyteller who was very kind and patient with the group. All pupils said they enjoyed the session even one pupil who did not join in much so this was a step forward for him. [I was surprised that] two pupils who find it difficult to interact, enjoyed the stories and joined in eventually. Staff helped T to touch and smell things he would not normally do. It was lovely to see the pupils interacting well with the storyteller and other pupils from a different group. We will definitely be using the story boxes with groups around school. Everything was brilliant with the session, especially for our lower ability pupils who enjoyed it immensely. Thank you.”
  • “[The session helped with] turn taking, sitting together for a lengthy period and interacting with an unfamiliar person. [I was surprised that] two pupils from the Hedgehog group usually only engage in an activity for several minutes, however these pupils sat throughout the whole session (30 mins).”
  • “A wide variety of sensory interactive elements. The Storyteller ensured all students joined in (using first names) and were offered a go. Lots of enthusiasm. Storyteller good at managing students' interruptions. [I was surprised that] L was very engaged in all of the sensory elements. K, after initially not wanting to join in, engaged and interacted with the story and storyteller. [In the longer term this will help them] recognise the format and routine for when we now do it in school.”
  • “[The session helped through] being actively involved in telling the story, listening skills, attention extended, communication. One child was reluctant to sit in the circle at first but was so engaged he moved into a spare chair so that he could participate more easily. Another child who is terrified of creepy crawlies engaged with and touched the spider. [In the longer term this will help with] increased imagination and visualisation, engagement with props and turn taking with reduced support.”
  • “All engaged in props, some just touching, listening, smelling, some all. [I was surprised that] one participant sat on a chair throughout one story and was able to explore boards he chose to. [In the longer term this will] help with listening skills and exploring different senses.”

Woodley School, Huddersfield. 05/03/18

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

  • "The pupils really enjoyed the stories. They all engaged well, they liked the sounds and textures. [I was surprised that] one pupil reacted very well and he engaged with smells and touch which he usually disengages with. [In the longer term] it will help them to engage with reading in a way that is more appropriate to them. It was engaging for our pupils. The only pupil who didn't engage was anxious with the new person in the room."
  • "The sensory resources were really effective at engaging our pupils. They weren't able to understand some of the verbal language in this story but got a great deal from the sensory experience. Some of our younger pupils find it difficult to sit for any length of time but they did all engage with the sensory items on a 1:1 basis during the story. As a one-off today's session was a great sensory experience which will contribute to the regular sensory experiences they receive."
  • "Their senses were stimulated in all ways, meeting their different sensory needs. [I was surprised that] they remained focused and interested. Waiting with anticipation for next item to experience. It will benefit them to engage more in stories and getting meaning from them especially if we try to emulate the ideas in our storytelling."
  • "The children were engaged and listened well. They remained engaged as they had things to interact with. [I was surprised that] two children remained engaged throughout, one child kept coming back as he saw and heard interesting things. [In the longer term] it will be something we will try implement more at school."
  • "All benefited by being a part of the story aiding their understanding. [I was surprised that] R joined in with all, interested and felt a part of the storytelling. [In the longer term] by doing similar things R’s and I’s level of understanding, speaking and listening will improve."
  • "Our children have severe autism and can be tricky to engage. However, this sensory experience was interesting and they found the objects and sounds fascinating. Excellent work. Well done! [In the longer term] we will be adapting some of the ideas into our own English, other subjects. It was perfect."

Coppice School, Doncaster. 06/02/18

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 48 children with severe learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar four of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and two as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "All children touched and interacted with sensory items. [I was surprised that] one child was interested in the elephant's trunk. [In the longer term this will] help them to sit longer and interact with equipment."
  • "[The session helped with] visual links to story. Group time. [I was surprised that] J was very engaged in props. [In the longer term this will help us to] use some resource ideas in own stories. e.g. elephant trunk."
  • "They were able to focus on each sensory board. The pupils enjoy sensory stories so were able to interact positively and gain from the experience. It was fabulous."
  • "Two children with sensory needs became extremely engaged and found it rewarding. [In the longer term they] will be able to potentially get involved in future story sessions."
  • "The two children from my class enjoyed the stories very much, and enjoyed touching the different materials. They sat for the whole two sessions. [In the longer term we will] use similar sessions in class."

Bents Green School, Sheffield. 27/11/17

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 39 children with severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all 39 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • “It engaged them all into the story, enhancing their imaginations and especially helped those who struggle to recall storylines. One participant who normally don't recall what they have read, was able to recall everything. Those who do not like reading (2 participants) fully engaged in the story [In the longer term] it will improve their imaginations, and will encourage those who dislike reading to read more in future, and eventually read independently.”
  • “The students used several senses throughout the story and their attention was kept all the way through. [I was surprised that] all the students took turns and all of their attention was kept until the end of the story and all participated in every part of the story [In the longer term this will] help with increasing attention span and turn taking.”
  • “Multi-sensory and kinaesthetic learning delivered in an engaging and humorous way. One student who does not like reading loved joining in with the stories. More able students who did not engage initially, later joined in through enjoyment. [In the longer term this will help with] listening/concentration skills. Increase vocabulary. Increase confidence in group situations.”
  • “It was repetitive with clear simple language, brilliant visuals and sensory/tactile resources which kept our class engaged and interested because they had things they could feel, touch, smell etc. Helped encourage imagination and communication. They all sat and listened the best they ever have for a story. They got involved with everything and all the sensory boards encouraged our pupils to communicate. [In the longer term] it would help them to develop their language, imagination, concentration and understanding. As well as building up the time they can sit and listen, visuals help them access more stories. It was brilliant. The storyteller was great with our class and instantly knew how to gage the language to suit and how to engage the pupils.”
  • “Had lots of fun! Improved their focus and listening skills. The interaction helped the children to remember the story. One child who is usually very distracted and finds it difficult to focus was engaged throughout. Another who is often very self-conscious was very animated, joining in with singing and dancing. Another usually has issues waiting/turn-taking but this wasn't an issue during the session. [In the longer term this will give them an] opportunity to try new things and explore different sensory experiences.”
  • “They enjoyed the story and interacting with the story. [I was surprised that] all were very engaged and enjoyed the getting involved. [In the longer term this will] encourage them to interact with stories.”

The Rowan Primary School, Sheffield. 13/11/17

Our Storyteller ran six 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 six of the 40 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good", one as “4/5 – Good" and one as “3/5 – Average". Comments were:

  • “The children in this class are working at a very low level/very sensory motivated. All find it difficult to sit so the session was a good opportunity to help them sit as a group together. [I was surprised that] some children touched resources when usually they are reluctant. [In the longer term this will] help them become accustomed to sitting as a group / turn-taking.”
  • “All anticipated the next sensory slide and were able to engage in some if not all of slides. [I was surprised that] M and B soaked up the language really well [In the longer term this will help with] lots of ideas about how to use the box going forward and being part of a session has given me confidence to use it with my class and how I could make other stories more sensory.”
  • “I think the children really benefitted from today as they were all engaged and enjoyed the activity. [I was surprised that] one child who doesn't talk much was repeating the words from this story. [In the longer term this will help with] bringing out confidence. encouraging talking and engagement, social. I think it worked really well with small groups as the children weren't waiting too long for their turn.”
  • “The children that benefitted today love stories and enjoyed the new experience. Next time we'd reduce the number of children so the ones who enjoyed and benefitted can gain even more. [In the longer term we plan] regular sessions for some pupils.”
  • “All participated at their own level of understanding and all able to access the resources. [I was surprised that] one child who never normally accesses new/different activities started the session at the end of the classroom then part way through came over to join us. [In the longer term this will help with] lots of ideas on how to use stories going forward.”
  • “Promoted good focus and turn taking. If the activity was repeated I think focus would be increased. I brought the whole class in and I should have brought them in in 2 separate groups for better focus.”

Mossbrook School, Sheffield. 23/10/17

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 55 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 benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Five rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and two as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • “[The session helped them] engage with sensory items. Used senses - touch, smell, see, hear. It linked to their current “all about me” topic e.g. the mirror at the end of the story. [I was surprised that] sensory seekers sat for the whole story – they are often difficult to engage. [In the longer term this will] make them more likely to engage in stories and use their senses.”
  • “[The session was] interactive, both visually and audio. One boy who is hard to engage was very engaged and interacted with all the boards. Child with visual impairment was engaged and he verbalised well.”
  • “[The session was] accessible to all. All interacted at some level.”
  • “[The session helped them] focus on the story. All participated.”
  • “[The session helped with] good eye contact. Sensory experience. Listening to a new voice. [I was surprised that] most reacted better than expected, reaching for sensory objects and sitting well. The room wasn't enclosed so a couple of children tried to leave the session. [In the longer term this will help with] length of time they are able to concentrate.”
  • “They enjoyed the mix of sensory boards, especially the spiders and the ghost train. Some of our children who are less sensory in class interacted more than expected [In the longer term] it gives the children a chance to experience stories differently and engage with new people.”

Ruby Lodge, Becton School - Beighton Community Hospital, Sheffield. 12/06/17

Our Storyteller ran multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of two children. The teacher judged that both children had benefited from the multi-sensory storytelling and rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good”. They commented "Being able to interact with the story, play instruments, smells. New experience. Enjoyed sensory aspects - especially sounds remained seated for longer than usual. Reacted positively to a new person. Engaged well with the story, willingly tried all aspects offered."

Delius Special School, Bradford. 08/05/17

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

  • "Pupils all engaged. Excellent props for the story. Children explored the sensory 'items'. All children were involved, due to fab storyteller and her props."
  • "Something different, sensory materials, sounds. Interacting with children. [I was surprised to see] one child pulling the rope and another child rubbing their hands round the circle [In the longer term this will help them] beginning to move onto stories, fixation from objects to books."
  • "All children responded with enthusiasm to most objects and tried to have a turn with most activities. [I was surprised that] F (pupil premium child) was very engaged, excited, reaching out, eager and laughing. [In the longer term this will help with] turn taking, tactile exploration, stories."
  • "They were engaged and sat for most of the session waiting to touch the different boards. We were surprised that nearly all of them sat and waited for a turn [In the longer term this will help with] enabling them to turn-take and wait and cope with an unfamiliar person. The lady was fantastic :)"

Bradmere, Thorne. 10/04/17, 20/04/17, 27/04/17

There were a total of 24 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees. Two rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good" and one as "3/5 - Average". One added, "Really enjoyed the sessions. Brilliant concept. " The other commented, "Trainer very approachable."

Bridge Street, Doncaster. 10/04/17, 20/04/17, 27/04/17

There were a total of 24 adult participants across the three sessions. There were three trainees who all rated the overall training/mentoring as "5/5 - Very Good". One added, "I loved the training. Our trainer was fantastic and really enjoyed her feedback." The other commented, "Many thanks."

The Dales School, Northallerton. 05/12/16

Our Storyteller ran three 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 three teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. One rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and two as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "The session was very engaging and interactive. Social group activity but individual time given to each pupil. Storyteller was in tune to each pupil's needs i.e. did not assume and take control - waited for pupil to indicate preferred hand to use/how they chose to interact. Pupils were engaged even when it wasn't their 'turn' which doesn't always happen in storytelling. Pupils tracked storyteller around the circle :-) All pupils engaged and continued interactive group work sessions always beneficial."
  • "Social interaction from new adults in a familiar environment, appropriate sensory experience for all students. One child a little unsettled - couldn't be helped! All students were able to sit for the session. One child tolerated hands being prompted to touch when usually reluctant."
  • "Used all sensory aspects. Gave students a choice to fully interact in the story. Lots of smiles throughout from students. One student showed good anticipation of their turn. Allowed each pupil to explore in own way. Great focus on certain props not just ones with sound effects. Smiles throughout their turn. Good patience waiting turns not losing interest. [In the longer term this will help with] dealing with new people, using all senses, cause and effect work skills, social skills - turn taking, following instructions."

Southfield School, Bradford. 21/11/16

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 45 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and one as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "Students able to use touch and senses to explore."
  • "All pupils responded to the different sensory effects. Pupils were engaged through eye contact, touch, scent. [In the longer term the] multi-sensory approach is ideal for PMLD students. Use this approach in most/all lessons where we can so will build on pupils exploring more with support and independently."
  • "Each student in the group participated in some way even though it was a mixed ability group. I (who can sometimes be unresponsive in story sessions) reached out to touch the objects and opened the door on the ghost train. We run a story club each lunch time so would be an idea to use the stories a few times a week."
  • "Real life resources that are recognisable and familiar to pupils. Included various senses - perfume to smell, toy to squeeze that makes a noise, things to stroke. Resources taken to each pupil - very inclusive to all. Excellent practitioner who responded to pupils' needs very well. Interacted well with letterbox, brush and smelling the perfume. Despite distracting behaviours, pupils were encouraged via practitioner and interesting resources. It was good to have an age related story that brought familiar objects into it. Moving forward, we would look at other stories where familiar, possibly household objects would be brought in and included."
  • "Lots of different sensory stimuli - good stories - age appropriate. It was very good. R ( a student who can leave class and not participate) sat really well, gave good eye contact and was really interested in the session. [In the longer term this will help with] lots of good sensory input, keeping students engaged."

Beechcliffe Special School, Keighley. 07/11/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 28 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from four teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Three rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and one as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "Lots of sensory experiencial going on. All pupils took part and engaged in activities and took something from the story interaction  D and Z both enjoyed the storytelling and the touching and smelling for each story."
  • "Very hands on as the group was small and each pupil was given time to explore each sensory book. The multi-sensory stories were excellent and all eyes were fixed on the objects used to tell the story. [In the longer term this will] help understand sharing, taking part and turn taking."
  • "All appeared to enjoy taking part and having attention. Could use to anticipate actions with practice."
  • "Engaging and fun. The children liked getting involved with the story by touching the objects and it was very multi sensory which suited a lot of children. [In the longer term this will help them to become] less tactile defensive."

Springhead School, Scarborough. 10/10/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 33 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from six teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and two as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "[The session helped with] being with a group - social skills. Looking/observing the story boards. Interactive with story boards, peers, adults. K: didn't react by crying as he often does when meeting new people; M: became more confident as the story was told; M: paid attention to some of the boards, reaching out independently to touch; B & J anticipated the boards coming to them. [In the longer term this will help with] encouraging observation skills, language skills, focus."
  • "All pupils were engaged by elements of the stories. Three pupils focused particularly well throughout. We use multisensory elements in all our storytelling."
  • "[The session helped with] turn taking. Sensory experience. New people to meet. One pupil took gloves off and touched items she wouldn't normally. [In the longer term this will help with] overcoming own barriers (touching unexpected things) and turn taking."
  • "[The session helped with] lots of interaction, focussed for extended periods. One of our sixth formers often tries to avoid work or participatory activities but interacted most of the time when asked. Another was very engaged and excited at all points in the story when she could interact - touch, smell, sounds. It has been useful for us to see which students have responded so well to this kind of storytelling with interactive props."
  • "ALL were included and were enjoying the story. Lots of smiles throughout. All engaged. Even using hand over hand for those needing extra help. Absolutely fab!! So lovely to see our children excel and have so much involvement. Thank you. All excelled, maintaining interaction, joining in. Some students picking up key words e.g. fish, pig. [In the longer term this will help with] improving the children's vocabulary and improving children's knowledge."
  • "Very good multi-sensory engagement. Personable presentation. Good activities for eye contact and movement. The use of smell as a 'near sense' was a good starting point for sustaining engagement with one pupil. Pupils have developed their interaction/anticipation skills in a multi-sensory context."

North Ridge Community School, Doncaster. 11/07/16

Our Storyteller ran nine multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 73 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from eight teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Six rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and two as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "All pupils kept engaged/ enjoyed story. Plus benefit of sensory."
  • "Really fun session, all students engaged. Very interactive and the right level for the students."
  • "Excellent stories. Children loved the interaction and listened well."
  • "Activity was perfect for all our children. Very tactile and they could all engage."
  • "All the pupils enjoyed the interactive stories. Thank you."

Oakfield Park School, Pontefract. 20/06/16

Our Storyteller ran seven multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 34 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from seven teachers who judged that all bar one of the 34 children had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. All seven rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good". Comments were:

  • "Pupils enjoy the tactile and sensory input. Even the quietest pupils enjoy and make eye contact with the storyteller. The literacy element comes through the whole experience. Thank you"
  • "Storyteller interacted very well with the young adults, nice how she introduced herself. The interaction and eye contact was very good."
  • "Lovely experience for pupils. Nice resources."
  • "We do have and use Bag books in school. All our students enjoy the sensory approach even those working at a higher level."
  • "Very enjoyable for all the students, even those who were reluctant at first. Props were extremely creative and encouraged interaction. Lots of food for thought. Every student engaged at several points and demonstrated likes and dislikes. The storytelling was fluent and interesting and students quickly got the idea of turn taking. Pace was super. Loved it . Thank you."
  • "A fantastic session. All students were engaged and enjoying themselves. The stories and accompanying materials were just at the right level. The way they were presented made them real and funny. All the students enjoyed the session and those that were capable voiced their approval but it was evident that everyone benefitted. The staff liked it too !!"

Ravenscliffe High School, Halifax. 19/04/16

Our Storyteller ran five multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 29 children with severe or profound & multiple learning disabilities. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and one as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "The sensory resources were really good and [the Storyteller] delivered the stories very well. The students were engaged and the stories were at their level. The students may have benefitted from having a bit more time to explore the sensory items as lots of them have developmental delay and need time to process information. Good use of resources with regards to different senses e.g. smelling candy floss and the smelly skunk!"
  • "Really enjoyable session for students. The story reached out to everybody."
  • "The session was highly beneficial, particularly for students with more complex needs. The props were excellent and the Bag Book lady was very enthusiastic and clear; levelling the work beautifully. All students were engaged and gained from the session."
  • "Storyteller worked at a good pace with all students. Students interacted well with the storyteller and they all seemed very engaged. Content of the story/stories were great."

North Ridge Community School, Doncaster. 03/03/16

Our Storyteller ran ten multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 86 children with severe learning disabilities.

Hilltop School, Rotherham. 01/03/16

Our Storyteller ran six multi-sensory storytelling sessions involving a total of 37 children with profound & multiple learning disabilities and/or severe autism spectrum disorder. We received feedback from five teachers who judged that all bar two of the children in their classes had benefitted from the multi-sensory storytelling. Four rated the overall experience as “5/5 – Very Good" and one as “4/5 – Good". Comments were:

  • "Really enjoyed session."
  • "Thank you"
  • "Some children at our school struggle to sit for long periods of time so it would not be beneficial to them, as they would get distressed."
  • "The storyteller really told the story about the pirates with a lot of expression. Our children were really engaged in this story. Our children get a lot out of sensory stories where they can listen to different sounds, smells, and touch the sensory boards. She was a very kind lady who spoke to the children and staff when they entered the room."
  • "Lovely session - many thanks."
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