Schools and other educational establishments
Here I will detail my work in schools, from the stories I tell to the packages I offer.
My storytelling sessions are individually tailored to the pupils, and I charge:
£50 per 30-minute session
£180 for a half day booking of up to 4 sessions/2 hours workshop time
£300 for a full day booking of up to 8 sessions/4 hours workshop time.
I have full CRB/DBS clearance, and £5 Million Public Liability Insurance. Certificates can be provided on request.
To enquire about my storytelling in schools and Universities, please contact me and I will happily discuss your requirements.
I have offered a range of sessions in a variety of schools and Universities. I developed sensory workshops to meet the needs of special schools, and did interactive storytelling to fit a “Jack and the Beanstalk” topic at a school nursery in Manchester.
In my experience, younger classes (Foundation and KS1) learn best in sessions of 30 minutes, with more variation through the session the younger they are. They need puppets and props to provide visual and sensory stimulation in order to maintain focus on the story.
Older children benefit from longer and more in-depth sessions, involving more complex storylines and analysis of the story. They benefit from making up their own stories and using their creativity to make their mark on a story. Workshops from this age group are best as 30 minute to 1-hour standalone workshops, or as a short course of up to 4 or 5 weeks duration.
Secondary age students engage best with workshops that give them agency. They like to shape their own stories, and begin to work on creating their own narratives, learning about character motivations and plot development. These workshops are most effective as a course of 1-hour sessions across at least a half term.
Some examples of my work in schools:
Claremont Primary School (Ages 3-11)
I delivered a range of workshops across the whole school over the week of World Book Day celebrations. I helped the youngest children make up their own “stories with a twist”. The older infants had a workshop with an Imagination Journey and traditional storytelling, some classes dressed up to act out their own Mixed Up Fairytales, and the oldest children wrote and illustrated their own small books. I provided inspiration, resources and support for these workshops, and typed up a collection of “class stories” for the school to display.
I have twice been invited to run puppet-making and drama sessions at this holiday club. The children make puppets representing characters in a story, then we work together to draw backdrops, write a script, and act out a short play by the end of the session. Children aged 4-11 all found ways to get involved in these exciting imaginative sessions.
Lime Tree Primary Academy (Ages 3-7)
To celebrate World Book day, I spent a full day bringing a range of traditional stories to life for nursery and KS1 pupils at the school. Books, puppets, fabrics and costumes allowed the children to take an active part in the storytelling, and built on the “fairytales” topic some of the children had been studying. Several children enjoyed the visit so much they got their parents to buy my books in the weeks that followed. I returned to the school a few years later to run a Gruffalo workshop session with the Reception class, which was very well received by children and teachers alike.
The Village Nursery (Ages 0-5)
As part of the nursery’s work with families on Story Sacks, I was brought in to demonstrate how story sacks can be used to enhance children’s experience of stories, bringing relevance and additional educational experience to the text of a book.
Manchester Muslim Prep School (Ages 3-7)
As part of the school’s World Book Day celebrations, I entertained the children with interactive storytelling, we talked about favourite stories and books, and used puppets and props to act out many popular folk and fairy tales.
Forest Park Preparatory School (Ages 3-11)
The foundation stage and KS1 children enjoyed puppets and storytelling, with plenty of participation and singing. The older KS1 helped make up their own stories with an “ideas tree” of story elements to build into stories. Here’s a link to a picture they posted of me telling the story of the Gingerbread Man
The KS2 children, inspired by my published works, went one step further and made their own books, using puppet props for inspiration, they designed and illustrated front covers, and wrote short stories in 8-page books which we bound ourselves.
Manchester Metropolitan University (Children of new students)
I told a range of stories with costumes, puppets and plenty of audience participation as part of a MMU event to welcome new students who are also parents. All ages of children and adults attended this amazing event.
BWJPS (Children and families – all ages)
I ran a storytelling session for the school’s Summer Fun Day, followed by a puppet-making session for children and their families. We made spoon puppets, sock puppets, crowns and finger puppets. Some children tried sewing their own puppets.
Springfield Primary (Foundation Stage and Infants)
As part of the school’s Fairytale Fun Day, I visited the school and ran a full day of storytelling sessions for eight classes of children. The children joined in with repeated refrains, joined in the songs and helped work the puppets. We talked about their costumes, and what they liked about each story, and a great day was had by all.
Lime Tree Primary (Children and families – all ages)
Grand opening for their new Forest School building. I offered a range of workshops throughout the day, from puppet making and drama to storytelling and woodland craft.
Broadfield Primary (Years 1 and 2)
I ran three storytelling sessions here, as part of the school’s World Book Day celebrations. Working with Years 1 and 2, I told stories, sang songs and used puppets to help the children engage with poetry. We talked about our favourite books, and why we love books. The children joined in repeated refrains, and helped work the puppets. I read the children stories from my book “Drabble Folk and Fairy Tales” to show them how books can be fun and relevant to them.
St. Anne’s CE Primary Holiday Club (Ages 5-11)
This was a puppet-making and drama session. First the children made puppets (spoon puppets, sock puppets, finger puppets and dragon puppets), using a wide range of craft materials, then they wrote ideas for stories involving the puppets they’d made. Once the ideas were written, we worked together to write a script for a short puppet show, which we rehearsed and acted out. The children took home the puppets they’d made, and the holiday club were given the script they’d written.
St. Clare’s RC Primary School (Nursery class)
This interactive storytelling session was based on the class topic work of “Jack and the Beanstalk”. I told the story as the children played the characters with props, then we talked about the story and ways we could change it. The children incorporated the story into their play throughout the classroom, and I talked to smaller groups about specific aspects of the story. We built a castle from blocks, made “giant food” from playdough, hid a toy “Jack” in the home corner, and drew pictures of scenes from the story. I brought the children back together as a group and we talked about the use of the concepts “big” and “small” in the story, making ourselves small then big, and talking about how beanstalks and the children both grow.
Ashgate Special School (Ages 7-11)
I based this session on “How the Birds got their Bright Colours”, but as the pupils were more able, I also did some interactive storytelling to fit with their “Spring” topic. We pretended to be seeds growing in the sunshine, then birds and butterflies, and trees blowing in the wind.
Brentwood Special School (Ages 11-18)
I ran two sensory workshops based on “How the Birds got their Bright Colours”, involving props with a variety of colours, textures, scents, shapes and sounds.
I followed this with two storytelling sessions based on Rudyard Kipling’s “The Cat who Walked by Himself”, with more pupil involvement as they read from scripts as I narrated.