The Woodcutter’s Tale

‘The Woodcutter’s Tale,’ written by Story Play’s Carol Florence Graham has been published by Ragged Bears, and tells of how open-heartedness brings precious gifts from a tree faery. The story celebrates themes of kindness and of living simply. It also explores the beauty of nature, and the importance of our connection to trees and woodlands. It’s a story for our times!

Faery Tales

“I enjoy sharing traditional stories….” writes Carol,’…They’re full of wisdom and wonder and can bring insights and nourishment to those listening. I choose the stories that I tell carefully, selecting those that are relevant and forward-looking. I try to craft the words as well as I can, using story language and age-old conventions that work on or off the page. I’m delighted with Emily Ford’s illustrations and her distinctive style. Her work brings a creative richness to the text, whilst also including a family that today’s youngsters can identify with. I hope that the book brings pleasure to children when shared aloud at school, at home, or when they read it quietly by themselves.”

The Front Cover

Workshops for Schools

In 2020 workshops exploring ‘The Woodcutter’s Tale’ will be available for schools and community settings. These include Storytelling & StorymakingStorytelling & Drama and Poetry & Creative Writing. For more information see Author Visits.

A version of this blog first appeared on the Story Space website www.storyspace.co.uk

Recent Storytelling Projects

Here’s a post about recent storytelling projects including an enrichment programme, and also an introduction to Story Owl!

Story Owl is a much-loved character in sessions for younger children and introduces the stories along with with a number of other colourful Story Friends!

Story Owl puppet

Story Owl

On our travels in May 2019 we came across another rather beautiful Owl outside Birmingham Children’s Hospital where Story Play® was holding a weekend Story Time.

Owl at BCH

Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Work in Schools

Other projects this year have included storytelling for Year One at St. Peter’s CE in Droitwich, and the completion of an extensive enrichment programme in a Hereford primary school. This exciting project delivered sessions to children from Nursery to Year Four.

Each of the year groups had a different theme for their storytelling and creative arts workshops and we explored topics such as Toys with Year One, and Flight with Year Two. Year Three workshops centred around the Romans and Year Four combined the Ancient Egyptians with the Water Cycle! There were three classes in each year group from Reception to Year Four and approximately 30 children in each class so that makes 450 children! Plus another 20 or so in Nursery, giving a total of around 470 pupils enjoying a blend of Storytelling, Storytelling & Drama and with follow-on Creative Writing activities for the older year groups. What a great opportunity to work with children in a holistic and imaginative way!

Later this year Story Play CIC will be at the SHAPE event in Hereford. I’ll be talking about ‘Storytelling and Storymaking – Skills for Life‘ at this conference for Early Year educators. Then Story Play is heading over to Leicester to deliver storytelling and craft sessions as part of the Talent 25 project.

Forest School and Story Play CIC

I’ve rejoined the Forest School Association and look forward to catching up with recent developments. This includes reading the report ‘Bringing Children Closer to Nature,’ by the Sylva Foundation, in partnership with the FSA. This research considers barriers to participation in FS programmes, and also provides recommendations to remedy this problem.

With its holistic approach and learner-centred principles Forest School is a very important influence on my work with nature-based storytelling. The FSA describes Forest School as ‘an inspirational process, that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem. This is achieved through ‘hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.’

In 2014 I completed my Level Three Qualification at Bishopswood. I also enjoyed running CPD courses in Storytelling and Storymaking at the centre. I then led sessions for groups across England and Wales, which included workshops at a FSA Worcestershire conference, the 2015 National Conference and for our local group – FSA Herefordshire.

Forest School Site

Story Play and Arts Award

Arts Award Scheme

Arts Award is a range of qualifications that helps provide young people up to the age of 25 with structured opportunities to take part in arts activities and develop their own creative and reflective skills. There are five different levels: Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold and as young people progress through the scheme they can explore new forms of self-expression, meaning-making and also learn important life skills.

Helping young people to:

  • discover the enjoyment of creating and participating in arts activities.
  • experience arts events.
  • develop creative and communication skills that are essential for success in 21st century life.
  • explore the work of artists and craftspeople and gain insights into the professional arts world.
  • gain experience and knowledge to help progress into further education and employment.

It is vital that children have the opportunity to take part in different arts activities and Story Play is now a registered Arts Award Centre and can work with young people on the Discover, Explore and Bronze and Silver Awards. The Discover Award can be delivered in a day during a Story Play workshop. The children collect and present evidence of the following in order to pass the award and gain a certificate.

  • actively participating in any art form
  • at least one arts event and their review of that event
  • researching the career and work of an artist or craftsperson
  • passing on an arts skill

Click here for more information about Arts Award 

To find out more about Story Play CIC can help your school or community group with Arts Award email info.storyplay@gmail.com

Arts Award with Story Play CIC CIC

Arts Award with Story Play CIC

Story Play Projects in Schools and Community Settings

It’s been a real pleasure to reflect on the 2018 Story Play projects in Schools and Community Settings. These included storytelling at two Herefordshire festivals in the warm summer months. Look at this amazing Storytelling Sofa at Hellens Garden Festival

Here are some of the beautiful treasure boxes decorated in storytelling and craft workshops in Knighton, Powys. The library had recently moved to a new location in the town’s Community Centre and we were in a fabulous  light-filled room which opened onto a beautiful sensory garden.

In the Autumn Story Play ran a six week project for young children at Hereford Museum with a rhyme written especially for the bees in their glass hive! 

The third photo is of one of the books created in a Poetry & Creative Writing Session. This pilot is now developing into an enrichment programme involving classes from Reception to Year Four. Can’t wait to get started!

 

 

 

Enrichment Programme 2019

Story Play

Story Play

Story Play is developing an enrichment programme with a local primary school and will be working across different year groups, from Reception to Year Four, with a programme of storytelling sessions, storytelling and drama workshops and creative writing. Looking forward to the planning meeting next week and to setting out on this exciting journey in the New Year. More details to follow soon!

www.storyplay.co.uk/storytelling-workshops

Storytelling at Hereford Museum

Story Play in Hereford Museum

Story Play in Hereford Museum

In the Autumn Story Play held a programme of six sessions for the under 5s and their parents & carers in the Museum on Broad Street. There were poems, rhymes and stories based on things we could see around us; the bees in their glass-panelled hive, beautiful buttons, interesting hats, bells and lots of farming pictures and implements. After ‘Story Time’ came a simple craft activity and the chance to chat or explore. It was a great way to introduce young children to the Museum and to encourage them to become familiar with the exhibits and the layout. I enjoyed getting to know everyone and we had a lot of fun over the weeks. Thanks to all involved- the children and families, the Museum staff and volunteers, and the Early Years team that accompanied children from a local nursery who walked across town (and back) to join us.

“Fantastic Storytelling…” “…hold’s the children’s attention really well.”  “I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions.”

 

‘Treasures and Tales’ at Herefordshire Museum and Art Gallery.

Join Story Play for family storytelling sessions in the Museum and Art Gallery on Broad Street. There’ll be stories and rhymes for the under 5s, and we’ll be exploring the Museum and discovering some of its extraordinary exhibits.

Starting September 18th for six weeks. Booking advisable as spaces are limited. Please email jradburn2@herefordshire.gov.uk to book and there is a charge of £1 to cover costs on the day.

May 2018

Delighted to be telling stories at two local festivals in the next month or so. On Friday 18th May, and Saturday 19th there are family storytelling and craft sessions at the Hereford Yoga Festival, which takes place in a beautiful rural location. Find out more at www.herefordyogafestival.co.uk

Then on June 10th there’ll be family storytelling at Hellens Garden Festival, in Much Marcle near Ledbury. More information about this stunning venue and inspiring event can be found on their website.

Decorated Story Owls

Summer 2017

Rainbow Rhymes

Story Play was commissioned by the Ledbury Poetry Festival to create sessions for under 5s in two pre-school settings. This was co-ordinated by the Children’s Centre in Ledbury and developed work that took place in the Forest School there in 2014. This year’s workshops were so enjoyable and I was very grateful for the support and encouragement received from the staff and volunteers I worked with. In each session two groups set off with a Rainbow Ribbon on a poetry, rhyme and storytelling adventure ….using lines from Wordsworth and George Meredith as the inspiration.

“The children loved the sessions”

“The quietness was refreshing – gentle pace and beautiful vocabulary”

“Loved the bubbles too”