The storytelling sessions at the recent Gruffalo’s Spring Picnic at Queenswood near Leominster took place in the new yurt. This was a beautiful setting for the sharing of stories and created a very special atmosphere. The park was filled with activities and there were lots of visitors enjoying the sunshine and the sight of trees in full blossom.
Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing
Story Play is now offering movement meditation sessions for schools. Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing is a specially developed sequence which promotes physical, mental and emotional health by distilling the qualities of Tai Chi and Chi Kung in a simple and accessible way. It is an enjoyable and easy to learn, helping to reduce stress, develop mindfulness and promote creativity. These workshops are available with storytelling and creative writing activities, and also as stand-alone full or half day workshops.
Story Play was back at the Yarkhill Field to Fork Festival on a sunny day in June and enjoyed a fine day of storytelling in a beautiful bell tent. It was a wonderful opportunity to share some of our favourite stories and to spend time with lots of children and their families.
We’ve been invited to join the launch party for The Gruffalo Trail on September 17th at Queenswood Country Park on Dinmore Hill near Leominster. See the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust website for more details of this exciting family event, including the park and ride scheme, see http://www.herefordshirewt.org
Coming up in the Autumn is a CPD session at Bishops Wood Environmental Centre in Worcestershire – suitable for Early Years, Primary School and Forest School educators. More info coming soon…
The Story Play programme at Grange Court came to a close at the end of January and the children from Oaks Children’s Group in Leominster made their last visit to the studio to listen to their favourite stories. It has been a very satisfying and fulfilling project and since November 2014 we have shared eighteen Story Time sessions! – and two CPD workshops for educators. The benefits of a long term programme were appreciated by all involved. Many thanks to the Herefordshire Community Foundation and also to ACWM for providing the funds for this work. Thanks also to the Reception Volunteers at Grange Court for the support they gave to the children – the warmest of welcomes as they came in through the door and always managing to find a place to park the turtle bus.
Coming up soon is a visit to Lugwardine Primary Academy for World Book Day on Thursday March 3rd and a CPD workshop for Herefordshire Forest Schools Group on Saturday 2nd April. See www.herefordshireforestschools.org.uk
The new term is just about to start and Story Play is looking forward to welcoming the children from Honey Bees Day Nursery to Grange Court for the final part of the project funded by the Herefordshire Community Foundation. Then coming up on October 24th is a CPD workshop at the National Forest School Conference. (For more info see www.forestschoolassociation.org) The theme is “Playing with Stories,” and we’ll be exploring how stories can support play… and how play can give rise to stories in the Forest School environment. There’ll be opportunities to pool ideas and to try out different activities – along with tips on telling stories outdoors. The weekend programme is packed with engaging and informative talks and workshops. Hope to see you there!
Story Play CPD workshops are available across England and Wales and can be designed to meet the needs of settings and staff. The sessions receive excellent feedback from headteachers, nursery management and from early years practitioners.
Here are some comments from 2015 workshops:
“Just wanted to let you know how inspiring I found this course and how it opened my eyes to the ideas of telling stories without using books…”
“The children have responded really positively & imaginatively & we’ll continue experimenting with different ways to support their storymaking…”
“It was very enjoyable after a long day at work…”
“It was full of new ideas…”
“Everyone was allowed time to speak and listen and to give their opinion…”
Wise Owls have now finished their storytelling sessions at the Grange Court Studio and now we’re getting things ready for the Family Fun Day on Saturday 30th May. This is part of the Leominster Festival –www.leominster–festival.co.uk Story Play will also be at the Yarkhill “Field to Fork Festival” on the 4th June and there’ll be lively folk tales and fables about the growing, harvesting and sharing of local produce. An upcoming CPD workshop at Evesham Nursery School is a perfect opportunity to share creative ideas with practitioners about Outdoor Storymaking – making the most of the summer months.
We’ll soon be leaving the story lands of the Frozen North to journey back to the realm of Spring to celebrate the return of the sun and new green growth. This programme has been funded by the Herefordshire Community Foundation – many thanks!
Story Play is heading to a meeting at the Library of Birmingham for the conclusion of ACWM’s research and development project and give a presentation about the work completed in the early years sector.
Again – many thanks to everyone who has taken part and contributed useful ideas and feedback. Over the nine months of the project we’ve worked with preschool settings; nursery and reception classes in primary schools; children’s centres and childminders.
We’ve had meetings with educators; business development and project funding advisors, creative arts organisations and expert practitioners… and also completed Arts Award adviser training for Discover and Explore, and Bronze and Silver.
“Arts make the Difference.”
In July 2012 we were delighted to receive funding from the Hereford Community Foundation to run a pilot project in an Early Years setting in Hereford. This, along with other recent work, has enabled Story Play to become a social enterprise company using storytelling and play sessions to make a difference to the lives of children.
More projects are in the pipeline. In November 2012 there was a meeting with Herefordshire Schools to roll out a series of Story Play programmes across Nursery, Reception and Year One Classes. And a potential project with Halo Leisure is being drawn up in the New Year.