Small Tales Club with images of children

Storytelling In Education

Be challenged.  Be inspired.  Be creative.  Have fun!     Let the journey begin…

Raise standards in the three core skills of speaking, listening and writing through innovative, specialist workshops and inspirational performances

It is through storytelling that we most readily learn, whatever our age.  Research has shown that narrative is the most common form of language used in spoken adult communication across the globe.  Adults and children alike tell stories in order to give meaning and significance to their lives and to create order out of chaotic and complex existences.  Children and adults create, retell and learn through this most powerful and compelling art form.

There is a direct correlation between a person’s ability to tell stories and an ability to write well.  In order to be able to write effectively children need to be able to express their ideas coherently and succinctly.

During her experience as a teacher and trainer, Debbie has developed a set of effective workshops which raise the standard of children’s writing throughout the curriculum.  As a trained scientist, she also offers cross curricular approaches to the topic based curriculum.

Raising children’s standards begins with raising the bar for teachers.  The specialist inset Debbie provides focuses on the three core skills of speaking, listening and writing and are tailored to the needs of individual schools and individual learners.

Debbie provides:

  • Teacher inset – inclusive and focused on raising standards in literary and creative professional development.
  • Workshops – targeted, curriculum based, focused and fun for children and adults.
  • Courses – skills based effective personal and professional development.
  • Performances – compelling and thought provoking shows and stories collected on her travels around the world.

Teacher inset

Storytelling leading to Creative Writing

A specialist inset that inspires the participants, using memory and vocabulary games, innovative and imaginative story activities, which leads to creative writing.

Listen, Speak, Create!

A cutting edge, progressive inset designed to enable participants to deliver a series of workshops that focus on the key skills of listening, speaking and creating using original games and imaginative story activities.

The Treasure Box

An innovative, lateral thinking inset that combines storytelling and origami. Learn how from an amazing origami beginning, the children will work with their hands and their imagination to create characters and landscapes for their stories.

Storytelling leading to Creative Writing and Book making

A specialist inset that inspires the participants, using memory and vocabulary games, innovative and imaginative story activities and traditional story structures which lead to creative writing. Participants will make different books using origami, art and design which will be a resource for their future teaching.

Workshops

Storytelling leading to Creative Writing – KS2 and KS3

A specialist workshop that inspires the participants, using memory and vocabulary games, innovative and imaginative story activities and traditional story structures which lead to creative writing.

Listen, Speak, Create! – Year 2 – Year 6

A cutting edge, progressive series of 3 workshops that focus on the key skills of listening, speaking and creating, using original games and imaginative story activities. These can be booked individually.

The Treasure Box – Storytelling and Origami workshops – KS2 and KS3

From an amazing origami beginning, the participants work with their hands and their imagination to create characters and landscapes for their stories.

Storytelling leading to Creative Writing and Book making workshop – KS2 and KS3

A specialist workshop that inspires the participants, using memory and vocabulary games, innovative and imaginative story activities and traditional story structures which lead to creative writing. The participants then make a book using origami, art and design, which holds their written work.

Storytelling leading to Song Writing – KS2 and KS3

A ground breaking workshop that encourages the participants to create original songs which blend words with melody. Working with a storyteller and musician, they will gain understanding of song and story structure whilst creating new work.

Ten Heads, a Fire and a Wish – KS2 and KS3

A Storytelling and Shadow Theatre show and workshops based on a unique retelling of the epic ‘Ramayana’, a wondrous collaboration of story, shadow and song. The participants work with a storyteller and shadow puppeteer.

A Leap across the Ocean - KS1

Storytelling and Shadow Theatre show and workshops based on the story of Hanuman, invincible, immortal monkey hero with super powers, a magical blend of story, shadow and song. The participants work with a storyteller and shadow puppeteer.

Dinosaurs – A Storytelling and Geology workshop

Dinosaurs, giants of the natural world, now extinct, are brought to life in a specialist workshop that weaves fact and fiction enabling children to understand their world. Debbie, geologist and storyteller, leads this workshop suitable for both KS1 and KS2.

Diamonds – A Storytelling and Geology workshop

Diamonds, the hardest and most expensive gem stone, sought after throughout history, are revealed in a specialist workshop that weaves fact and fiction enabling students to understand the processes of the natural world. Debbie, geologist and storyteller, leads this workshop is suitable for KS2 and KS3.

Courses

Opening Doors – The Skills of the Storyteller Course

This course will enable you to practice the skills of the storyteller. It is for beginners and experts alike and feature innovative, imaginative exercises to strengthen your foundation in storytelling or to stretch your existing abilities.

Brave – Become the hero in your life - an inspirational life skills programme

This is an innovative and inspirational programme designed to change attitudes, promote positive thinking, raise self esteem and improve confidence whilst gaining new skills.

The Essence of RASA – a specialist course

An inspirational and creative course which develop the skills of the storyteller through the use of RASA.

Telling stories is how we define who we are. In South Asia, how we tell these stories is RASA!

These workshops are for people with experience of storytelling or who have completed the Opening Doors course and features specialist progressive exercises to strengthen your foundation in storytelling and develop your existing abilities.

Performances

The Cobra Stone (age 14 years – adult)

In a performance that provokes awe and wonder, these Sri Lankan stories entwine the natural world with the dangerous and extraordinary world of the Nagas; supernatural beings, shape shifters, who could take, at will, either human or cobra form. As Debbie’s father inspired these stories, there are personal snake stories woven between the Naga stories. Moments such as the day her father woke up in their new home and walked outside to see snakes dancing on the fences!

The Road to Butterfly Mountain (age 9 years to adult)

A journey around Sri Lanka, the island known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean that weaves its culture and traditional stories with Debbie’s personal stories. It is a magical weaving of fact and fantasy, threading its way from Sri Lanka to the UK and around the world.

Ten Heads, a Fire and a Wish (age 14 years to adult)

A retelling of the epic ‘Ramayana’ from a Sri Lankan perspective, both cultural and individual. For ten thousand years Ravanna meditated and finally his wish was granted. A wish that set into motion the birth of Rama, Sita and Hanuman. Together their stories from incredible beginnings weave together and end with a battle of light over darkness forming the Ramayana.

The Kavum (Cake) Tree and other Tasty Tales from around the World (age 7 – 11 years)

A collection of extraordinary and rare stories and songs that begin with origin of oranges and end with the Kavum tree (a Hansel & Gretel type of story), tells of a boy who gets the better of a Rakshasi (a demon of the forest) and manages to have his cake and eat it!

The Golden Boy and other Tales of Heroes – (age 7 – 11 years)

An inspiring collection of hero stories from around the world. Listen to tales from long ago that resonate with themes of today.

Between Worlds (age 9 – 11years and 11 – 15 years)

A collection of stories from different cultures and told for any time you are feeling brave! The stories travel between worlds and have one foot in fact and the other in … The question to the audience is: Do you dare to listen?

The Story Cloth (age 4 – 6 years)

A collection of interactive stories and songs from around the world. The songs are in different languages and weave around the stories. The children learn to sing some of the songs and take part in the stories and story making games.

Many other incredible performances available – please contact Debbie for details

Through storytelling participants learn to:

  • Listen, concentrate and develop their language by engaging in related oral activities (discussion, exploring memory, sequencing, visualisation, creating new stories, telling and re-telling stories).
  • Discover the worth of their own voices and those of others, whilst developing confidence and gaining pleasure in public speaking.
  • Develop respect for themselves and for others and widen the range of their emotional, moral and cultural responses.
  • Learn to deal with mistakes (using various avenues whilst retaining confidence) and develop their presentation skills of voice, eye contact and body language.

Storytelling encourages a questioning attitude, where people can examine and challenge the ideas underlying what is said and reflect upon them together.  Storytelling also links people to one another, encouraging communication and understanding in our global community.

quote Dear Debbie: Thank you so much for sharing your storytelling gift and the stories you gave to our kids this week. You are an amazing woman. I loved being with you this week, to be able to sit on the edge of my seat and to watch the kids’ faces! I am so happy that you shared the story of your life in your storytelling. Much gratitude and love, un-quote

Sister Kathleen, Catholic Schools Association, San Francisco, USA

quote Dear Debbie: Thank you so much for your storytelling. It touched me very deeply. You not only tell a story, you become the story and embody it and its characters. I love the way you vary the tone of your voice, inflection and the way your radiant presence captures the audience, both young and mature. Love and blessings,un-quote

Angela M Joseph, Staff Counsellor, St John Catholic School, San Lorenzo, California, USA

quote I think you have a lovely voice, a voice I can listen to.un-quote

Holly (6yrs), Pound Hill Infant School, Crawley, W Sussex

Some words about performances

quote The children thought you were fantastic, so did the teachers. What came across were your sincerity and your passion. It was very successful and we’d love you to come again. un-quote

Nick, (Literacy Coordinator) Thomas’ School, London

quote I couldn’t help myself, I found myself being drawn in, I was enthralled and I couldn’t get over the children’s faces.un-quote

Head, Sheilbaggin Primary School, Ireland

quote I thought the idea that we all have a diamond inside us was great, especially good for our Year 7 students to hear. I watched their faces light up!un-quote

Sally, Deputy Head, Plashet School, London

quote The kids loved it! They have achieved so much in this project. They had fun sharing their story strings in showing assembly. Thank you for your energy, enthusiasm and expertise.un-quote

Gill, Head, Bewbush Primary School, West Sussex Storytelling Project

quote It’s great the way the children have to use their voices, minds and bodies. I shall definitely use the ideas when we create stories.un-quote

Liz, teacher and Literacy co-ordinator, London

quote You are magical. What a treat it is for us having you here. Our children are mesmerised!un-quote

Rida, 3rd Grade Teacher, St John’s School, San Lorenzo, California, USA

quote I could stay here forever! If there is one of these again I’ll come. I wish it didn’t have to end.un-quote

B Snell (8yrs), Derby Literature Festival workshop, Derby

quote Thank you Miss Debbie. You make stories come to life!un-quote

Erica (3rd grader), St John’s School, San Lorenzo, California, USA

quote I think, I think you’re the best, the very best storyteller in the world. I’ve heard lots of storytellers and they tell modern stories, but you’re REAL because you tell us of long ago, the traditional stories.un-quote

Sadhb (10yrs), Gail Scoil, Wexford, Ireland

quote My son’s in the school that you went to in Barnstown and he loved it! He came home bubbling and talking about the storyteller and the stories. Then there would be a moment of quiet and then he would tell us something else about the afternoon. Thanks for giving my son such a great experience.un-quote

School Secretary, Kilmore Primary School, Kilmore, Ireland