A New Approach for Schools ‘Storytelling makes you fly.’

We believe storytelling and associated creative arts are the perfect vehicle for exploring social and emotional skills and understanding.   To tell a story involves cognitive skills of imagination and memory which can be developed.  It involves recognising and conveying both verbal and non-verbally a wide range of emotions.    It involves understanding how characters think and solve dilemmas.  It develops of confidence in talking and listening skills.    As someone said at one of our workshops, ‘Storytelling makes you fly’.    We believe storytelling lifts the spirit and boosts wellbeing.

Storytelling is such a good vehicle for learning about our emotional life because it the language of metaphor and imagination.  Children do not learn easily about feelings through the language of reason and fact.  Rather through empathy to the characters conflicts and dilemmas.  It is a rich form of communication which makes ideal for so much learning to take place – especially in the critical area of emotional health and literacy.   Our model of emotional literacy can be described in a nutshell; we aim to build skills in

  1. Understanding feelings – developing awareness of emotional vocabulary and expression.  Noticing what we are feeling and how to calm strong feelings through mindfulness.
  2. Building relationships – developing empathy, social skills and assertive communication.
  3. Setting and Reaching positive goals by building motivation and problem solving skills.

Working in these areas helps build the five domains of emotional literacy and increases flexible thinking that can help lay the foundation for good emotional health and resilience.   We work with where the children are at and work to extend their skill levels.  Our projects can work in tandem with other learning projects within the school setting.   Please contact us to learn more.

Click here to learn more about our project working with Children who are Looked after in Schools

We believe emotional literacy skills are relevant to all.   We do not see emotional literacy as something children either have or don’t have.  Rather it is a set of skills that are constantly developing and that can enhance our abilities to learn, deal with difficulties, guide our actions and so play a full part in life and work.

The programme is now in a pilot stage and we are looking to work with schools to help them devise cross-curricula training which is informed by new developments in psychological approaches to improving well-being and mental health.   We can develop bespoke projects to work with learners of all ages and abilities, be they on your MAT register, are difficult to reach or are simply coasting.

The programme is designed and facilitated by an experienced teacher and a clinical psychologist with a strong interest in emotional literacy.  Both have experience in using stories and storytelling in their work as a methodology to develop  creative and critical thinking skills.

The four purposes of the new Welsh Curriculum

healthy, confident individuals who:

  • are building their mental and emotional well-being by developing confidence, resilience and empathy
  • form positive relationships based upon trust and mutual respect
  • face and overcome challenge
  • have the skills and knowledge to manage everyday life as independently as they can

ethical, informed citizens who:

  • understand and consider the impact of their actions when making choices and acting
  • respect the needs and rights of others, as a member of a diverse society

enterprising, creative contributors who:

  • take measured risks
  • express ideas and emotions through different media

ambitious, capable learners who:

  • set themselves high standards and seek and enjoy challenge
  • are building up a body of knowledge and have the skills to connect and apply that knowledge in different contexts
  • are questioning and enjoy solving problems
  • can communicate effectively in different forms and settings, using both Welsh and English
  • can explain the ideas and concepts they are learning about

Expressive Arts

Explore their culture, community, society and world now, in the past and the future

Use the arts to communicate, respond and understand themselves and the world they live in

Describe, interpret and respond to works of art

Health and Well-Being

6 Thematic Areas:  Personal Care and Development,   Healthy Choices,   Learning to Learn,  Relationships and Emotions, Keeping Safe, Physical Activity

From A New Curriculum for Wales: The story so far…  Welsh Government July 2017