Schools


As a secondary English teacher with nineteen years experience, Mike is at home in all educational environments, from reception classes to sixth form. He has used storytelling as part of his general practice for many years, and is able to offer a variety of opportunities for pupils of all ages and abilities.


Why storytelling?


All teachers are well aware of the power of stories on children of all ages. A well told narrative that can unlock the imagination and engage children in a world outside their every day experience. Storytelling is an ancient art currently enjoying a worldwide renaissance as communities rediscover the simple pleasures of telling and sharing tales; let Mike help to bring this art into your school.


Learning opportunities


As a trained storyteller and experienced secondary English teacher, I would hope to offer something new to your teaching and learning. When working with a group of children, my aim is to:

•engage the imagination in a subtly different way; a listener plays a more active role in the story than a reader

•encourage a love of narrative, both heard and written

•improve listening skills

•encourage empathy

•provide a moment of stillness in the life of the listener – teachers have commented on the way that children who often find it difficult to concentrate have been mesmerised by a spoken tale

•stimulate interest in different cultures

•Build confidence, allowing all children to participate in the story telling process

Children can also learn to tell their own stories, utilising techniques to help them organise narratives, use music and rhythm, tell group stories and express ideas more clearly. This can be an incredibly empowering experience, as I have seen in my work with a wide variety of age groups.


Talk for writing


One of the key techniques recommended by the Primary National Strategy is ‘talk for writing’. Storytelling will allow your pupils to:

•    experience the exciting, effective use of language

•    orally rehearse stories that can be written about in the following days

•    build valuable banks of language and narrative pattering which can be incorporated into later writing

Staff have commented on the increased enthusiasm and confidence of pupils in their approach to written work after storytelling workshops.

Recent commissions:


International Schools


Mike has been invited to a number of international schools, working with students from all over the world.

“We are an international school with students of a wide range of academic ability and also a large percentage of students who have only started learning English in the last year or so. His lively but clear style  and thoughtfully created activities meant they were all able to participate comfortably. He had our students on their feet elaborating strange, spooky and funny stories by the end of the session. It was great to work with Mike: he knows an awful lot of stories and he knows how to get students on board whether listening, planning or performing things for themselves. He’s coming again this year.” Helen Cass, Director of English at the Haut Lac International Bilingual School, Switzerland


Ancient Greece








A series of stories first commissioned as part of the Cultural Olympiad- tales of the first Olympic athletes, immortalised in statues, pottery and poetry that still survive, mixed with reworkings of the most exciting of the Greek myths: the children can hear about Theagenes of Thasos, a man of such strength that he tore up the bronze statue of a god when he was six years old, before going on to become the greatest boxer and runner of the ancient Olympics, alongside legends such as Prometheus bringing fire from Olympus, Echo and Narcissus , Atalanta and many other possible tales.


The Victorians






Stories inspired by pictures of Victorian child workers - bird scarers, mill workers, mudlarks...followed by workshops to encourage a more empathetic understanding of these children’s lives.

The Rainforest

       

A collaborative day with artist and print expert Carol Savage - story, printing, masks, and poetry - exhausting and brilliant fun!

Which stories?

Mike can put together a group of tales to suit just about any topic. Recent requests have included Kenyan, Aztec, weather, Native American, ghost stories,      pirate tales, ‘minibeasts’ and stories for summer...oh, and Robin Hood, of course - you can’t be a Nottingham based storyteller without nipping off to the greenwood every now and then.

Mexican cultural days

Alongside his storytelling work, Mike provides a broader introduction to Mexican culture and life to schools that are studying this wonderful country: the Aztecs, The Day of the Dead, Spanish taster sessions, Mexican crafts...visit www.mexicantales.com for further details.











The New Primary Curriculum - Wow Days on almost any topic


 

Secondary or Primary


Primary schools are more used to working with storytellers, yet the benefits can be great for students at all key stages


“The pupils were captivated by Mike’s incredible story telling, he inspired them to use their imagination and creativity. The results were evident in the short stories they then produced in our next lesson.” Amy Gascoigne The Redhill Academy


“The feedback from the pupils was very positive, for many it was the favourite part of the week. One teacher was so entranced by the stories she forgot she was in school! I thought you interacted with the children wonderfully, especially when questions and answers were a little unusual. When I watched the children whilst you were telling a story they were completely engaged.” Amanda Sullivan, Latymer Prep. school, Hammersmith



Workshops for parents and staff


In 2014, Mike addressed the Nottingham literacy conferences for primary leaders and secondary heads of English, speaking of the importance of storytelling in the classroom and at home. Use his ideas to promote literacy at home by teaching parents how to learn and tell stories with their children - Mike can lead workshops for parents, and can also provide training for staff in the application of narrative theory across the curriculum.


“The family story telling workshop gave parents & carers an opportunity to learn how to share stories with their children. They realised their personal stories are an important way to share things about their family. Parents/carers who participated said they'd had a fantastic time and it was lovely to see them engage in speaking and listening activities to retell stories with their children. I believe the work Mike does is an amazing opportunity to develop pupils' speaking and listening skills, vocabulary, confidence and creativity in a thoroughly fun and exciting way.” Jane Humphreys, Head Teacher at Elmore Green School, Walsall

Performing at The Wellcome Trust’s Day of the Dead exhibition in London

Options

Assembly shows; work with individual year groups/classes; preparing performances for the rest of the school; demonstrations to parents after or within school hours; half/full days, or weekly workshops.

“The children and staff absolutely loved it. You truly encapsulated the wonderment that story telling brings and the impact back in the classroom has been phenomenal. Every class was so positive about the stories and workshops.” Matt Lawrence, Arnold Mill Primary School, Notts.


“...Mike put an 80 minute show to parents and children as part of our extended schools programme. Unfazed by crying babies, he mesmerised the audience with his tales and even sent the parents home with some storytelling homework!” P. Elkington, Deputy Head, St. Edmund Campion School, Notts.

“You have a great energy which holds their attention and a lovely manner which puts them at ease; some of our shyest children really came into their own with you.” S. Mosely, Deputy Head, Denstone College Prep. School

"...a lovely, calm manner with the children...captured their attention and imagination...a great mix of music, storytelling and drama." D. Quirk, Year 2 leader, Horsell School, Surrey

“Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you from all at Sutton-on-Trent Primary School for an absolutely fantastic World Book Day! I can't speak for the other classes, but my years one & two in Ruby Class have produced some simply super writing. You really have inspired us all! G. Jones, Sutton on Trent Primary School


Prices

Prices can very a little depending on the number of workshops provided in a day, but the 2015-16 price is around £285/day. A small school discount is available. One off shows and morning/afternoon rates are negotiable.

Mexican ‘viejito’ mask

Email Me