I offer creative writing, performance poetry and storytelling workshops for KS 1 – 5, specializing in ecological adventures and wild storytelling. All workshops provide immersive engagement with story which support and enrich the national curriculum, aiding and inspiring young people to improve their vocabulary, composition skills, drama and performance ability and overall confidence and competence in the spoken and written word.
With ten years of experience running workshops for young people in the UK and on the continent, as well as an extensive background in English language teaching and a doctorate in fairy tales and environmental education, my workshops offer a space to create wildly and deeply in a hectic and ever-changing world.
All workshops can include a storytelling or poetry performance, but primarily foster a creative space in which participants are invited to respond to, explore, and narrate stories themselves. The aim of the work is to facilitate story fluency, providing pupils with narrative tools to express their own relationships to stories, words and worlds.
Eco-storytelling workshops use the familiar and yet deeply creative space of the fairy tale to explore the difficult issues of pollution, climate change and sustainable development. Vivid spaces in which we can talk to frogs and marry beasts, the fairy tale world is explored in these workshops to allow students to enhance their sensitivity to their own environment and discuss and debate how we relate to the wild world.
Examples of Eco-storytelling workshops:
How to Be a Tree
Watching and writing about the oak tree surrounded by concrete, the birch bursting from the tarmac, how can we build a wood of words? Root riddles, bark verse, leaf lyrics and bird haikus, soil songs, sky songs and squirrel stories, this workshop is an exploration of the language of trees.
Did Goldilocks Get Home?
Re-telling the story of Goldilocks from the perspective of the birds, the trees, the bears – even the porridge – how can we explore the meaning of the explorer, of the human who tastes the wild, and of the adventure to find a way back home?
Little Red Riding Hood and the Ferocious Forest
A girl meets a wolf within the woods. Sometimes, she is killed for her disobedience. Sometimes she needs a woodcutter to rescue her. At others times, she is a brave and dangerous heroine who meets – and outwits – a wolf on her journey to encounter the other for herself. What can the different versions of Little Red Riding Hood tell us about our own relationship to the wild woods?
Selkies and Our Sea
A selkie is woman with a skin of a seal, or perhaps the other way round. Our oceans today are full of the skins of modern society – our own skins of discarded plastic. Using the traditional Celtic tale to explore our impact on today’s ocean, this is a workshop of water, of waste, and of skins.
The Queen Bee
Tell it to the bees, goes the old legend. In the Grimm’s fairy tale, rescued bees help a younger brother save a castle turned to stone. Bees have one of the most complex forms of communication of all living beings. What words arise when we weave within them the voices and the dances of the bees?
INSET Teacher Training, KS1 Age 5-7, KS2 Age 7-11, KS3 Age 11-13, KS4 Age 14-16, KS5 Age 16-18