University of Edinburgh

SSC Course 5: Sensory Stories: Design, development and delivery for the learner with complex needs

Presented on Friday, 9th September 2016

Courses evaluation summary

Number of Participants: 35
Number of Respondents: 33

Overall Assessment:

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Enhancement to your expertise


Content and supplementary material


How will you use what you have learned today?

To support school staff to include profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) children.
It will be used to help build family sessions within the library setting.
Insist on repeating sensory story over and over to achieve something. Try to give control to pupils.
Go back and re-evaluate plans and resources used, as well as how lessons are presented. ‘Scaffold’ learning to colleagues.
I will re-evaluate my practice of using sensory stories and share with others the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of sensory stories, so as to improve my practice and make more active for the children (individuals).
I think it will really enhance my storytelling skills.
I will research more about sensory stories and adapt our approaches to this. The course has reminded me of many basic principles of sensory stories.
Will put it into practice with pupils. Will use what I have learned to build up a batch of sensory stories and resources.
Key principles in working with learners with complex needs.
I will incorporate it into new role of composing sensory story boxes.
The info I have gathered today will be shared with my colleagues. It will enhance my own practice when I am making up new stories.
Bursting with so many ideas.
Inform my management and peers and work together to make the stories for the children.
Good research to why sensory stories are beneficial. Good ideas of how to implement best practice.
This can be taken back to staff and be implemented within our playrooms. I feel this could also empower our parents with info.
Develop sensory stories for my families to do with their children.
Working with very young children with complex needs. Will continue to use sensory stories to enhance their learning - giving the children the control.
I will use this when we start our sensory sessions within the library.
Identifying “the BEST” in our sessions. Use jelly beans (?) and PowerPoint. Acquire choice boxes and dog toys! Battery device adaptors. Control and choice.
Re-assess the way I deliver sensory stories. Link what I’ve learnt with the VI side of my job to conduct assessments effectively.
Try to improve consistency of delivery, active approach, move towards learners taking control of story.
Remote switches. Bookworm. PowerPoint. Stand back more.
General awareness. Development of activities.
Sensory stories which I have been making will be more around everyday and ‘scaffolding’.
Lots of food for thought to go back and evaluate my own practice and planning.
Feed back to all staff. Embed practice of consistency/short/meaningful.
Realising that repetition isn’t a bad thing. Encouraging children with their “BEST” thing.
Run a training session at work and update sensory resources.
Will follow up research links. Will share knowledge gained from course with all other support teachers in the authority.
Turns out the techniques described today I am very used to using. There were a few points that I was reminded of and a few I disagreed with!

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Clarity of presentation



Pacing of course/event



What was best about the course/event?

Examples, information about research and theory.
Very informative, just helped me realise how to work with parents and learners and run an enjoyable session for all.
Pointing out problem that we are facing daily.
Great resources and methods advised. Relevant to my current working situation and environment.
Sensory story advice and making real choices.
Info on neural plasticity.
It has helped me to reconsider my approach to sensory stories and, in particular, review key aspects such as simplicity, consistency, environment.
A wealth of useful tips and information.
Many questions in my inexperienced head were answered.
I really felt it was relevant
It made me realise that I do understand the main concepts of producing sensory stories - Great! It was good to meet other teachers who are working with PMLD children.
I’ve taken away a new perspective on how to approach my learners.
I found it all very interesting, however seeing the technology and how it works was fascinating.
I feel that I was kept engaged and inspired throughout this training.
Visuals, music to illustrate points - memorable. Useful info about switches and their uses. Thinking about giving control to the learner - crucial!
Enthusiasm from presenter - passionate about his subject and transmitted this well - very motivating. Made me think about what children with complex needs really understand and how do they demonstrate what they understand.
Lots of interesting content to be digested. This helped me to be more aware of children with special needs whilst running a session.
This is a completely new area for me and my staff and we’d now feel less daunted about holding a session for a family with children with ASN, including PMLD.
Active side to the course - demonstration of switches/control of switch. Good examples of quotes/research and good links to books. Good structure.
Opening my mind to looking at things differently.
A lot of background information about research to underpin reasons for using sensory stories. The “rules” for sensory stories.
Whole day.
Focus on understanding what can and can’t be assumed.
Guidelines (rules) of sensory stories.
The Rules of sensory stories.
Lots of information.
Seeing the practical resources.
Emphasis on handing control on to the learner. Simplifying stories, making things more ‘real’ for the learners and not talking about concepts they wouldn’t understand.
Very knowledgeable presenter.
Good to hear theory behind what was being shared. Challenged misconceptions.
Presenter managed to summarise a lot of relevant info fairly succinctly and gave some nice examples.

What, if anything, could have been improved about the course?

An example of a full sensory story.
More time!
Pace was not so good - a lot of repetition and reading out of slides, very often more than twice. Very disappointed that insufficient time for PowerPoint section to be explored fully. Felt that although questions were asked by audience they weren’t really addressed.
Pacing! Too much content to allow time to keep listening to music clips. Also a tendency to read slide info then have it read out to us (twice). Also went off track repeatedly. Really annoyed by spending so long on choice and critique of film. Specially wanted to hear about PowerPoint/technology.
All day spent sitting down!
It was a long time to be in one room! It was a bit rushed at the end. (2) It would have been good to hear more about the technology.
I would have liked to have actually observed/participated in a sensory story in order to help me better understand how to build them - even video clip of story and student response.
Demonstration and guidance on how to build our own stories. More time on how to use PowerPoint for stories.
Would have benefited from active audience participation. A lot of time being talked at. No group activities. Thought this course would show us a sensory story with all resources! Give us ideas of good books to use for sensory stories, but this did not happen.
Perhaps delivered over two days to allow for more discussion and more depth to the training.
Pace - some areas are emphasised - would have like to see videos of sensory stories happening.
The timing and possibly too much of the course presentation discussed on quotes and going through acronyms. They were all fascinating, but the last half hour focusing on sensory storytelling was so useful.
Questions didn’t get answered consistently throughout the course - ones that audience were asking were being told that they would be answered later at the end, which is quite a lot to have at the end.
The video quality (this was alright though).
Ran out of time at the end. Would have liked more time about using/setting up PowerPoint to use.
Could have heard more.
Would have liked more on actual sensory stories - examples, videos perhaps.
Would have preferred a much more practical approach to delivering the course, too much theory.
Would have liked less quotes and been able to see more practical applications of sensory stories. More hands on training.
Would like more examples of sensory stories.
Practical resources which could be taken away and adapted.
Thought it was more practical based - would have preferred to see and use practical items and ideas.
Maybe slightly better pacing. Took a little bit long over certain areas. More examples of how to adapt a story to make it sensory.
A bit repetitive at times, so didn’t get through all the materials.
I didn’t need the presentation to be presented with quite as much music as it was. I felt there was a lot of waiting for info.

How did you hear about this course?

SSC Courses Brochure: 1
Course Info Email from SSC: 8
Co-ordinator/Line Manager: 11
Colleague: 9
SSC Website: 2
Other (please state): 1 (work email), 1 (Sense Scotland)

What other CPD training would you like the SSC to provide?

Use of Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) books.
PowerPoint specific for PMLD.
All of the other courses that the presenter mentioned.(2) Follow up one to this with us all sharing where we are and sharing our stories.
Sensory play.
Sensory story examples using resources/materials.
PowerPoint training to use music/video.
Practical training on sensory stories for children with hearing impairments.
Practical sensory story sessions for hearing impaired children.
PowerPoint help!
Presenter doing a day on ‘choice’ as mentioned during today.