Here is where you can find out all about Little Birds mini-residencies for schools. To book straight away, click here!
"The greatest thing you can give a child is the opportunity to do something great."
- Chief Rabbi on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day
Already seen our flyer? Click here to go straight to our online booking form.
...and all this for less than the cost of an author's visit for a day. No ongoing subscriptions, no travel charges, and no VAT. Just £300.
Since Autumn 2008, Little Birds has been Snail Tales' flagship "mini-residency" programme, inspiring a new generation of storytellers and story makers in UK primary schools. Children from year 2 and higher are guided through an in-depth exploration of their imaginations to pull out interesting characters, fantastical settings and intriguing plots.
Meanwhile, teachers discover how the magic of storytelling actually works, and explore how to use this knowledge to craft engaging and memorable lesson plans for all subject areas.
In this time of "financial austerity", it provides the best-value artistic experience for your school - especially since your personal contact with professional storytellers never stops after the one-off payment. Our online support at www.LittleBirdsClub.com can be accessed by children and teachers at home and school, providing advice and exercises long after we've left your classrooms.
And did we mention that your children could become famous?...
"Our children enjoyed producing and performing their stories. The instructors were able to keep them interested and motivated, and increase their confidence. The content was appropriate for the age group and I will continue to use the warm-up ideas in the classroom."
- Teacher, Class 2 (yr 2-5), Townley Primary School
"They absolutely loved each session. Chip is delightful and works well with children and teachers. I would recommend this type of project again."
- Head of Grade 2, Lakenheath Elementary School
"Our children were given creative freedom in a supportive environment which allowed them to explore their own skills creatively and in a different way to the usual classroom environment. They really enjoyed the performance aspect."
- Literacy Co-ordinator, Spinney Primary School
"Overall, the Snail Tales workshops were an interesting and innovative way of building children's confidence as well as showing them that all ideas can work or be adapted."
- Teacher, Year 5, Fulbridge Primary School
Chiefly: value for money! Even at the most basic level, the whole school benefits. All your staff receive 1 hour of storytelling INSET, up to 30 children take part in 5 hours of workshops with a real storyteller spread out over the whole week, and all participating staff and pupils receive never-ending access to a story-making website. Best of all, both workshops and website can lead toward theatrical fame! But the benefits are far longer-term than that...
Every teacher knows how engrossed children can be with a good story well-told. It is an artform older than cave painting, because it appeals to our natural creativity and ability to build up mental pictures. The audience is as much involved in creating the story as the teller - and its this sense of ownership that Little Birds expands upon to draw out the full benefits. It does this by easing children into becoming tellers themselves.
The excitement of story instils a desire to communicate, meaning that storytelling provides many practical skills of literacy. Its focus on mental picturing also exercises skills such as memory. Here's just some of the benefits teachers have fed back to us after Little Birds:
Although we do not force children to read or write, the natural enthusiasm for story usually inspires children to pick up a book or a pen on their own initiative.
Our basic price allows up to 30 children to have a week of contact time with a storyteller. You can allow more children in your school to have this experience, but many schools find they don't have to. The combination of the teachers' INSET, our lesson plan pack, and our unending online support means your staff can quickly assimilate our philosophies and exercises into their own planning.
As for those 30 children, the possibilities are entirely flexible. You could kick off a year 3's foray into Key Stage 2. You can offer a fresh challenge to your gifted and talented. You could nudge your upper-middle into the G&T bracket. We could work with your struggling writers to build their enthusiasm for picking up the pen. You can simply give a whole class the opportunity to develop their creative thinking. Or you can play around with the preceding sentences to your heart's content!
Since Little Birds began, the best children's stories from the workshops and the website have been adapted into a family theatre show, A Little Bird Told Me, which tours the UK to share the creativity of the nation's children with the whole country. See all the theatres and festivals we're visiting from now until Spring 2011 by visiting www.FlapYourFeathers.com!
Our theatrical performances give your children unbeatable pride in their work, and the potential to be contributing to a new generation of traditional storytelling repertoire. Move aside, Cinderella!