Bringing storytelling to life

On Thursday 22nd of February, Cassandra Wye, Professional Storyteller, visited Canterbury College to present a ‘Wriggling into Writing’ workshop.

This event was organised to thank both Early Years students and stakeholders for their hard work over the course of the year. Cassandra has taught nationally and internationally, combining a background in psychology, and circus theatre and dance in order to bring storytelling to life.

In a commitment to make storytelling accessible to all, Cassandra aims to break down barriers. She has worked with children from minority backgrounds, children with learning disabilities and children from war torn countries. Having become used to a lack of resources, language barriers and communicating with children of a young age, her approach to creating stories does not revolve around the end product but rather the process. She asks, how can we connect with children through storytelling?

Sharon Moss, Head of the Early Childhood department at Canterbury College, said: “We are providing an experience for students and stakeholders as a means to continue professional development (CPD). This is an event that ties in really well with World Book Day, and supports our objective to bring storytelling to the forefront in nursery settings.”

The Conference worked with participants as if they were the children themselves, teaching students and stakeholders how to interact with children through many different sensory methods. Attendees were taught the importance of repetition, how young children learn best through their bodies and how the use of a semi-circle allows children to ‘see’ a story forming as a whole.

Cassandra Wye, said: “I want to demonstrate how you can use all of the senses; audio, visual, kinaesthetic and tactile to empower children and create stories. We are looking at the story making process so that attendants can use this in their own nursery settings.”

Beth Jones, a Level 3 Childcare student, said: “This was a very interactive workshop. We used props to make up our own stories. It was really fun and this is definitely something that I will use in the nurseries that I work with.”

March 1st is World Book Day, a celebration of reading and all things books. This conference was a great way to champion sharing stories through creation and rumination. It has widened perceptions, and shared methods that will help to break though barriers that young, and sometimes vulnerable individuals, can encounter when trying to communicate.