Story Making Sessions – Y3 to Y7
What will happen during the session?
You will arrive at Grimm & Co – Yorkshire’s only Apothecary to the Magical – where you will receive a personalised tour of the shop. Our story mentors will tell you the tale of Grimm & Co: they will introduce our mysterious boss, Graham Grimm, who alongside his sister Grizelda founded the apothecary in 1148 – just before lunch time. Your children will then discover the secret door into our imagination gym, where everyone (including teachers!) need to exercise their imaginations before climbing the giant’s bookcase to the writer’s pad. This is where the magic truly begins…
In our writer’s pad we create a story together – whilst being hassled by the voice of the unseen Graham or Grizelda Grimm. The Grimms are desperate for your class to create stories because imagination gives energy to the magical beings! Throughout the session they will provide provocation and feedback. It’s all part of the fun!
The “building blocks” of the story are created collaboratively by the whole class, while beginnings and middles are crafted in smaller groups with the support of a Grimm & Co story mentor. An illustrator creates the children’s conjured characters in front of their eyes, which helps ensure the class are providing rich description whilst remaining captivated with the outcome of their imaginings. Once the class have written the bulk of the story, each child will be challenged to create their own individual ending. Throughout this process they will benefit from one-to-one support from a story mentor. At the end of the session each pupil will receive a book with their name on as the author, and they will be able to leave down the beanstalk slide back into the apothecary – which stocks something for all pocket sizes.
“Cannot praise this session enough. After 10+ years in teaching it is by far the best trip I have ever taken pupils on. They were immersed and engaged from the minute we entered. Reluctant writer’s left as published authors and children who hate public speaking performed their endings. One girl we noticed was particularly engaged and has gone on to write stories for her siblings since the visit”
Y5/6 teacher, Rotherham
How will attending Grimm & Co benefit my class?
Grimm & Co aims to boost children’s attitude to learning, confidence, creativity, and courage through an innovative programme of interactive literacy workshops. Grimm & Co has worked closely with schools across Yorkshire to develop these workshops in order to meet the specific needs of local children, young people, and educators.
Through our story making workshops, we aim to:
- Kick start children’s creativity, with a key focus on engaging reluctant writers through complete immersion in a unique and magical story destination
- Grow children’s imagination and confidence. At Grimm & Co no idea is a bad idea, and we support all children to help them fearlessly unleash their imaginations.
- Help children value the importance of writing and develop a positive attitude to literacy, through the legacy of a published book that they can share with peers, teachers, and family members
- Develop collaborative skills as well as individual initiative, through the collective creation of the story’s “building blocks” and the celebration of children’s unique story endings
How will attending Grimm & Co benefit me?
Our literacy workshops have been developed in collaboration with teachers to help children develop greater self-confidence and self-respect; positive attitudes to writing, literacy and learning; new ways of thinking; and the courage to try new things.
The following responses to surveys asked open questions on what, if anything had been a positive impact on their students after visiting Grimm & Co.
- 100% of teachers said their experience had been positive for them and for their class – especially in terms of writing. Of these specific areas of impact include the following:
- 82% of teachers said that attending Grimm & Co had increased their students motivation to write and learn
- 69% of teachers said that attending Grimm & Co had built their students confidence and self-esteem
- 67% of teachers said that attending Grimm & Co had developed creativity, imagination and new ways of thinking in their students
Teachers who have previously attended workshops at Grimm & Co have also said that the experience has sparked their imaginations as well as their children’s, stimulating new ideas and approaches around curriculum delivery, and helping enhance their literacy programmes.
“It instilled confidence in more reluctant writers, it was exciting and engaging for the children”
Y3 teacher, Rotherham
“It was magical & inspiring, how engaged all the children were”
Y4 teacher, Durham
“James, who is extremely autistic and doesn’t enjoy writing was completely enthralled and hooked by the entire thing”
Y3 teacher, Barnsley
What is the class teacher’s role during a Grimm & Co workshop?
Story making sessions are delivered by Grimm & Co’s session leaders, with support from a team of trained volunteer story mentors. You therefore won’t need to do any teaching on the day! Instead, we encourage you to sit back with a tea or coffee to observe and reflect on how your class responds to the workshop. Seeing their teachers watching and enjoying the session can really help the engagement of the children and the dynamic of the group.
The Grimm & Co approach is friendly and informal, which means that we like it when a class gets excitable and enthusiastic about their ideas! The session leaders are trained in behaviour management, and are comfortable dealing with this when required. However, if there are any particular difficulties or incidents we would welcome your additional support.
We’d also welcome your help with handing out juice and biscuits during the refreshment break, and as well as any additional support you can offer if there are any children who might have particular struggles when writing their individual endings.
You’re welcome to take photos during the session – and please feel free to Tweet / Facebook / Instagram us!
What practical information do I need to know about the workshops?
- The sessions run from 9.30am sharp to approx. 12.15pm
- All sessions take place at Grimm & Co, 2 Doncaster Gate, Rotherham, S65 1DJ
- Sessions can be booked on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings throughout term time
- The session works best with ages 7-11
- Maximum class size is 30
- We provide mid-morning juice and biscuits for the children + coffee / tea for teachers (and biscuits!)
- As we are a charity we ask for a donation of £180 towards the cost of the workshop. This must be paid from the school’s budget; as a charity, a key part of our ethos is not to charge children directly to attend workshops at Grimm & Co. This can be paid by cheque or Grimm & Co can invoice your school.
- We regret that we cannot offer refunds on cancellations made within two weeks of the workshop date unless a suitable replacement can be found
- We have risk assessments in place in case you need to see them
- Packed lunches cannot be eaten at Grimm & Co. However, you can go straight on to the newly-refurbished Rotherham Children’s Library for your packed lunch and a tour to make a day of it. The library is five minutes’ walk from Grimm & Co. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to do this.
If I want to book a story making session, what does Grimm & Co need from me?
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know how many sessions you’d like to book for, an idea of some time periods that might work for you, and the year group(s) that will be attending. We will then respond to you with some suggested possible dates.
- Following confirmation of your booking we’ll send you a very short online form, setting out what you can expect from us and what we ask from you. This must be completed at least two weeks before your session date.
- We ask for a register of children’s names at least a week before you arrive so that we can prepare children’s name badges and the front covers of their books. Please send a class list including first names, surnames, and details of any additional needs / challenges to email@example.com.
- Please remind the class that our apothecary to the magical is a gift shop. All the profits made in our shop go straight back into our charity, funding more writing workshops for more children – which helps keep the cost of our workshops low to schools. We can also make sure that no child goes home empty-handed, regardless of whether they’re able to bring pocket money.