The Inside Story:

Back in the summer of 2019, something went horribly awry at the establishment known as Grimm & Co.  You see, the great Graham Grimm was mixing an unmarked potion with a herbaceous brew and KABOOM! He lost it, he lost his story!  It was gone, completely! We didn’t know what to do, so we called on the children and young people of Rotherham for help, and by gum did they deliver!

Grimm & Co’s Inside Story project saw the Crates of Conscious Commodities visit seven different schools across our region.  Children and young people  encountered an epic storytelling experience inside a sensory and immersive world. Through a range of literary text styles, physical performance, interactive design installations and props with a cinematic level of detail, the Inside Story placed the children and young people at the centre of the story making: as experts.

Thanks to funding from the education charity SHINE and creations by design directors Side by Side, pupils and students completed five chapters that uncovered Graham’s lost story.  Each one contained its own mission, language exploration and child-led approach.

Grimm’s Inside Story activities are built around 5 key chapters from within the storybook:

1) Portal Peril

2) The Empty Cliff Hanger

3) The Case of the Cast Away Chapter

4) Blank Page Perplexities

5) Closed Book Conundrum.

What the teachers said:

“I have learned so much myself and therein lies the first impact.  If you have captured the teacher, you have captured the enthusiasm to pass on to the children.”

– Teacher, Rockingham J&I School

The enthusiasm and wonder of the children when exploring the space; they absolutely loved it. [Seeing] the children loving learning and experiencing these amazing things is exactly the reason I went into teaching. Their reactions were priceless; I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

– Teacher, Herringthorpe Junior School

“Through having Grimm & Co in residency at Rockingham J&I School, we have completely changed the way we teach oracy and writing. From September, this approach will form a huge part of our School Improvement Plan with a direct focus on an inspirational stimulus. We plan to use this approach to teaching and learning within our Immersive Reading Environments and open spaces in school.”

– Head of School, Rockingham J&I School

“The Grimm & Co residency was an invaluable opportunity for pupils at Oakwood to reconnect with their imagination and develop their skills in a way that was universally appealing. When in the space, pupils were comfortable sharing ideas and eager to learn. For many pupils the space was more than an area for learning to take place, but more importantly somewhere that they felt safe and comfortable. In fact, many pupils who regularly present challenging behaviours in the classroom became animated in the installation and loved being able to learn in an unfamiliar way. Overall, the residency was an incredible experience for pupils and staff alike.  In the months following the residency, pupils continued to refer to this memorable experience in classroom discussions.”

– Lead Teacher on the project, Oakwood High School

What the students said:

“So in the average lesson for example…you sit down, you do work but in here, I’m able to work with my peers and find like, different words… to express my feelings. So instead of being in a normal classroom, writing on the desk, I’m able to look around and there’s different stuff. Like, instead of just books and pens, there’s teapots, potions and everything it’s just wonderful!”

– Student from Oakwood High School

“[The Inside Story] helped [my writing] because it was that good, you think you’re not even in the world anymore, you’re just in a different kind of world.”

– Keanen, pupil from Rockingham J&I School

Fiona Spellman, Chief Executive of SHINE, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to support Grimm and Co’s Inside Story project through our Bridging the Gap fund.  We are very excited to see the project launch in schools across Rotherham. This fantastic, fun-filled project will help to inspire a love for writing in so many children and we can’t wait to see the impact that it has on school attainment.”

The Inside Story immersive theatre space

A big thank you to our key funders ACE and SHINE and our Design Directors Side by Side.  Also our incredible Actor-Facilitators, Grace, Lauren, Geoff, Greg, Paul and Andy.



If you’d like to find out more about our creative writing activities in schools, see our Teachers page here.