Creating engaging sensory stories

Creating Engaging Sensory Stories for pre-formal, semi-formal and formal learners

Richard and Julie look at how to use sensory stories within the curriculum framework to create engaging learning experiences appropriate for pre-formal, semi-formal and formal learners.

They will explore ways of embedding multi-sensory experiences in stories and narrative demonstrating a range of sensory stories that include high tech, low tech and no tech sensory experiences; using the senses as the focus of pupils’ learning.

They will show how sensory stories can provide an engaging and inclusive platform for planning and delivering relevant and person appropriate learning experiences; and how the notion of ‘repetition with variety’ can be woven through the stories.  Examples of appropriate extension activities for sensory stories will be included.

Julie will share practical examples of how to differentiate a sensory story  for pre-formal, semi-formal and formal learners.

Richard and Julie will also look at how to plan and deliver a sensory story to the learners you work with.  A simple template will be shared for creating your own sensory stories and there will an opportunity to plan your own sensory story.


Delegates will:

  • Develop a greater knowledge of a sensory approach to learning and the relevance of learning strengths
  • Understand the role of sensory stories as a vehicle to deliver the curriculum
  • Be able to differentiate a sensory story to meet pupils’ learning needs from pre-formal to formal learners
  • Be confident to plan and create simple sensory stories using a template
    Be able to use a range of high tech, low tech and no tech ideas and resources to create sensory stories
  • Create a wider learning environment based upon a sensory story
  • How to enable non-verbal learners to create and tell their own story
  • How to build sensory memory through repetition and embed learning

Who is presenting?

Richard Hirstwood – Richard is the principal tutor for Hirstwood Training.  His extensive experience is based on practical knowledge, giving him insight into what works and what doesn’t, in multi sensory practice. Regular sessions with children and adults with autism and complex needs in a variety of multi sensory rooms enable him to maintain this level of excellent practice.

Julie Cowpe-Stephens – Julie is a very experienced Senior Specialist Teaching Assistant, who has had responsibility for supporting pupils in a pre-formal class as an unqualified teacher; developing behaviour & sensory support plans and specialist sensory curriculum development, including supporting teachers to to enhance stories/topics/themes using sensory approaches to learning.

Who should attend?

This will be appropriate for teachers and classroom practitioners from special schools and colleges, mainstream settings & those with specialist SEN provision and early years settings, and who wish to develop their use of sensory stories within the curriculum for pre-formal, semi-formal and formal learners.

When & where?

NCVO, London – 21 June 2019


£245 plus VAT per place including refreshments & lunch.

Further information?

An expanded agenda and speaker profiles are available at

Email –

Phone – 01524 42 63 95

Post – Hirstwood Training, 237 Heysham Road, Heysham, LA3 1NN