Alastair’s educational credentials speak for themselves* and he has provided a range of training for schools, colleges, universities and other organisations. Alastair is always interested in developing new training sessions or programmes for organisations (including schools, colleges and universities).
The following training (which can be delivered across a series of sessions, or as a single (more concentrated) stand-alone event) is currently available:
Storytelling across the curriculum
(EY., Primary, Secondary, F.E., and Initial Teacher Education)
This practical training looks at approaches to using oral storytelling to support teaching and learning across the curriculum. With reference to supporting research, Alastair introduces ways of storying curriculum content, as well as the communication skills needed so that teachers and learners can communicate that content and help it to become embedded.
Developing literacy through storytelling
(E.Y., and Primary, and Initial Teacher Education)
Being able to both understand narrative and create coherent narratives is essential to the language comprehension that enables learners to comprehend and compose written texts. In this session, Alastair takes a research-informed approach to this practical training on using oral storytelling as a means to explore texts at depth, as part of the generating ideas stage of writing, and for providing a low-stakes context for exploring grammar and meaning.
Developing oracy through storytelling
(E.Y., Primary, Secondary, F.E., TESOL and Initial Teacher Education)
The 2021 Speak for Change report suggests that ‘Oracy is the ability to speak eloquently, to articulate ideas and thoughts, to influence through talking, to collaborate with peers and to express views confidently and appropriately. … It is to speech what literacy is to reading and writing, and numeracy is to Maths.’ In this practical training, participants explore the rhetorical, grammatical and structural elements of oral narratives as means of shaping and communicating ideas.
The Social Art of Language - Developing professional communication skills through storytelling
Vivian Gussin-Paley describes storytelling as ‘the social art of language’. In addition to the community-making aspects of storytelling, oral narratives provide frames within which other ways of communicating are contextualised. In this training, participants explore how stories are used to inform, explain and persuade, and (at the same time) they develop the communication competencies associated with oral storytelling.
Storying Place: Exploring the environment through storytelling
(E.Y., Primary, Secondary, F.E., and Initial Teacher Education)
Alastair has a deep interest in the way that place is given significance through story. In this practical session, he leads participants into ways of exploring location through narratives, including historical accounts, traditional tales as well as strategies to support learners in generating their own stories.
Identity and storytelling
(organisations and Initial Teacher Education)
Richard Kearney suggests, ‘When someone asks you who you are, you tell your story. … you give a sense of yourself as a narrative identity …’ . In this practical training, participants explore how the symbolic power of stories helps us both understand and shape who we are. In addition they consider the role of oral storytelling technique in communicating those stories of identity others.
Storying the Past: history through storytelling
(E.Y., Primary, Secondary, F.E. and Initial Teacher Education, organisations including museums)
Alastair’s experience as a consultant and resident storyteller for museum education services, and his writing on the topic of teaching history through storytelling, provide a foundation for this practical training which explores techniques for creating coherent stories built around artefacts, historical characters, events and themes.
Puppetry in the classroom
(E.Y., Primary and Initial Teacher Education)
In addition to incorporating puppets into his own storytelling performances, making puppets himself and teaching puppetry workshops in school, Alastair has been a regular contributor to the arts week at the Pädagogische Hochschule Thurgau in Switzerland, helping student teachers from around the world explore the potential of puppets in the classroom. This practical session will look at the different forms of puppet, simple puppet making, puppet manipulation and performance, and the application of puppetry to support the curriculum.
Drama pedagogy in the primary classroom
(E.Y., Primary and Initial Teacher Education)
This practical training focuses on drama as ‘as-if’ behaviour and explores how inhabiting new roles, or alternative worlds, can support learners in both understanding curriculum content as well as evoking an affective response to it.
Drama and mask
(Primary, Secondary, F.E. and Initial Teacher Education)
Following his initial teacher education, Alastair trained in physical theatre and mask and has taught mask-work to learners from KS2 to adult. In this session, Alastair will explore the potential of mask to both hide and reveal the person behind it, and can focus on full-face or half-face masks.
* Doctor of Philosophy (Surrey University), Master of Arts - Education (Winchester University), Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Learning and Teaching (London Metropolitan University) and Bachelor of Education with Honours (London University). Alastair is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.