Dan has extensive experience working in community contexts, he works with everyone to help find, shape and share their stories. He has worked in primary, secondary, additional and complex learning needs schools, colleges, universities, mental health wards, children’s hospitals, care homes and senior centres. Below are just a few examples of the kind of work he can deliver, if you wish to discuss bespoke projects click here to get in touch.
Multi-Sensory Storytelling (MSST) is ideal for participants with additional or complex learning needs. Narrative is broken down into a series of interactive sensory experiences, giving all participants of all abilities an opportunity to experience the power of stories. From babbling brooks to dancing in fallen leaves, MSST is entirely responsive to the needs of people in the group leading to a fun, engaging and exciting process for everyone involved.
Dan has lead MSST sessions in a variety of contexts for organisations such as Sense Scotland, Enable Scotland, additional and complex learning needs schools, The Dash Club and many nurseries across Scotland. He also has extensive experience in training adults and professionals in this style of performance.
Dan’s work with homelessness has led him to develop a narrative based process of reflection, creativity and story sharing that explores the metaphorical link between giants and homelessness.
His work encourages participants to explore themes of isolation, community, identity and prejudice through the safety of a rich tapestry of giant folklore from around the world.
This work began following a project in collaboration with The Simon Community Scotland in which he gathered stories and reflections on their 50 year anniversary, helping to create a booklet and interactive exhibition based on the Giants Causeway. This work has continued to develop through a series of family workshops in a variety of settings.
Brave the Elements
Brave the Elements is a literacy, outdoor learning and pupil led play programme for primary schools.
Designed to encourage pupils outside of the classroom to engage in the four classic elements; Earth, Air, Fire, Water. The project attempts to inspire children to explore their natural surroundings through mythology, visual art and tactile experiential lessons. Here are a few examples of what a lesson may consist of.
Pupils will dig in the dirt, with their hands, their feet and discover the textures and consistencies that lurk within. Pupils will pull up grass and pile sods of earth on top of one another; they will kick, lie and roll in the mud, creating stories from the shapes and holes that they make.
Pupils will build a fire and be confronted with the bare bones of wood which they will shape into a character, or an object or a thing that will be thrown onto the fire at the end of the session. Pupils can build what they like but they must know that by the end the flames will consume it.
Pupils will leap, jump and rise as high as they can, on blocks, hills, benches and fences to achieve as much air as they can. They’ll pile structures as high as they can and then knock them down. They’ll run, feeling the air all around them.
Pupils will be soaked. They will play with water. In pools, from canons and in buckets, pupils will explore the nature of water what happens when you throw it, when you squeeze it, when you freeze it and when you get covered in it.
Every Brave the Elements is different and can respond to the needs of the school involved. If you’d be keen to have Brave the Elements in your school then contact Dan here to arrange a time to talk.
“Dan created a whole-school project for Cardonald Primary, specifically tailored to meet our identified development needs. He designed a project that brought together story-telling and outdoor learning and met with staff to provide high-quality training.
Over a two week period, Dan worked with each class to explore an element – water, fire, air, earth – outdoors. Children built a campfire, played in the mud and water and tried to harness the power of wind. All story-telling, artwork and collaborative learning was linked to the topic. Children foraged outdoors for materials made multi-sensory artwork, and worked together to create a school book to celebrate the topic.
Teachers, parents and pupils were all engaged with the project and found it to be a positive experience. Dan was very easy to work with and the coaching-in-context model he delivered has had a positive impact, as it has deepened our understanding of the areas of cross-curricular and outdoor learning in both a meaningful and sustainable way. Dan continuously reflected on the planned activities and risk assessed the changeable weather and subsequently adapted his plans to suit. Having Dan in the school contributes to our positive ethos and his enthusiasm and energy creates a buzz of excitement in the building. I would highly recommend the project to other schools.”
Sarita Rodriguez, Deputy Head Teacher, Cardonald Primary School