Kevin Graal talking tales
Kevin Graal news: Jerwood Gallery

Kevin Graal – children’s storyteller

NEWS

Autumn & Winter 2018

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NEWS schools

Video clip: Early Years, Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2 (01:02)
© 2018 Sir William Burrough Primary

School visits

Kevin’s busy schedule of school visits continues to be hugely varied during the first terms of the new school year: from storytelling performances for the whole school to story-writing workshops for targeted Year Groups.

Kevin’s foremost aim during a school visit is to foster learning through playful engagement with the spoken word. Here's a short video clip with highlights of a recent 3-day storytelling project - full of laughter and joy - in the wonderful Sir William Burrough Primary in East London, where creativity is at the heart of the curriculum.

NEWS projects & events

Kevin Graal news: Marianne North Gallery, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

After the success of Sunday Stories during the summer (celebrating the re-opening of Kew's refurbished Temperate House), Kevin is telling a new selection of botanical tales throughout the Autumn in the Garden’s stunning Marianne North Gallery surrounded by more than 800 paintings by this intrepid botanical artist of the Victorian age.

The Remarkable Tale of Prince Unexpected

Inspired by a Polish folktale, the premiere of this musical story performed by the Barbican Piano Trio with a text and narration by Kevin and music by composer Joseph Phibbs was very well-received. A performance in Walton Oak Primary School - whose recorded children's voices feature in the composition's overall soundscape - was noticed in the Times Educational Supplement in a glowing article: Polish to English: how one school is bridging the gap. There will be further concert hall performances in 2019 and the musical score and text will be published by renowned music publishers G Ricordi & Co.

Video clip: The Remarkable Tale of Prince Unexpected at Walton Oak Primary School (01:12)
Photo: Premiere at Frinton Festival in Frinton-on-Sea
photo: Claude Darmon

NEWS training

Kevin Graal news: library training

Librarians & library assistants

Devising and delivering a whole-day of training for frontline library assistants and children & young people's librarians as part of Spine Festival 2018 - an annual programme initiated by Apples & Snakes, the leading UK organisation for performance poetry and the verbal arts.

Early Years

A half-day training workshop - part of a wider training and action-research project devised by East Sussex Standards and Learning Effectiveness Service - for Early Years Foundation Stage teachers and early years practitioners to promote storytelling and creativity in early language development, and to improve participants' storytelling skills.

Kevin Graal news: early years training

NEWS early years

Kevin Graal news: library training

Little Adventures at Jerwood Gallery

Working with local Children’s Centre volunteers, Kevin has recently launched Little Adventures - Jerwood Gallery’s brand-new early years programme featuring a monthly session of stories, songs, rhymes and hands-on creative activities inspired by the Gallery's collection of artworks and its breathtaking setting beside the sea in Hastings.  

Museum Minis at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery

After the popular success of Here There & Everywhere - a series of summer storytelling sessions drawing on folktales, legends and myths from around the world - Kevin has now been invited to devise and deliver Museum Minis, a new programme of monthly creative sessions for toddlers - with stories, songs, rhythms and rhymes inspired by the museum's wide-ranging collection of artworks and artefacts.

Kevin Graal news: library training
NEWS public storytelling events

Kevin lists his public storytelling events on Twitter @KevinGraal

For more information visit Kevin’s Twitter web page:

twitter.com/kevingraal

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NEWS by email

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PREVIOUS NEWS

Spring & Summer 2018 schools

Kevin Graal news: school workshops

New workshops

Kevin’s work in schools in the first three terms of the year is richly varied with topics ranging far and wide: from the animal tales of Beatrix Potter to the 1960s space race between America and the Soviet Union! New workshops focus on developing fluent use of descriptive language and transforming story texts into playscripts (for Key Stage 1), and creating atmosphere and writing from a character's point of view (for Keys Stages 2 & 3).

Book Week

During World Book Week in March, Kevin helped to celebrate the magic of stories and the power and beauty of words with well over a 1000 children and young people in schools in Croydon, Haringey, Sevenoaks, Eastbourne and Bexhill-on-Sea.

Kevin Graal news: Book Week

Video clip: Early Years Foundation Stage 00:30
© 2018 Sir William Burrough Primary

Storytelling for Early Years

Here’s a short clip of storytelling sessions with Early Years Foundation Stage children in Kevin’s favourite school - the brilliant Sir William Burrough Primary in Limehouse, East London, where music, storytelling and dance are at the heart of the curriculum. The emphasis of Kevin's sessions here is on interaction and involving the children in the story-making process - from joining in with action-songs to role-playing scenes from the story and predicting story outcomes.

Spring & Summer 2018 projects & events

Kevin Graal news: Sunday Stories at kew

Sunday Stories at Kew

To celebrate the opening of the refurbished Temperate House, Kevin is researching and performing a series - throughout the summer from May to September - of fun and interactive storytelling sessions featuring tales from temperate lands at the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Kevin Graal news: British Library Legends

Library Legends

A reprise of Kevin’s popular family workshop at the British Library in London, where he presents a close-up look at some of the library's legendary holdings: from books, stamps, maps and manuscripts to treasures of the sound archive - all with extraordinary stories to tell.

Kevin Graal news: Hastings Museum

Here, There and Everywhere

Kevin is busy undertaking research for a series of summer holiday storytelling sessions at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, where he will be exploring traditional stories linked to images and objects in the museum's amazing international collection: from a colourful Japanese print to a rare Hawaiian feather cloak.

Audio clip: The Remarkable Tale of Prince Unexpected 01:37
Extracts from 1st rehearsal

The Remarkable Tale of Prince Unexpected

A musical story for piano trio and narrator with text - based on a Polish folktale - by Kevin and music by award-winning composer Joseph Phibbs. The piece was premiered at the Frinton Festival in Frinton-on-Sea and Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre in Walton-on-Thames. You can listen here to short extracts recorded during a first rehearsal with the Barbican Piano Trio in February this year. The musical score and text will be published by renowned music publishers G Ricordi & Co.

Spring & Summer 2018 early years

Kevin Graal news: Making it REAL

Making it REAL - Raising Early Achievement in Literacy

A project devised by the National Children’s Bureau involving a partnership between early years professionals, arts practitioners and cultural organisations. Working closely with small groups of toddlers and their families, Kevin and his partners are exploring 4 strands of literacy - books, oral language, environmental print and early writing. Kevin's main focus is on modelling the key role stories can play in children's social and emotional development.

Tales for Toddlers

Kevin continues to contribute to this popular series of monthly activities for very young children and their parents and carers at the De La Warr Pavilion, a masterpiece of modernist architecture on the Sussex coast. Sessions are linked to current exhibitions of artworks in the building's gallery spaces and are designed to nurture creativity, communication and confidence.

Kevin Graal news: Tales for Toddlers

Video: Five Little Peas 00:57
From Playsongs Rhyme Time © 2017 Playsongs Ltd  

Publications

Last year saw the release of Playsongs Rhyme Time, a series of downloadable recordings of fingerplays, tickle rhymes, knee bouncers, rocking songs, peekaboo games and lullabies for babies performed by Kevin with music by award-winning composer and producer Stephen Chadwick. This year the publishers Playsongs Publications are also commissioning short animations to accompany some of the rhymes and songs. Here's one of the animations. You can see more of them in the early years section.

Winter 2017-18 schools

Kevin Graal news: Creation Myths

Creation Myths

Working with Year 7 pupils on a STEAM project (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) investigating creation myths on the theme of Light.

Kevin Graal news: Curriculum Topic

Curriculum Topic

Exploring through stories the invention of human flight as part of Marvellous Mechanics, a Year 2 curriculum unit encompassing science, and art and technology topics.

Kevin Graal news: Playscripts

Playscripts

Using the Horrid Henry series of children's books by Francesca Simon as a starting point for a 3-day project with Year 3 classes on their curriculum topic of Playscripts.

Kevin Graal news: Space stories

Space Stories

Helping Year 8/9 pupils to bring to life stories about the 20th Century Space Race and prepare them to present these stories at a celebratory STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) festival in East Sussex.

Kevin Graal news: Norwich School

Creative Writing Day

Working with Year 8 pupils at Norwich School to produce and share a piece of creative writing inspired by two gruesome traditional tales!

Kevin Graal news: Brent Libraries

Library Visits

Presenting an interactive celebration of stories, songs, rhymes and games from around the world as part of a series of invited primary school visits to libraries in the London Borough of Brent.

Winter 2017-18 public performances

Kevin Graal news: De La Warr Pavilion

Tales for Toddlers - stories and creative activities for pre-school children and their families - at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea.

Kevin Graal news: Polka Theatre

Stories and songs for the Polka Theatre’s World of Music & Stories programme.

Kevin Graal news: Bexley Book Buzz

A day of storytelling for Bexley Library Services as part of Bexley Book Buzz Literary Festival.

Kevin Graal news: British Library

Storytelling at the British Library as part of an Activity Day exploring Harry Potter: A History of Magic, an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

NEWS by email

Kevin sends out a quarterly email newsletter.

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