LicketyLeap is a specialist drama-led early intervention programme for 3-5 year olds, their parents/carers and early years professionals. It is based around a participative ‘immersive’ play and takes place over 2 weeks.

In teacher evaluation of Primary One children at recent LicketyLeap at St Mary’s Primary, Maryhill:

100% showed improved Confidence with 60% showing marked improvement
90%  showed improved Social Skills with 10% showing a marked improvement
90% showed improved Use & Knowledge of Language with 40% showing marked improvement
100% showed improved Emotional Literacy & Resilience

Teachers evaluated children in the greatest need, many with EAL and ASN. This school also reported 94% family engagement in LicketyLeap, which became 100% once we’d delivered Porridge & Play, i.e. every child had parental engagement in the Storyplay programme.

What happens

Licketyleap is led by 3 highly skilled actor-pedagogues. The project is delivered in nurseries, schools (P1-3) early years centres, & family centres, prioritising disadvantaged communities and working in partnership with local authorities and third sector organisations.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we have children in the nursery whose lives have been changed by LicketyLeap” Head Teacher, Drumchapel

This project has consistent success with children facing high challenge, particularly those with EAL and ASN.

Session I: A 90-minute piece of immersive (participative) theatre ‘The Story of Margaret and Margaret’. The children journey through the bog, over the sea, into the cave and up the mountain with Bold Margaret and Worried Margaret to find their Heart’s Desire. Followed by reflective drawing. The session is filmed.

Session II (1 week later): Children share drama games, a ‘conversation’ developing the language to ‘tell’ the story of LicketyLeap and lead their own re-enactment of the story using a blanket. This session encourages the children to reflect, discuss and re-create the story, enabling them to take more complete ownership of their adventure with ‘Margaret and Margaret’, scaffolding it into their play at nursery and at home.

I believe that imaginative play through participative drama is crucial for child development but nursery schools have often struggled to find ways of building it into the curriculum. Licketyspit have found the answer and every nursery school they have been to will vouch I am sure for the success and significance of their achievement. Their drama of the two Margarets is quite simply the most important piece of instrumental art there has been for a very long time and every nursery school in Scotland could benefit from taking part in it.” 

Malcolm Chisholm, MSP, 2013

“Children are still – even this week being Margaret and Margaret. They even made a television/theatre using an old box to act out the story. GREAT!” 

Child Development Team Leader

Family Engagement

Parents/Carers attend the second half of Session II to hear all about the project and see some live performance by the children. They are shown excerpts of their child’s film and the actor pedagogues lead a discussion about LicketyLeap as a family resource and its relevance and value in relation to children’s development and well-being. Parents/carers are invited to join Licketyspit’s Children & Families Network for continuing dialogue, engagement and access to free family-centred resources, ideas, activities, opportunities, information and support networks.

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Lasting impact

LicketyLeap is highly complementary to current policy strategies and practice including GIRFEC, SHANNARI and Curriculum for Excellence and can feed into all nursery/school monitoring and evaluation practices. Key outcomes of the programme include improved confidence, social skills, problem solving ability, emotional literacy and resilience and use and knowledge of language.

All participating staff receive practical Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in preparation for the programme including full-scale LicketyLeap performance participation (where possible). Following the programme, Licketyspit leads reflective practice with staff, parents and children and produces a report.

“Quite simply the most important piece of instrumental art there has been for a very long time and every nursery school in Scotland could benefit from taking part in it.” Malcolm Chisholm, MSP 2013

Read the report