Storyplay Schools

STORYPLAY is year-round engagement with a school to nurture a child-centred, inclusive culture of stories, games, rhymes songs, imaginary play and performance which supports language development, confidence and emotional and social skills, teacher creativity and parental engagement.

Storyplay is an asset-based, children’s rights approach which uses inclusive drama-led play as a springboard into learning, emotional and social development. This is a high-impact, flexible programme of work, which supports teachers to use more creative relational approaches, supported by CPD and cross-curricular resources.

In a recent Storyplay Residency at St Mary’s Primary, 90-100% of children evaluated by their teachers showed an improvement or a marked improvement in confidence, social skills, emotional literacy and resilience and use & knowledge of language.

Parental engagement is a key element of Storyplay through intergenerational play and food sessions with families, visits to Assemblies and Licketyspit’s Children & Families Network, which enables children to share their Licketyspit successes online and engage with the company’s community output.

Ibrox Primary, Eoin Carey

There have been 8 Storyplay schools so far (click on name of the school to read more)

In 2021 we also brought Storyplay to schools and nurseries as part of our Storyplay for the Planet project:

And we regularly visit lots of other schools to do taster sessions for our community Porridge & Play projects.

Storyplay includes…

(click on the headings to read more about each strand)

Playcard Play

The Licketyspit Playcards are our tool-kit – a collection of games, rhymes, songs & imaginary play activities that foster child-centred inter-generational play, performance, story-creation & friendship. Children learn the games and take the cards home to remind them how to
play them.

The way we play is essential to what we play – everyone is seen, heard and included through a series of agreements to enable fair turn-taking and relaxed creative non-competitive inclusive play.

In school, ideally the whole school learns the Playcard repertoire and children receive Playcards to take home.
(280 children at St Mary’s RC Primary received Lickety Playcards in June 2018 and in August 70% of them told us they had played and taught others the games over the Summer holidays!)

Licketyspit Residencies work with individual classes establishing successful Playcard Play and using it as a stimulus for reflective drawing, talking and creative writing. This is celebrated online (where possible) with families, in whole school Assemblies and through exhibitions at parent’s nights and school public events.

Lickety-Playground Play Champions 

P5 & 6 pupils are trained to support and facilitate Playground Play across the school using the Playcard repertoire. With our Playground Play Champions, we also spend a lot of time talking about what makes good play and how we can play best together.

Storyplay has an accelerated impact, particularly on children with the greatest needs. As well as helping children overcome barriers to learning in the early years, we have had particular success with P5 & 6 children training to become Playground Play Champions and addressing barriers to literacy and social engagement.

Family Porridge & Play

Inter-generational Playcard Play for the whole family. Parents and carers join their children’s class for a Playcard Play session, followed by Reflective Drawing and the Lickety Art Gallery, where every participant is supported to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas about the session. Porridge & Play also includes a delicious and healthy meal round a table – of porridge or homemade soup, a variety of fresh fruit, crusty bread, tea, coffee, squash. These sessions support increased parental engagement in a school and empower children and adults alike to unlock their imaginations and build  relationships.


A piece of immersive theatre for two actors and ten children. LicketyLeap is now a well-established piece of early intervention, releasing children who – even age 3 – may have become stuck in inhibiting ways of being. Nearly 3000 children & families have now experienced LicketyLeap. Teacher evaluations suggests two-thirds show improved confidence, social skills, emotional literacy and literacy as a result.

Our immersive early intervention project LicketyLeap is the gold-star strand delivered to nursery, P1 & P2. Recent teacher evaluations on children in the greatest need show 88% improved Use & Knowledge of Language and Confidence, with 63% showing a marked improvement; and 63% improved Social Skills and Emotional Literacy, with 38% showing a marked improvement in the latter area.

Reflective Drawing

After every Storyplay session, children have time to do reflective drawing or writing, followed by the Lickety Art Gallery. Playcard Play is a catalyst for creative writing and children’s confidence is boosted, allowing them to overcome habitual anxieties about literacy because of a strong desire to express ideas ignited by the play session, and the success they have each experienced within it.

Click on the buttons below to find out more about the different strands that can make up a Storyplay Residency in your school!

Licketyspit’s Children & Families Network

Offers families sustained engagement with Licketyspit.

It will increasingly become a gateway to other family friendly activities and foster a national community of families supporting each other by sharing ideas and experiences.

Licketyspit wants to open doors to imaginary playworlds to unlock the limitless possibilities of children and for child-focused theatre and drama-led play to be part of everyday life for every child!

Professional Input

Click here to download the LicketyLeap report

“I am so delighted to see that W engage in a session like this and to see that he has taken it back into the classroom. I was watching [from my office] as they played the monster’s game and even though he is much smaller than the others he was right in on the action. If you were to look at adverse childhood experiences he has experienced them all. A couple of years ago he would have refused to join in with something like this… I’m excited to see where this collaboration goes for him.” Depute Head Teacher

“Its fantastic to see how the children interact with their parents, full of surprises” P1 Teacher

“Much more confidence at offering answers and ideas” P1 Teacher

“Really fantastic session. The kids have been really engaged and they don’t normally. Certain ones in particular. Absolutely fantastic drama skills which I’ve not seen before at all so that’s really come out of them today” P4/3 Teacher

Parent feedback

“I have never before had a chance to spend quality time with one of my children at school like this. It’s really wonderful” Mum

“A very good idea for our children and even for the adults to develop our imaginations.” Parent, P3

“C hasn’t stopped talking about it for the past three weeks… Every morning he was asking ‘Are they coming back today?’ and telling me about playing in the sea and the bear.” Mum, P1

“It’s so nice. I feel so enjoyment a lot. This good for kids confidence as well. I like to join them thanks” Mum, P6

“Really enjoyed the last two sessions with Licketyspit. Was really interesting to see what happens, was great to see the kids/adults all having fun. A seems to have enjoyed it was great to see him have more confidence as he tends to shy away.” Parent, P1

Expert Opinion

The work of Licketyspit is of a depth and calibre, which is rarely found. The more parents and practitioners understand and act on the work of Licketyspit, the more young children will be given educational experiences which will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

Professor Tina Bruce CBE Early Childhood Education author & Licketyspit Patron & Froebel expert.

How can you access STORYPLAY?

STORYPLAY programmes and costs are designed in collaboration with your school to meet your needs and budget. For an initial discussion about how your school can become a Licketyspit STORYPLAY school, please contact Virginia Radcliffe on 0741 380 0342 or email

Download the Storyplay Schools Brochure here.