Children and families

My five year old was on the edge of her seat the whole time!

, Parent



Nurture a drama, play and story-rich environment in your school community, with Licketyspit's STORYPLAY. A 'tackling the attainment gap' intervention.  


STORYPLAY is a literal description for ‘theatre’ and ‘drama’. It essentially describes human interaction – sharing, re-telling, re-inventing or acting out things that have happened or stories we have heard or imagined! STORYPLAY is 'the stuff of life’.

Licketyspit knows that everyone is imaginative and creative. STORYPLAY makes it easy for participants to actively discover, explore and share their imaginations.

Licketyspit has a fantastic repertoire of stories developed with and for children. Licketyspit stories will fire the imaginations of your whole school community and can act as a stimulus for classroom activities across the whole curriculum!

STORYPLAY is based on the strong connection between actors and children – who are both experts at ‘play’! Playing with adults who take play as seriously as you do is irresistible for any child. Experiencing play alongside actors quickly gives parents the permission and confidence to play too! Licketyspit actors model equal engagement in their interactions with children. Many parents find this both liberating and accessible. Building a relationship with a child-centred theatre company like Licketyspit can enable a school community to unite and start playing together daily, in an equal space. This is an environment that will support and empower children to grow, flourish and attain.

What happens in STORYPLAY

- Engaging children, families and teachers in a programme of drama-led play and theatre experiences, which embeds a rich story and song-based creative culture in your school. This includes LicketyLeapPorridge & Play and BookPlay (in development).

- Raising attainment through increased confidence and social skills, improved emotional literacy and increased vocabulary.

- Sharing knowledge and skills with teachers and support staff to enable them to utilise and enjoy their innate creative capacity and bring it to their teaching and engagement with children, families and peers.


The STORYPLAY model can provide schools with a range of options to support increased attainment - from targeted interventions to a year-round programme of drama-led play and family engagement, stories, performance, CPD, learning activities and opportunities. We believe shared stories shape our culture. Licketyspit actor-pedagogues are highly skilled at facilitating inclusive engagement. Licketyspit empowers children by firing their imaginations and building their confidence, communication skills and emotional literacy. Our Children and Families Network offers sustained engagement with your families and staff to help foster a strong sense of community, support and solidarity. We have a wealth of evidence to demonstrate how this approach raises attainment.

 I believe that imaginative play through participative drama is crucial for child development. 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

What makes a Licketyspit STORYPLAY programme unique?

- Grassroots engagement. Directly engaging communities in their schools 

-  Vast knowledge and expertise in leading play with early years families (with particular experience in areas of multi deprivation)

- Knowledge and understanding of nursery and school environments

- Enablers of new and positive relationships between parents and educational establishments

- Creating an informal environment where everyone is equal (children/parents/carers/teachers) and feel safe to play and get to know each other – enriching a sense of community

- Knowledge that everyone present has the best interest of the child at heart and understands the benefits of play

-  We nurture those who are less confident yet willing to try

- Creating a child centred community

- Removing social anxieties, enabling inclusion

- Quickly earning the trust of those present


How can YOU access Licketyspit's STORYPLAY programme?

Please get in touch to have an initial discussion with us about your needs and what we can provide.

If you want to go ahead, we will discuss a detailed programme with you and provide a written confirmation of what we will do and when (contract).

We will confirm liaison arrangements and work closely with your lead member of staff to ensure the smooth running of the project.

We will also provide weekly updates on the project.

At the end of the project we will provide you with a short report with a summary of feedback from participants (children, parents/carers and staff).

Please rest assured that all our staff and associates adhere to our Child Protection policies and are PVG checked.

How much will it cost?

A year-round STORYPLAY programme and costs can be uniquely tailored in response to your needs and Licketyspit is happy to discuss any questions or queries you might have. We can offer taster sessions from £500.

For enquiries and programme costings please contact Virginia Radcliffe on 0131 332 0410 or email



Professor Tina Bruce CBE (Author-Early Childhood Education):

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.

Head Teacher Ann Moore, Canal View Primary, Wester Hailes, Edinburgh (Licketyspit Residency Nov/Dec 2016):

There was a huge increase in parental participation in school in an area where that isn’t easy ….it was so relaxed and so easy. They could see their children having fun yet you could see there was a lot of learning going on there. In areas like this, the data tells us the big barrier to attainment is the lack of vocabulary among children. A programme like this really addressed that – using words to describe things, using your imagination, using your creativity, and no ‘right’ and ‘wrong answers’. It fits in beautifully with the Growth Mind-set approach – trying things out, making mistakes is ok –it gave our children a lot of confidence and a lot of space to explore words, vocabulary, feelings, stories and that invaluable stuff that we really need, to make a difference. If we can intervene in children’s lives early enough to make a difference, this is where we have to start.

Creating the conditions where families could become so involved in it was absolutely brilliant. If we had done something just in school on our own, we wouldn’t have had that same take-up or feeling from people coming in. It is about that leveller. It’s not hierarchical.  It’s you coming in and playing alongside their children and them and giving them permission to do that, which is really important. 

STORYPLAYRuchill LLeap 2nd session


Saw Molly Whuppie – fantastic, best theatre I’ve seen in years. Thank you.  Parent
The Christmas Quangle Wangle had the children enthralled, captivated, amused (lots of laughter) and engaged.Teacher
Ducks on the hat, made a quack. Owls "whoo whoo" on the hat too. I liked when they moved their feet around. Snow came from the roof.East Craigs Primary School