‘It takes a village to raise a child…   but if that child does not feel that they are part of the village, or does not feel ‘seen’ by it, then they will burn it down to feel the heat!’



Stories make us feel seen, and feel part of something bigger.  We have been sharing them for over 30,000 years, as we are hard-wired for story.  We are story-telling, story hearing, and story-carrying machines.

In this post-Covid era, where student absence is a major issue, where student behaviour can be problematic, where levels of anxiety and mental health issues are high amongst students and staff alike, it is vital that everyone in schools feels safe, secure and seen.



We can force students to attend school, and we can impose draconian rules and strict sanctions to improve behaviour… or… we can work to create safe environments, where amygdalas are regulated, where everybody feels connected, and where everyone (students and staff) feels like part of the school community.

Our half-day workshops are designed to train up school staff to deliver Story Exchanges in their settings.  Using US based Narrative 4’s core methodology, Story Exchanges are a great way of fostering:-

  • Empathy
  • Connection
  • Compassion
  • Community
  • Relationship
  • A shared sense of common humanity
  • An understanding of one’s own identity – Who Am I?
  • Improved capacity to cope with change
  • Improved capacity to cope with conflict
  • Improved capacity to bridge divides


An added bonus is that the prompts that are used can be used to explore any problems, issues, or key priorities that the school wants to tackle.  All of which can help young people to successfully navigate a whole host of critical life moments.  Prompts could target:-

  • Community
  • Peer Pressure
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Exploitation
  • Communication
  • Identiity
  • Bullying
  • Integrity
  • Resilience
  • Risk assessment
  • Delayed gratification
  • Grit

Another added bonus is that the connection to fellow story-exchangers, the vulnerability of sharing your story, the power of hearing your story born witness to (and bearing witness to others), creates a sense of feeling safe, secure and seen – which creates a strong connection to the environment in which the story exchange happened – the classroom, the hall, the school.  It makes school feel safe, and it makes participants feel secure and seen.

‘Story Exchanges are not a silver bullet, but they can be a great part of the arsenal to help our young people succeed!’




Each participant is given a story prompt topic in advance (this can be general or targetted to cover a specific issue) and asked to prepare a short story from their own life (something personal that resonates, but not private or triggering – this is not therapy)


Particpants are paired up (this can be random or targetted), and given 20 or so minutes to share their stories with their partner


Participants come back to the main group and retell their partners story, but as if it were their own.  They ‘Walk in their partners shoes’


The group are guided through a period of reflection about the experience and the story content that came up


Ideal for Primary, Secondary, Colleges, Universities and Alternative Provisions.

To find out more, to book a training session for your school, or to book us to come in and run one with your students, please email