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Closing the attainment gap at school and at home using child-led, playful, interactive learning.

Tales Toolkit for Families

location_on United Kingdom
Disadvantaged children often experience poorer quality interactions with parents/teachers. Research found a gap of 30 million words heard by children of different backgrounds by the age of three. Tales Toolkit trains teachers and parents to engage in quality interactions with children, and through a simple storytelling structure, helps build child-led, interactive, playful, creative learning.
I have implemented ‘Tales Toolkit’ into the EY classrooms at two different Primary Schools. After 28 years in Primary teaching, it is the resource that has had the biggest impact on my practise.

Katy Copeland - Leader of Learning for Early Years, Sandbrook CP School


HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Kate Shelley on April 7th, 2021
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
30 000
Updated on July 16th, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

To address the attainment gap between children entering school, and address low levels of language, social emotional skills, literacy and creativity in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Reasons for the gap are many, and the gap is growing, and the greatest factor is the difference in the frequency and quality of interactions that children experience in the early years of their life.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Tales Toolkit provides interactive, child led resources all using easy-to-remember symbols to represent the four story-structure elements: Character, Setting, Problem and Solution. Our kits give children the independence to create stories around their interests using anything to hand; a conker, a Spiderman toy, a picture of the teacher…the world is their oyster!
Our package is supplied to schools and EY settings on a subscription basis. Any member school can enrol as many staff, and as many parents, in our online training programme as they like, and provide them with resources and ongoing CPD.
These resources and training are provided with on-going support to ensure progress is made across many areas of learning. We’ve worked with top experts to develop the training and hold an ethos of play, communication and developing quality interactions at the heart of our work. Tales Toolkit offers a play-based, adaptable, creative resource that requires little or no planning or paperwork.

How has it been spreading?

In 2018, Goldsmiths University of London released a report showing Tales Toolkit had a significant impact on children's language and communication, social skills, creativity and problem solving and closed the gender gap in literacy.
Feedback from schools in the report highlighted the difference made for children with SEND, EAL and eligible for Pupil Premium.
2019 we won a grant in partnership with Goldsmiths University, the OVO Foundation and the IES, to develop parent training.
Tales Toolkit has won many awards including Teach First Innovation award, Educate, Teach Early Years Award and two gold Nursery World awards. 
This year Tales Toolkit received funding from The Mercers Company in the form of an Early Years Special Initiative Fund.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Simply contact We can chat through the steps necessary to get your school or setting signed up!


Achievements & Awards

April 2021
Innovation page created on

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