For the last few years I have been lucky enough to be part of the Creative Partnerships programme led by Bright Space in Birmingham both as a creative agent and as a drama practitioner.
For 3 years I supported two lovely primary schools, Erdington Hall and Nonsuch Primary to work with artists and develop their creative curriculum. Teachers and children worked with outdoor visual artists, digital media artists, Mantle of the Expert practitioners, dancers, gardeners and a whole host of other creative practitioners. I hope the schools continue to work creatively to engage their children and I have found it fascinating to document the work. So a big thank you to the staff and children at both schools for making feel so welcome and for making me a much better project manager. Won’t miss the CP data base though!
I’ve also been reflecting on what I’ve learnt working on the projects that I delivered as a drama practitioner and storyteller and it’s hard to boil it down in a blog but here goes:
• Children are more confident as writers, speakers and thinkers if they feel a sense of ownership over a story and feel like they have participated in its making.
• Using a mixture of process led drama and performance techniques supports different kinds of learners.
• Stories are made to be told!
• A child’s imagination is often richer than the pictures in a book.
• Never expect children to respond to a story in the same way.
• Unlocking the imagination is the problem not a lack of imagination.
• Stepping into a story should mean just that – we go in together and grown ups need to be in role too!
I’ve worked in partnership with wonderful teachers across Birmingham and Coventry to use drama and story to develop children’s literacy, speaking and listening, imagination, writing, confidence and play. So thanks to Whitmore Park, Stanton Bridge, St John Vianney and All Souls primary schools in Coventry and to Hillstone, Skilts, Sundridge, St James R.C, Clifton, Anderton Park, Lillina de Lissa Nursery, Washwood Heath Day Care and Kingsthorne for having me.