“I think the children are far more likely to pay attention and take on board things said by Peer Educators more so than adults as they make it seem more relevant.”
Teacher, Topcliffe Junior school
The Play House has an established relationship with Castle Vale secondary school where for the past five years it has supported a group of Year Ten pupils to devise and deliver their own participatory theatre-in-health-education programme for local primary schools. The project takes place as part of the students’ work experience placement and has been funded by the Life Education Centre, but this funding draws to an end in 2008.
The peer education project takes place over a two week period and explores issues surrounding relationship education and the transition from primary to secondary school, both from the perspective of the year 10 participants and the year 5 and 6 pupils who will receive the completed performance. In previous years the students have also explored issues relating to drugs and alcohol awareness. The year 10 students spend time being trained in participatory drama techniques in order to devise a drama workshop session for years 5 and 6 children from local feeder primary schools, a process which also includes research in one of the primary schools. The project culminates in a tour of the participatory drama workshop in four local primary schools.
The project supports the year 10 students in:
- developing skills in co-operation, negotiation and communication in order to forge professional, productive relationships.
- acquiring, developing and practicing performance, devising and facilitation skills in order to create a piece of participatory theatre.
- responding to the needs of the year 5/6 pupils
Over the course of the project the year ten students work with approximately 150 primary school children at St Gerrard’s RC Primary school, Chivenor Junior and Infant School, Pegasus Primary School and Topcliffe Junior School.