So, the Tinsley Nursery Infants project came and went… weeks 5 – 10 happened and were so busy I didn’t get to write about them!
It was fantastic working in the school with such lovely, responsive kids, and passionate teaching staff.
We really made a difference with the drama too! At evaluation stage, what became clear was that the project worked in two very different ways:
1. For the children with limited English, it provided them with a safe space on a weekly basis to begin trying out their spoken English, and the shift in language acquisition was very marked. It went beyond speaking too, for many of the children, as they showed big improvements in their written work as well.
2. The space that drama offered in the classroom also allowed children who had more language to try their hand at directing. This was a boost to their leadership skills and their ability to interact in a group. We took the children’s ideas and made a short show based on what we’d done in class, and all the children performed to their parents and to the rest of the school. They showed clear improvements in their ability to perform, to stay still on stage, to project their voices and in just having the confidence to be out in front of their families and peers.
The teaching staff have reported to me that they are now all using drama more confidently in the classroom, and have repeated many of the simple exercises that we learnt together, changing the context to new topics and themes in their classrooms.
So, job done. It was a steep learning curve for me too (particularly learning how to use drama exercises with as little language as possible so that all the children could access them), and one I enjoyed a lot!
Onto the next project…