After spending five years in the same school with the same peers and teachers, going to a new school can be scary. It can be particularity challenging when there's only 20 other pupils in your school and you are moving to a school with fourteen times more students. Less confident children can get lost in the process. We want to use theatre and performing arts to help pupils face these fears and look forward to the new experiences.
From our Northumberland home, November Club dreams of a world where everyone can contribute to and experience extraordinary and imaginative performances that touch the heart and challenge thinking. Inspired by our 2020 touring production, Lost, Found and Told: New Tales of Northumberland, we’re aspiring to work with 3 rural Northumberland schools (in Ford, Norham and Lowick) to deliver a storytelling project that supports Year 4 pupils in their preparation for transition from first to middle school. The rural first schools we will be working in are small (22-68 pupils), and children will transition to middle schools in Berwick-upon-Tweed with up to 320 pupils.
The project will be delivered June - July 2020, starting with a live whole-school performance followed by a series of workshops for Year 4 pupils. We will use visual storytelling as a vehicle to explore the prospect of new journeys; what physical tools and emotional resources might be needed when stepping out on a new adventure? What challenges might we face, and how we can overcome them?
The children will be supported to explore scenarios through visual art, creative writing and singing. The delivery framework will support pupils to develop and contribute their artistic ideas and make collaborative decisions, with the aim of supporting pupils’ resilience, confidence and independence. In the process they will learn something about themselves that they’re able to keep with them on their own upcoming journey, and develop an awareness of how they might support others’ in their journeys.
Year 4 pupils from each school will come together for a joint celebration event in early July, where they will share their stories, characters and adventures with invited family and friends.
The children also will be supported to achieve the Discover Arts Award as part of the project.
A bespoke CPD session will enable teachers to explore the use of visual storytelling techniques, and develop their skills and confidence to utilise them in the classroom.