A week of creativity and imagination; the power of story telling

A week of creativity and imagination; the power of story telling

Cherwell Theatre Company joined Year 6 for a fantastic week of creative workshops that gave different experiences to tell a story and different sets of tool that pupils can use to tell their own stories – through drama, sketches, illustrations, puppetry and animations.

Theatre workshop

With the focus of transition, pupils discussed different scenarios where transition and change happen including the move from primary to secondary education. Creating characters, freeze frames and flashbacks our pupils gave feedback to one another on the message being portrayed.

In their follow-up workshop, Chestnut class pupils worked with illustrator Tom Cross, a visual storyteller, on telling stories through animation. Discussing scale and perspective, pupils discovered that scale is key. Tom’s message of ‘Tell a good story’ came through the session – through the drawings that the children created and the animations that they produced. Isobel asked Tom about how he got into illustrating. Tom told us that he made an animation with an orchestra in London and that he had found writing difficult as a child but found that he could tell his stories through art and drawing.

Oak Class’s follow-up session was focused around bringing stories alive through puppetry. They had a wonderful day with the Cherwell Theatre Company and Paul Batten working on shadow puppets. The children wrote a simple story and then designed their characters, carefully thinking about how to portray their characters using only silhouettes. All of the children then got to have a go with the light box, making their stories come to life!

Pupils reflected on their experiences from the week:

Denisa: I really built my confidence and directed my team.

Jonathan: At first I felt embarrassed, but then I enjoyed making up voices for my character.

Julia: I really enjoyed the freeze frames and how we got to work with different groups and different ideas. I have learned how to start a simple shape that you can then turn in to a whole story. An amazing story can start with one simple shape!

Charlie: I learned that I can draw!

Alex: I learned that making a flip-book is fun!

Cairo: I have learned that I CAN use my imagination!

Isobel: I loved that the sessions have been so different; they are not what happens every day! The sessions kept me so engaged because they kept moving on and evolving. Tom and Tristan thought about the energy – how we were enjoying the sessions and left us to really explore ourselves. We had lots of choice.

Miss Gooch reflected on the sessions: What really struck me was how engaged the children were and how I watched their confidence blossom. Because there was no right or wrong and we have an ethos of it being ok to make mistakes, the pupils really did have a go! They learned how you can tell a story with pictures, animation and puppetry and how this can be a really powerful a positive form of communication.

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