Let your voice be heard! And we’re not just talking volume here, this is about having the confidence to get your message across, however small your voice is. The Autumn term is generally quiet for FTW and Autumn 2019 is no exception. Popping up on my social media Timeline this morning was a blog I wrote two years ago about recent Project Weeks at Montagu Academy in Yorkshire and St Botolph’s Primary in Peterborough. Whilst ever hopeful that our absence from these two lovely schools this year is only temporary, it gives me pause for thought and reflection. What exactly does FINDING THE WILL bring to the (time)table? Well Shakespeare obviously……but it is so much more than that.

Avid readers of this blog will know that, here at FTW HQ, we are very proud of our growing reputation for helping to raise self-esteem and improve confidence as well as listening and concentration skills. Teamwork and firing imagination also play huge parts in our Project Weeks. Encouraging a tiny, quiet voice of a child who is new to the UK, never mind the school, to become something more than a whisper is nothing short of magical. And the legacy (don’t you just love that word?) of reading, writing, engagement and working together long after we’ve left the building is also worth a mention. Well, that’s what we think we add, but do the teachers, governors and parents agree? Let’s see………

Romeo and Juliet Project Week 2019 Year 4 are performing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to a hall full of parents for the second time today. Authentic and high quality acting to be proud of. And just 18 months ago these children were in the infants!! Brilliant!
Head Teacher, Montpelier Primary, Ealing

Capulet backdrop - Montpelier Primary, Ealing
Capulet backdrop – Montpelier Primary, Ealing
Montague backdrop - Montpelier Primary, Ealing
Montague backdrop – Montpelier Primary, Ealing

Twelfth Night Workshops 2018 Just wanted to say a huge thanks again to you and Richard for another fantastic week of workshops! Not only did it really involve the pupils in the play, but it also inspired them to create some wonderful pieces of writing as a result. I look forward to seeing you again next year. English Subject Leader, Lyon Park Primary School, Wembley

Great Leighs Primary, Essex – Twelfth Night 2019

The Tempest Project Week 2017 Thank you for a truly wonderful week. Definitely the best yet. The way you both empower the children to participate, and achieve is wonderful and a credit to your skills and patience. The children got such a lot from it, and the staff were uplifted by seeing the children shine. A brilliant week. I hope we can book in again for the same time next year. “I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks and ever thanks” Head of School, St Bartholomew’s C of E Academy, Coventry.

The Tempest Corridor St Bartholomew's Academy, Coventry
The Tempest Corridor St Bartholomew’s Academy, Coventry

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Project Week 2017 One of the great pleasures of being a Governor is to watch the performances in which our children appear. This morning I was lucky enough to see the dress rehearsal of, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Having been a great lover of Shakespeare since the age of 11, I wasn’t sure whether this would add to or take away from my experience in this area. I can honestly say I have never enjoyed Shakespeare so much. The children were absolutely wonderful and obviously enjoyed what they were doing. Well done to the company for helping the children see what a great time we can have with Shakespeare. Brilliant! Governor, Sacred Heart Primary, Hindley Green, Wigan

Pyramus and Thisbe – Sacred Heart Primary, Wigan 2017

And the children? What do they get out of working with us? Well here’s some fantastic artwork for starters (with thanks to Christ Church School, Surbiton; All Saints Primary, Whiteparish; Montpelier Primary, Ealing; Heritage Park Primary, Peterborough; Icknield Primary, Luton; St Botolph’s Primary, Peterborough; St Bartholomew’s Academy, Coventry; St Chrysostoms, Manchester)

So as we gear up for return visits to schools in Slough and East Yorkshire, plus a new one in Manchester before Christmas, I’ll just take a quiet moment to reflect. I’m currently spending a lot of time out of schools in the corporate sector, helping adults to find a voice, to have more effective, confident conversations. I’ll be honest, I’m using a lot of the same techniques I use with children – “tell me….explain to me……describe” – helping people of all ages to open up and be brave enough to say what they want to say in a confident, assertive manner. We all have a voice, and we all have a right to have our voices heard. Helping children to express themselves (verbally or non-verbally) is what FINDING THE WILL does best.


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