It’s a new term, a new school year and to celebrate FINDING THE WILL has new publicity! Take a look at our new promotional film for schools here  

Pinchbeck East CofE Primary, The Tempest Workshop

Pinchbeck East CofE Primary, The Tempest Workshop

Currently there’s a bit of a debate going on about the value of teaching the Arts in schools. As music, drama and art (not to mention dance) are not ‘core’ subjects, they are automatically top of the list for budget cuts. Given the nature of the work FTW does in schools, naturally we oppose this (well you’d be disappointed if we didn’t!), but not merely because it impacts on the amount of work we do…….but because it impacts on the opportunities for a rounded, enriched education for children from all social backgrounds nationwide. We are privileged to work at the grassroots level with children who are learning new vocabulary on a daily basis. Some of them are learning to speak English, some of them are learning to believe in themselves enough to speak up for the first time, some are learning to get over being painfully shy. And some are learning that there is a whole side to their personalities and talents that they (and their teachers) never knew existed. If being someone else, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, playing a character, showing a creative side to your personality, can help this – that’s a good thing isn’t it? And then there’s the legacy of drama – it can kick-start a topic, spark reading and creative writing and engage children in a subject they might otherwise have had little interest in, whether that’s science, maths or history (or Shakespeare – we ought not to forget him!). Here’s a great example of this from one of our favourite schools, St Bartholomew’s in Coventry – a whole corridor devoted to ‘The Tempest” which remained in place for a whole year after our visit. The walls are covered in artwork and creative writing and every time the children walk to the school hall they see it – that’s achievement and self-worth right there.

The Tempest Corridor St Bartholomew's Academy, Coventry

The Tempest Corridor St Bartholomew’s Academy, Coventry

So to the Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds we say, think carefully. Our understanding is that you are passionate about social mobility “Everyone should have the chance to fulfil that spark of potential which exists in all of us. You shouldn’t be destined to travel a certain path just because of the place that you start.”  and therefore Mr Hinds we implore you to think outside the box. Education should not be simply about meeting targets and testing children because that way only a few will ‘have the chance to fulfil that spark of potential’. It’s about providing opportunities to flourish, opportunities to discover your strengths and build upon them and opportunities to realise your ambitions rather than just aspire to them. And that, as you well know Mr Hinds, takes resources (financial, human and material).

Gosh, that went in a direction I wasn’t expecting! As well as the new film for our schools’ work, click here for a new promotional film for our show ‘Naming The View‘. Our next performance is coming up on 15 September at Pound Arts Corsham, Wiltshire. It will be followed by a Q&A when we will be joined by a representative from Splitz Support Servicea registered charity delivering support services to women and young people experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Naming The View #coercivecontrol #notmyfaultNaming The View #coercivecontrol #notmyfault

And then we are back in schools (well to be fair we’ve already done a day of ‘Macbeth’ at Castleview Primary, Slough) with a week of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Whiteparish, Wiltshire followed immediately by a week of ‘Hamlet’ in Mexborough, Yorkshire. So lots to tell you about in the weeks to come. Meanwhile enjoy the tail end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn – and Mr Hinds, I know you’re a busy man, but let’s talk!

 

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