Anti Bullying – Triple-R 2018 – Creativity In The Classroom

With our anti bullying Triple-R tour coming to a close we would like to thank all schools that were involved. Our team were blown away by contributions children made in every session and the empathy, kindness above all the respect that they displayed. #ChooseRespect

Here are some words about the tour from one of the UV team:

 

No matter who you are or what profession you choose, everyone has a moment in life that makes them think “How exactly did I get here?”

I had this experience a few days ago, standing in a school hall wearing my flower headband, trying to figure out why we couldn’t get the sun to make any sound (it was the wrong cable). It occured to me that this situation was a little different to most people’s morning challenges.

Although admittedly it can be uniquely weird and wonderful at times, theatre in education is a fantastic tool for learning and creativity. The last two weeks I’ve spent working on Unique Voice’s annual Triple R tour have really proven this point. To celebrate anti-bullying week, we have been travelling around Bristol primary schools delivering two specially created shows to KS1 and KS2 students. The shows, designed to explain to children what bullying is and how to deal with it, are fun, high energy and at times very touching. From an acting perspective, it took a little bit of experimentation to figure out what was a bit too scary for the younger kids, and how not to seem like complete losers to the older ones, but I think by now we have the balance about right! There is something really special about entertaining large groups of people for a living.

However, by far the most fulfilling aspect of the tour has been seeing the children’s responses and hearing what they have to say. We’ve had in depth discussions in class about how we can choose to respect each other, from helping someone who has fallen to showing politeness to someone who isn’t being kind to us. Above all though, the children have really grasped what the impact of bullying can be on the individual, identifying that it can make us feel sad, isolated and frightened. I’ve always believed that we don’t give children’s ideas and experiences enough attention, and this tour has really demonstrated the children’s capacity to be thoughtful and empathetic individuals.

It has been really fantastic to see the children get excited about being creative and having an experience outside the parameters of an ordinary lesson. The brilliant thing about theatre in education is not just that it’s exciting and memorable for the children – it gives the children a chance to express their feelings and opinions through a different medium. It creates a space for the children to be brave and to make mistakes, and it is humbling to see individuals coming out of their shells and feeling comfortable to express their thoughts through art. Even when this isn’t the case, the similarities between theatre and play are striking, and the kids always seem to be having fun regardless. Don’t we all learn better when we’re having a good time?

So far, the tour has been a huge success and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to the final week. I feel like both we and the children we’ve worked with have benefitted hugely from this experience – bring on week three!

 

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