Reflecting on Term 1
Last half term at Unique Voice has flown by! For her latest blog, Sarah takes a look back at the past two months to reflect on everything that’s been going on since the start of this academic year. This term has been undeniably busy with Me+You and Me+You=4eva seeing hundreds of children, several new schools taking up the In School Drama scheme and After School Clubs continuing to run in many schools.
I’ll be honest, when I received my timetable for last term at the end of the summer, I thought I’d probably be teaching imaginary classes in my sleep, pass out from exhaustion or revert to a gibbering mess of lines and songs we teach during some of our sessions. Thankfully, not only has my brain remained intact and my body survived, I’ve also had one of the most enjoyable few weeks of my working life.
It’s hard to say which service I enjoy delivering most; they’re all so different and each one brings out different responses from the children whilst requiring a different approach and use of a leaders skill set. More often than not I find myself changing my (metaphorical) hat in the car from one school to another to ensure that I’m prepared for the next part of the day.
The tour is always great fun, and I love the range and variety of children it allows us to visit. Of course on these single visits it is imperative that the message we need to deliver is portrayed to the children within the limited time, that we engage them fully in the session and that we allow them to explore the themes as much as they need to whilst leaving them with the seeds to continue their own conversations and discussions after we’ve left.
After School Clubs and In School Drama lessons allow a real chance for us to see the children’s individual developments, they allow us the luxury of tailoring the sessions further to support the specific needs of each class as we work with them over a 6-12 week period. I can’t articulate how much joy it brings me to see these developments; whether it’s that a group has created some outstanding work, or that an initially painfully shy child has stood up in front of their class and shared their work- seeing them grow and flourish is immensely rewarding. In fact, not a day goes by where I don’t leave a school with a smile on my face (and what more can you really ask for than that?!).
But something else that has undoubtedly increased my enjoyment of this term is the rest of the Unique Voice that I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside. In many ways the Unique Voice team is idyllic; not only do I have the pleasure of working with a variety of brilliant, talented and often hilarious individuals, but the way in which the team has been compiled and supported has lead to and incredibly supportive, rich and diverse ensemble of practitioners. All U.V leaders have different strengths, tricks and methods which I have learnt from, and either used or adapted in my own work. Regardless of which team member I’m with on any school visit, I feel safe in the knowledge that the unity, understanding and communication between us will only enhance what the children are able to take from the session. (And that I’ll have great fun in the process!)
Whilst I’m not wishing away half term (that would be foolish!), I cannot wait to jump back into this term. With the launch of the Triple R tour against bullying just around the corner I don’t doubt that this term will be busier than ever and that it will see several more fantastic experiences working with children to improve their understanding of bullying, helping them tackle the issue head on in their schools- but I’ll save more on that for another blog!
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