Making it Happen

Many thanks to Katie Baskeyfield, Teacher of Drama, for her guest blog post this week:

The session felt like a pause with the weight of expectation and possibility heavy in the air.  The question the students now faced was how to share their experiences with an audience. We began by returning to our 'human maps' in order to refresh our memories from the previous week and several discussions broke out between smaller groups. As a teacher this was fantastic to see - during lessons students are trained, subconsciously or not, to answer questions with facts, or at least points that are 'correct,' but through their work with Big Brum the students have become much more able to discuss their honest opinions and what 'might' be. Now they have become accustomed to this method of working the students, and I, are about to embark on a new challenge; devising.
 Although they have all devised work within their Drama lessons before they have not done so with so free a reign. I usually set clear parameters when asking students to devise for a number of reasons; to ensure students remain focussed on the task, to ensure a level of quality, to limit the length of time needed, to facilitate less able students, to curtail any behaviour issues which may arise etc. To get rid of devising 'rules' is therefore a challenge for all of us. I noticed that the students, who had become more and more independent throughout this process, were beginning to need a little more support and reassurance from Richard, Danny and myself. I have no doubt that this is also a pause before they boldly rise to the task at hand. 

Elizabeth kindly allowed Danny to interview her about her developing script, which is the first she has ever written. She discussed how she had always wanted to write something but, prior to this project, she had never felt inspired enough to do so. In the Drama studio we laid the alleyway on the floor and began to place key item on it, creating another 'human map' to help visualise where to go next. Saoirse took a lot of time to explore this new map and was never very far from a piece of paper and a pen, frantically scribbling in an attempt to get her thoughts out. Stacey was more vocal in this session, helping other pupils to express their thoughts and suggesting numerous ideas for our public sharing.

Next week I will be working with the group without Danny and Richard present. The students are comfortable with verbally sharing their thoughts so next week my job is to facilitate this talk into action.

Matt Hinks