Written by Alice Kynman, The Stephen Joseph Theatre
Over the past year, The Stephen Joseph Theatre has worked with schools across Scarborough on a year-long Early Years Foundation Stage Arts Award project aimed at increasing the children’s enjoyment of music and reading, and developing their vocabulary, speech and language using arts-based activities.
Throughout the project, the outreach team have completed Arts Award Discover with 220 five-year-olds. The children have written songs, learnt the ukulele and created stories. They have written or drawn about their experiences in their arts logbook and shared this with their classmates. The log book activities were completed with the theatre’s OutReach team who ran weekly half-day sessions with reception classes (children aged four and five) in five local schools: Braeburn Primary and Nursery Academy, Friarage Community Primary School, Gladstone Road Primary School, East Ayton Primary School and Thomas Hinderwell Primary Academy.
Funded by the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area, the scheme sees practitioner Alice Kynman running fun music and language sessions with the children each week.
Here’s a reflection from Alice about her experience working with the children on their Arts Award journey:
“One child in particular has shown so much enthusiasm for the work and has continuously exceeded both my and his teacher’s expectations.
This child is five years old and non-verbal, so communication with teachers and classmates has been difficult for him, but each time we’ve brought out instruments or sung songs, he lights up and always goes above and beyond.
He eagerly joins in, asks for more instruments to experiment with and always knows all the signs alongside the songs. He has drawn and written about his favourite musical instruments, favourite fairytale characters and writers.
At the end of his Arts Award journey, he presented his work to the other children in his class. He made sounds, signed about the instruments and spoke in front of everyone. The students, teachers and I were incredibly impressed. He continues to progress in each session. I can’t wait to see what he achieves next.”
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