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Making Friends Through Drama-Berry Hill Primary School

Corinna Brown, School’s Extended Services Coordinator:

The idea for this project came from Berry Hill Primary School children themselves. They wanted to have sessions where older or more experienced children could support others, to learn a skill. They wanted this linked to the arts but focused their discussions mainly about leadership, confidence, teamwork and making friends. So we applied for funding from The Lottery Community Grant (previously known as Awards for All) for tutor costs and transport costs to help us work with other schools, to set up shared After School Clubs. 

We have, with support from tutors from The Palace Theatre, Inspire Youth Arts Team and Bus and Birds Art, delivered Drama Clubs, Steel Drum Clubs, Art Clubs and Dance Clubs in three schools. Each Club started at Berry Hill. Children who have worked hard and proved to be, not only skilled themselves but also to have empathy and be supportive towards their peers, were offered the chance to travel to support another Club. We have then ferried children (and staff) to another school, either Asquith or Wynndale Primary Schools, to support the development of a new club with new children. 

We also delivered a taster sessions in drama and dance one Saturday morning at the Palace Theatre and Old Library Theatre, showing the children what they could be doing on a Saturday, in their own town. We have made clay puppets, recycled ‘bottle top’ butterfly and flowers, learned to play the steel drums, learnt dance moves and perfected drama techniques and games.

The project has been part of the Schools submission which has led to them securing Silver Artsmark Award. 

About us: Berry Hill Primary School in Mansfield has taken this after school club project to heart and many staff have taken part and joined in, supporting children to engage with different elements, despite many necessary changes taking place in the School.

The School has recently come out of the category ‘requires improvement’, so there have been many changes in the way classes and lessons are supported and delivered, as the new Head brought in leadership changes that would, in a very short space of time, turn the School around to now being a good school. 

“I like the drama games as they make me feel more confident”
“Showing the other children our play helped me feel more confident to perform it when the adults came to watch”
“I really liked the end of the play when the parents clapped, I felt proud of myself”
“I’ve never had work in an actual exhibition before. I really loved making my clay puppet. It was good to see it in Mansfield Museum window”

Quotes from the children of Berry Hill Primary School

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