Theatre in education is an important part of learning for children at Newington Community Primary School in Ramsgate, with visiting storytellers and performers bringing tales, legends and history to life.
Head Teacher Cliff Stokes believes it is particularly crucial during the pandemic restrictions that his school operates as normally as possible giving pupils every opportunity to experience the widest educational resources possible.
He said: “Although times are challenging we believe it is vital for our boys and girls to enjoy our usual broad curriculum as best as possible – and that includes extras such as visiting theatre groups.
“This is highlighted by the recent open air performance that took younger pupils on a spell-binding journey with a shy little mouse that sets out to find its courage and its roar.
“It was a wonderful production that really entranced our younger children. It was beautifully performed and it encouraged them to explore their thoughts and feelings on many themes.
“Our staff also linked the show in with a number of learning activities to enhance its value to their pupils.
“Theatre in education is very valuable and it really helps add another dimension to classroom learning. LAS Theatre performed six shows outdoors to our class bubbles in a fully Covid-secure setting.”
Boys and girls from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 were engrossed by the story of The Lion Inside performed by LAS Theatre in the school grounds.
Teacher James Bennett said: “The show ties in to Newington’s core values of grit, curiosity, zest, versatility and collaboration in its telling of the story of a mouse who wants to learn how to roar. “
Pupils have also enjoyed classroom work around the story including hat-making, Personal Social Health Education lessons around individuality and personal strengths, and character descriptions and creative writing in English.
Mr Bennett added: “The children really enjoyed this visit, got involved in learning a rap inspired by the story and took part in a parade to show off the headwear they created.”
One child from Great Bears class spoke for many: “I loved seeing the show and watching the mouse meet the lion – it was really fun.”
LAS Theatre say the show includes a range of important themes including facing fears, building confidence, feeling positive, dealing with change, celebrating our differences and similarities, and it playfully help pupils transition back into school post-lockdown.
LAS Theatre obtained the rights for outdoor performances of The Lion Inside storybook which is written by Rachel Bright with illustrations by Jim Field.