We wanted to encourage a small group of gifted and talented children to develop their literacy skills. We wanted to develop their confidence and self esteem by encouraging them to develop a project that would conclude with a public performance to celebrate the children’s work. Team work and collaborative working was at the core of the idea and the children would work together to develop their ideas and personal skills.
The children would be encouraged to achieve their very best which is in line with the ethos of the 2012 Olympics. They will work as part of a team and develop a clearer understanding of the whole Olympic idea of celebration, taking part and success.
After initially forming the group from children that are on the Gifted and Talented register for abilities in art and literacy we then went to see the Superabundant art exhibition at the Turner gallery in Margate. The children had an opportunity to work with artists to explore the artwork that was on display and create their own. The main theme was pattern and the children were encouraged to explore abstract images and develop a group piece of art.
During a discussion with the group when we returned to school the children wanted to explore the theme of pattern through words. I contacted a local theatre group called Chalkfoot and Claudia kindly agreed to come into school to work with the group over a number of sessions to develop their ideas and performance.
On the first meeting children had to go outside and look fro the natural patterns that appeared in nature. EG birds flying, leaves growing on a branch. They then had to think of just three words to describe one pattern. The idea being that words are condensed to their smallest from. We then played with these words to create a group poem. The children then went onto explore their thoughts through watercolour painting and then working in pairs to develop their final poems.
When the children were happy with their poems the performance was developed. Claudia worked closely with the group to develop the oral skills and create oral effects to go with the poems.
Finally the children delivered their performance to other participating schools a Droit house on the 23rd June. The children really enjoyed the event and felt proud to see their poems displayed in such a public forum.
The children have grown in confidence and developed a greater understanding of art. They have seen that art can inspire many creative experiences including poetry. The children have become more ready to try new things and have a go! They are less afraid of failure because the art exhibition and the opportunity to work with artists showed them that there is no right or wrong in the creative experience.
In addition the children have developed their vocabulary and technical understanding of poetry. They appreciate the need to condense meanings down to perhaps just one word and the value of the pause.
The performance enabled them to become one voice. They have improved both their oral and drama skills and they appreciate the importance of listening to each other and working as a team!
The group are now enthusiastic about poetry and are much more confident as individuals. They enjoyed working collaboratively with children from other year groups, understanding the importance of sharing and developing ideas together.
The children are very keen to work together again and I have really enjoyed working with such an enthusiastic and committed group. During the project teachers from the participating schools have met on a regular basis. This has been an opportunity to develop links with other schools. Through being involved in the group I enrolled on the ARTS AWARD course which is a nationally accredited award that 11 year olds can work towards. I am now able to run the award in school and celebrate and reward children’s talents across the arts.