The Really BIG Residency Round Up

Back in November we provided you with a sneaky peak at what we had been up to in some of our many residency schools across the country, from London, to Wales, to County Durham. This month, as we begin to promote our wonderful creative residencies for the next academic year, we are focusing on one school in particular to give you a real taste of what our residencies are all about.

We chatted to our North East Director, Rachel Adamson, to find out all about Stanley Crook Primary and their 2017/18 Bigfoot experience…

How long have you worked in your school?

We first worked in Stanley Crook Primary School in April 2015 delivering a creative literacy programme for World Book Week. Since then we have delivered a number of Curriculum Enrichment projects ranging from Antibullying Week programmes, Transition and Pantomime for EYFS all the way through to Year 6. In September we began our Creative Residency with Team 2. This is a mixed class of Year 1 and 2 students. We work with them every Friday morning; the children know it as ‘Bigfoot Friday.’

Why do the school have Bigfoot in- what does it bring to the school?

Answer from class teacher –‘Enhances teaching of Topic and SEAL, delivers key info (eg. E-Safety) in a way that is fun and engaging for children.’

Answer from TA –‘Variety of different teaching strategies to cover topics’

How have the children thrived as a result?

Answer from class teacher –‘Develops confidence and resilience. Develops relationships between unlikely groups of children. Builds on topic knowledge. It really makes topics come alive for the children and gives children who may not excel in English and Maths the chance to shine!’

Answer from TA –‘Increase in confidence, participation and working together. Explore social aspects through discussion and conversations’

What classes/year groups have you worked with?

We work throughout the school delivering curriculum enrichment programmes on a regular basis but our residency is just with the one year ½ mixed class.

What themes have you worked on?

Every half term we plan drama and creative arts lessons that embed the current classroom topic. Over the course of the year we have explored –

  • The Great Fire of London
  • Diwali
  • China
  • Explorers
  • Travel and Transport
  • We are going on an Adventure

In the second section of the lesson (after break) we do our ‘Be the Best Me’ session. During this time we explore SEAL and have explored Citizenship, British Values, Friendship, Bullying and positive qualities such as resilience, teamwork and kindness. We often uses puppetry and storytelling to explore these themes.

What ‘star’ moments can you remember about your time at Stanley Crook school?

We developed a rap in ‘Be the Best Me.’ The teacher said this was one of her favourite moments from the year seeing their ‘amazing hip hop moves!’ In our Adventure topic we also brought a set of djembe drums to help the children explore Africa through rhythm and learning an African hymn. During our learning about China we also recreated a typical school day and had a flag raising ceremony whilst listening to the national anthem. We also learnt some Mandarin and tried using chopsticks. Our Royal Wedding Day was also a treat when we re-enacted the grand procession.

Are you able to reflect upon any marked change in any particular children?

Answer from Teacher –‘Jonathon, Callum P, Lewis – grown so much in confidence, developed resilience and hugely increased participation. Has done this for ALL the children but these stand out.’

Answer from TA –‘Jonathon – improved in social aspects, joining in (drama) confidence building, getting involved in discussions.’

Final Comments?

The school have been unbelievably supportive, welcoming and kind during our years there. All the staff, from the Receptionists, to the TA’s, Caretaker, Teachers and Head have gone the extra mile to make us feel part of their team. The children are very happy in the school and thrive as a result.

Answer from Teacher –‘We can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done this year. The children have loved you and you have made their week, every week!’

Answer from TA –‘Rachel is friendly, approachable and children have built fabulous relationships with her.’

Answer from Jessica (child in class) –‘I wish we didn’t have to wait till next Friday to do it again!’