Staff and artists noticed children’s confidence gradually improved during the Creative Play sessions.
“Aliya played with Iman. Iman is normally the second to join in but she was first up!”
“Hamza – started to build the environment/den but he seemed to display negative feelings about himself: “I can’t do it”. He repeated this a few times. I reassured him and gave him praise and shrieked “this is fun!” He engaged well and created characters, e.g. a werewolf.”
“Grace, who initiated a lot of play during this session, often is with a friend in nursery, who is more dominating than her and therefore in today’s session she was able to express her own ideas and wants.”
“The workshops have been a great confidence booster for Sam. We have never given him credit for being creative. We are now looking at ways that Sam can be engaged that is creative and totally different from what I would expect from him. His sisters are easy to engage with paper and pens, but Sam wants to “be the character”. I want to play to his strengths.”
The artists’ reports contain many instances of positive sharing between the children.
“Jaequarn had shared, which he normally finds difficult.”
“Harry has loved the sessions. I have noticed that he has begun to “share play” with his brother Freddie. Harry would normally play alone but he has begun to share the space.”
It is interesting to compare this with a statement his mother made at the beginning of the first session.
“My family laughed at me bringing Harry today. He certainly doesn’t need more drama people to stimulate him.”
It was not always possible to have open communications (supporting continuity in the learning process) with children’s parents/
carers, which sometimes resulted in the artist coming into the school (and sometimes the key workers!) being left second-guessing why a child was in a particular mood. It takes time to build a trusting relationship and an artist who comes in for two hours a week may not always be in the know about what goes on in children’s home lives for instance. Having open communications can sometimes also be difficult when parents are from a different cultural background or when they speak little English, which was sometimes the case in
Stoneygate. In this light, and without wanting to take away from the excellent work of the artists involved in the pilot projects (who were all female and white), DNA might also wish to consider how the sessions would be different if led by artists who are from a variety of ethnic, cultural and gender backgrounds.
developments I Artists'