This Winter, as part of our on-going creative relationship with Rosehill School, we launched a Festivals project, exploring a variety of special occasions with the children. Working with with 4 classes on an introductory session which involved singing songs and exploring narratives through physical movement and the use of recognisable props, we looked at the tropes and traditions of Festivals:
Chinese New Year: We played with a variety of instruments as we looked at the Dragon, the story of the animals, and the ideas surrounding a New Year
Christmas: The children really enjoyed our relaxing Christmas Tree song; we also sang familiar classics, explored the Nativity Story, and all took part in a movement activity involving tinsel.
Halloween: Recently studied by the pupils, Halloween appeared to be the favourite Festival among the group this year. The use of a bouncing toy pumpkin on lycra created a highly amusing, energy filled physical activity – the children really enjoyed saying a big “Boo” at the end of the game.
Hanukkah: Children took part in our relaxing Light Song with candles, and enjoyed learning about the Story of Hanukkah.
Eid-Ul-Adha: We all took part in singing an Eid Song with symbols, before embarking on a Pilgrimage to Mecca, following the moon, on our Flying Machine.
Diwali: The children really enjoyed learning about the story of Ramam and Sita through our puppets
Armistice Day: We all took part in a Poppy Song before travelling back in time in our Flying Machine to tell a story of WWII.
Bonfire night: An instrumental dance with ribbon sticks was a great way to explore the wonderful colours and excitement of fireworks before we all traveled back in time to discover the story of Guy Fawkes.
A fantastic outcome of the Festivals’s Project was a new prop, ‘The Magic Scroll’, made for us by Emily Croxford. Children took it in turns to choose a festival from the pockets of the magic scroll which they found very exciting. It provided a good visual queue that we were starting a new song about a different festival, offered an element of suspense as we opened up the hidden picture and Captain Amy loved saying the rhyme “It’s time to unroll, the magic scroll”. This is a versatile prop which can be used to explore a variety of different topics through play and song.
‘It feels real, we can think about it in our heads really clearly, for example when we went to India, we could imagine we were really there and its not like we are just in a classroom’ – Student
‘Whilst at Rosehill School in Nottingham I saw the most amazing Flying Machine, which was created in a room within the school by these two very talented artists. There was great enjoyment and excitement. The pupils and staff acted out interactive creative stories and I particularly liked the great slant on promoting spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as they could choose to fly to China or India.’ – Maria Landy, Specialist in Special Educational Needs (SEN) Training