An Under the Sea workshop with Year 5

January 11, 2019

This week I was reminded of a time when a teacher, in the early 2000s, warned me that I’d know I was old when students would say; “You taught my mum!”

 

Thankfully that is yet to happen, obviously meaning that I must still be young, but this week I did have a moment of reflection on how long Highly Sprung have been working in this great city we call home.

 

In 2002, Sarah and I were touring schools with a multitude of different performances, visiting hundreds of schools, both Secondary and Primary. One of the schools remains in my mind vividly, as its students thrived in both seeing and participating in performance. I can still remember the electricity in the room as the students entered and we, the cast, hid backstage awaiting the first yell of excitement from the audience.

 

Well 17 years on and many of those original audience members are now in their twenties, all the members of the cast now have children of their own, and it feels like I’m getting older by the second, but, this week I was delighted to be invited back to that same school to work with their Year 5.      

 

The students at Joseph Cash Primary School and I looked at the topic of ‘Under The Sea’ as part of their Creative Arts week. The 60 strong students aged between 9 and 10 were split in to two groups and collectively we created 15 minutes worth of performance in just one day! It truly was a rollercoaster of energy, inspiration and thoughtful discussion:

 

“If our seas and oceans are so important, why are we polluting them so much?”

 

“We need to recycle more and use less plastic.”

 

And the most heart breaking comment of the day…

 

“Some of the plastic we use goes into the ocean and kills animals. I saw a picture of a turtle that was stuck in the plastic used to hold cans together and it had changed the shape of its shell.”

 

That well known phrase, “..out of the mouth of babes” springs to mind. As a group we spoke about how much we as individuals can do, seeing as we have no power over what happens at the end of our street, let alone the other side of the world. We decided collectively that we couldn’t tell others what to do, but we could inspire others to work together to make the world a better place. Sounds perfect to me!

 

One thing is for sure, Joseph Cash Primary; a lot of years may have passed since I’ve worked with you, you may have had lots of different teachers and certainly had hundreds of different students pass through your doors, yet you remain as inspiring and brilliant as ever to work with and for.

 

Thank you for a lovely day.

 

Mark

 

Find out more about our school workshops, which can be around any theme for your school.

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