Monday, February 16, 2015

School Transformed into Snow Queen Scenes - Kids' Grades Soar in Response

From The Snow Queen illustrated by Vadislav Erko - note all the tools of learning in this illustration
Wow. I wish kids here had the opportunity to learn like this! There's not a whole lot of information about this event, other than a very short piece in a local paper but it's a fantastic example of immersive learning and teaching through the arts and fairy tales to foster excellence in students.

The whole idea of using the setting to immerse student senses and live storytelling is to engender learning of often-challenging subjects for kids. And it works. It really, really works!

Here's the short report:
SCENES from Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen turned St Mary's Church of England Primary in Stansted into a fairy-tale world. 
Pupils felt like they were stepping into a storybook after staff gave the primary a revamp during a (pupil free) day. 
It set the backdrop as children started a two-week project basing all their literacy and artwork on different versions of the much-loved story. 
They were treated to a performance of the play by Quantum Theater, paid for by the school's PTFA. 
"Seeing the school transformed was a wonderful surprise and caused great excitement," said Kate Maginn, English co-ordinator. "All the children produced quality pieces of writing and art, whatever their age."
(Source HERE)
Congratulations to the caring and motivated parents and teachers who worked so hard on their pupil free day, made this happen and brought Quantum Theater into the school to bring the story to life to boot!
Not coincidentally, this type of education is exactly what Quantum Theater is all about. They're specifically set up to amp education via stories, fairy tales and theater. The idea is to help kids learn the basics, like reading, writing and maths, to enjoy the process and to get excited about learning even more. It's such a brilliant program. If I were wealthy I'd make a point of expanding their company so they can reach more kids.Here's more from the "About Us" section of Quantum Theater's website (we need these guys over here please!):
Quantum Theatre for Science was founded in 1988 as a direct response to the lack of educational drama available to schools on the subject of numeracy and science. Over twenty years on, nearly three thousand schools each year see Quantum performances, using them to introduce or re-enforce these topics, making Quantum Britain's foremost science and numeracy-based theatre-in-education company.
Our customers have come to rely on Quantum's characteristic style; educational elements combined with pacey, humorous musical theatre. Our aim is to make the world of science and numeracy accessible and relevant to children's everyday experiences by bringing it "to life."

If you're wondering "Why Snow Queen?", there's a lot to work with in the story, with everything from each season getting a showcase through to the idea of puzzles, math and logic (not to mention writing on a fish!). I don't know how the play was written for the show to be specifically focused on reading and writing and more but whatever they're doing, it clearly worked. Works. They're still touring around other (lucky) schools.

Could Quantum Theater (and the happy teachers and parents at St. Mary's Primary) please come have a chat with my son's school, so the kids here can also learn this way? I'm lucky if I get to do a proper storytelling for our kiddos, let alone transform the school for a unit!
Note: photos are from St. Mary's Primary and from the Snow Queen production by Quantum Theater (found on their Twitter account).

*We did a little of this in the Children's Theater I worked with but not to the extent of working with the education system directly. We would try to incorporate learning principles ourselves but it's so much more effective if teachers, parents and guests are working together!

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! Wish I could teach music at this school! And so cool to see that it really has positive results!