Theatre in Wales

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“And then you get the star”     

“And then you get the star” Practitioners from across Wales have been experiencing a taste of Theatr Iolo’s “Words in the Woods”, a story-making project for nurseries directed by Sarah Argent in which children were inspired to tell stories after visiting Hensol Forest. Four schools from the Vale of Glamorgan Forestry Education Initiative helped Theatr Iolo to create “Words in the Woods” in partnership with the Forestry Commission Education Officer, Sheena O’Leary.

The Welsh Assembly Government Foundation Phase Team invited Theatr Iolo to work with them in developing outdoor learning experiences, showing the project as an example of how combining theatre with woodlands can inspire children’s (and practioners’!) imaginations, using the outdoors as a classroom for the Foundation Phase. Teachers, learning assistants and childcare workers from across Wales were taken on a journey through the grounds of Court Colman Manor in Bridgend; the actual words of the children’s stories were used alongside the characters and images they had met and seen to re-create their journey through the magical Hensol Forest.

Delegates also took part in a storytelling workshop with Learning Through Landscapes Cymru, offering ideas for taking learning into the school grounds. Both LTL and Theatr Iolo aimed to inspire and provide examples of how similar projects can support practitioners in delivering the seven Areas of Learning within the Foundation Phase Framework.

The First Minister Rhodri Morgan said of the Foundation Phase:
In the Foundation Phase we have delivered the most momentous change to early-years education in Wales for a century or more. It will help us reduce under-achievement and low esteem among primary children. We expect it to halve the number of children still struggling with reading as they come towards the end of primary education.

Educationalists from over 20 countries have visited Wales to learn about the advances being made in Wales in education practice of the Foundation Phase. As Kevin Lewis, Artistic Director of Theatr Iolo says:
Wales is seen as taking the lead with the new approach to learning through the Foundation Phase and is fortunate to have a network of theatre companies who provide a resource to schools throughout the country.

Education Minister Jane Hutt added:
We hope that these events will motivate, enthuse and encourage practitioners and all those who work in early years to use the outdoors creatively and as an environment where children can learn.
Theatr Iolo  
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Monday, April 6, 2009back



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