The Workshop Programme

Workshops - Our workshop package is available right across the primary range and contains half day, full day and longer versions.
 
The Vikings, Detectives, World War Two, Marvellous Monarchs, The Romans, Adventure Stories, The Victorians and Imaginary Worlds – all these are terrific launch pads for classroom projects.
 
We support teachers before and beyond our visits and can develop bespoke workshops on request. Here's the detail ....
Meetings with Marvellous Monarchs
A special visitor, the King Of Mangrovia, is waiting in the staffroom and wants to meet you.
Charles Brown from the Foreign Office has been given the job of escorting His Majesty the King of Mangrovia on his royal progress.
 
His Majesty is undertaking a research project into what happens with young children in schools all over the world so that he can make the schools in Mangrovia better. He is looking for new ideas that help to make schools the kind of places that children want to go to and he has heard that your school is an excellent example. He wants to know about lots of other things too - things that you might pick to suit your curriculum planning.
 
Meetings with Marvellous Monarchs is a half day, one class at a time visit for Reception and Year 1 from Charles Brown and His Majesty in which we learn about life in Mangrovia and explain our lives to His Majesty.
 
Joining in, playing games, conversations, story telling, problem solving, songs and dances are all part of meeting Charles Brown and His Majesty along with the classroom follow up that leads us into writing, art work, interviews and an audience with His Majesty.
 
 
The Woman at the top of the Mountain
These were difficult and dangerous times and this was a difficult and dangerous country.
 
The Woman at the top of the Mountain is a two morning cross-curricular project with a gap between each visit that enables follow up work in a variety of forms to take place. This could include art, music, dance, character portrait writing, story building and writing.
 
The Woman at the top of the Mountain is aimed at Years 2, 3 and 4 and is devised to work with one class at a time. In it we build the imaginary world of the villagers who live on the slopes of the mountain, and we meet the woman who arrives at midnight. Why is she there? What will become of her? We share in her adventure, investigate the reasons for her being there, and follow her into the next part of her life.
 
Mystery, adventure, solving clues, inventing narrative, adopting roles, composing songs and creative writing are all built into these drama workshops.
 
Vikings: Make your own Viking Saga and Save Asgard from the Ice Giants!
A drama based story-making and writing Viking adventure with two half-day visits from our Viking experts during which a class of KS2 children make their own Viking saga. In the first session they are formed into five warrior bands and get sent on five separate missions by King Hrothgar. They bring their adventures to life and are then left with the task of recording their sagas ready for our next visit. They also learn the essentials of Viking mythology and are introduced to Odin, Loki and Rig Heimdal, the guard of Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge. Rig has been tricked by Loki who has robbed him of his sword. Rig hides away in shame. He has lost all his courage. Can the class help him?
 
In the second session they present their five sagas to Odin himself and have to claim their rewards. They learn even more of the world of the Vikings and take part in an exciting drama in which they help defeat Loki, and save Asgard from the Ice Giants.
 
Victorians: The Gate of Tears. The Workhouse Children fight for Truth and Justice.
A KS2 whole-class interactive historical drama inspired by Dickens’ Oliver Twist with two half day visits from the company. The children become the inmates of A Victorian Workhouse, each with their own backstory based on research and reading. They have to deal with the dreaded Bumble The Beadle and with their own teachers in role as Workhouse supervisors – something we find they enjoy very much. In the first session they are introduced to life in the workshop, learn the workhouse song (disc with music supplied) and work together to send a secret letter to the Reform Society revealing the truth about the cruelties they suffer. When they hear of a planned inspection by Lord Stokes, the Workhouse supervisors have to plan a face saving assembly showing what a wonderful life the children have in their care.
 
In the second session they are visited by Lord Stokes. At first the children go along with the sentimental cover-up assembly but then have to find a way of presenting Lord Stokes with the truth about the Workhouse and why the front door is called The Gate of Tears. History, drama, creative and persuasive writing, debate and evidencing argument are all highlighted in this project.
 
World War 2: The Blitz, and The War beneath the Ocean, a very personal approach researching original documents.
A hands on research and eye witness account approach to history. Alive & Kicking writer, Martin Riley delivers a two half day KS2 workshop based on his family’s experiences. Martin’s mother, Marie, was brought up in the East End of London and went to school during the Blitz. A young Jewish girl she was evacuated to a pig farm in the countryside, came back to London, worked as an apprentice hairdresser with the teenage Vidal Sassoon, dodged out of the way of Mosley’s British Fascists, moved in with her cousin, the jazz singer Georgia Brown (Lillian Klott) and then Joined the Army (The ATS) where she met his father - of Irish Catholic heritage. Martin has his mother’s handwritten memories of those days as well as his Uncle Fred’s diary of his life as a submariner and various other original documents.
 
Using these first hand accounts, some Movietone newsreel, and Martin’s memories of his nine uncles, all of whom were in the forces, Martin will engage with a class of children as Junior Researchers, using a mantle of the expert approach to challenge them to solve some of the mysteries thrown up by his box of photographs, documents and newspapers.  As well as enduring the dangerous and dark side of the war, Marie enjoyed being billeted in London and getting in free to the Stage Door Club to listen to the likes of Tommy Dorsey’s Jazz Band, so a part of this workshop will be dancing to swing music and remembering that in the midst of danger it sometimes felt good to be alive!
 
Romans:  What it is to be Roman and what it is to be a Celt. The Pax Romana or The Fight for Freedom?
These two half day drama workshops, ideal for a KS2 class who already know a little bit about Romans and Celts and Roman Britain, uses drama and role play to take them into a deeper “inside” knowledge of the two cultures. These workshops, illustrating Roman and Celtic culture and attitudes, are set in the time of “First Contact” and are built around the imagined scene in 55 BC as Caesar is gathering his troops for an invasion of Britain and the Celts are preparing to defend themselves.
 
The class meet Caesar who sets about a consciousness raising exercise in which they are commanded to perform a collection of tales illustrating Roman virtues – some from mythology, some from the life of Caesar himself. These are provided by Caesar and can be kept as resources for further investigation. In the second workshop, we examine the Celtic culture and bring to life episodes from the life from the Legendary Irish Celtic hero, Cuchulainn.
 
When we have clearly established the two cultures and lived the landing of Caesar’s troops and the Celtic defence in real time, we will deal with the problem that beset the Celts – to cooperate with Rome or raise an army to fight against them as Boudicca did. We give the class the arguments and facilitate them in making their own decisions.
 
 
"I just wanted to say a massive thank you for this morning, the children absolutely loved it and they gained so much. They thought you were brilliant! Thank you so much, as always you were amazing!"
Natalie Whaite, teacher at Hob Moor Community Primary School, York
 
“I have discovered new ways of using drama and role play interaction in my classroom. I would love to work with you again!”
Mrs Flanagan, teacher at Holy Family Primary School, Leeds
 
 
 
 

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