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Last week at Adel Primary in Leeds

Reports from last week’s Alive And Kicking adventures at Adel Primary School in Leeds.
"We were thrilled when John and Louise from Alive And Kicking came to Nursery and took us on a magical journey as we acted out 'a sideways look at Cinderella’. 
His Royal Majesty was in such a mood. There hadn't been a royal ball for years and years. And down the road in a crooked old house a kitchen maid had to do all the chores while her two sisters  did nothing. Until one day an invitation arrived ……"
"This week Year 1 took part in a drama morning which took us to 'the bottom of the bottom of the sea!' 
We met lots of characters and were involved in many activities such as, creating a journey map, bringing the map to life, acting in role as villagers, persuasion and also listening to a story told by the 'Queen of the Sea’. 
The children proved themselves to be fantastic in role and thoroughly enjoyed the morning.”

Arts Provision in Primary Schools

During a week in which Year 3 and 4 at Adel Primary School in Leeds have used an Alive And Kicking starter (The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain) to engage with problem solving, narrative building, dealing with dramatic tension, working in role, handling a new art form, organising group work, offering guidance to an adult in role, hearing their teachers debate next steps in developing their planning, designing and building a cairn, and having a right good time, there's the news from Arts Professional “that a meeting of arts education professionals and politicians, hosted by left-leaning think tank the Fabian Society on Tuesday, identified …. A deeply shocking landscape of diminishing arts provision in primary schools.”
This was attributed to structural problems in the education system, including:
·       More curriculum time being dedicated to numeracy and literacy at the expense of creative subjects
·       Inadequate teacher training in the arts leading to poor quality provision
·       Limited availability of arts toolkits to support non-specialist teachers
·       Absence of a music specialist in “most” primaries
·       Lack of commitment to arts activity by school leaders and governors
·       Lack of confidence among teachers who are embarrassed to sing in front of classes
·       Inability of schools to identify and progress talented pupils, which has most impact on opportunities for poorer families
·       Arts being delivered as extra-curricular activities rather than during school hours
·       Ofsted’s failure to adequately define their criteria for ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ arts provision.
The event marked the start of a new research initiative, led by the Society, that will examine access to the arts by primary age children.
At Alive And Kicking we applaud Adel Primary for placing drama in their  development plan and look forward to reading the Fabian Society report.

Next ....

There's a chunk of work coming up. Luke is Brian Clough in Red Ladder's Damned United, Martin is writing and devising material for In The Woods, our Leeds Beckett University's Research Programme, as well as creating a new office space, and John is getting ready to become Tom Wayfinder and Frederick The Eagle Keeper as well as diving to The Bottom Of The Sea and taking a sideways look at Cinderella with Lou. As Mary Oliver says “There is nothing better than work. Work is also play, children know that. Children play earnestly as if it were work ….. I believe art is utterly important. It is one of the things that could save us. We don't have to rely totally on experience if we can do things in our imagination. ... It's the only way in which you can live more lives than your own. You can escape your own time, your own sensibility, your own narrowness of vision.”  

A big big thank you

Alive And Kicking is in the process of reshaping itself and we have brought on board new company members as well as saying goodbye to some established ones. 
We have welcomed back Kathryn Hanke to work on The Museum Of Untold Stories and Anthony Haddon to work on The Cave. We have welcomed Louise Clarke and David Cartwright who are already involved in a range of work including The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain, Traditional Tales and The Cave.
We are sad to say goodbye to Jess Farmer and Bill Hartley who are retiring from the Board Of Trustees, to Phoebe McDonald as she moves into Middle School teaching, and we wish Ammie Flexen all joy as she leaves us to pursue her visual artist work. All four of them have had a huge influence on company development and we offer them our thanks and very best wishes. 

The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain at Swillington Primary

From Samantha Robinson, Year 3 teacher at Swillington Primary ….Thanks for this morning, it was fantastic! An inspiring and intriguing drama session in which all pupils were engaged and enthused. We are very excited for the follow up. I was surprised at how quickly they were able to get into role and to build up ideas from just a few sentences of the drama.

Alive And Kicking mini documentary

Watch this ....  https://vimeo.com/246448373

A sunny day at AAK

This sunny Friday finds Luke off to talk to some film makers about how to shoot a mini documentary/promotion film for The Cave. Bear in mind they have to do a large part of the filming in a tent with 30 children, 2 performers and a teacher or two, all without disturbing the enjoyment and participation of the children. Well, they did say they were up for the challenge.

The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain

We are about to launch this exciting workshop aimed at Years 3 and 4.
These were difficult and dangerous times, and this was a difficult and dangerous country. Build with us the imaginary world of the villagers who live on the slope of the mountain and meet The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain who arives at midnight. Who is she? Why is she there? Where is she going? Share in the adventure, mystery, intrigue -  solve clues and invent narrative;  writing and composing songs are all written into this drama workshop.
Contact us at info@aliveandkickingtheatrecompany.co.uk

Romans And Celts at Hawksworth Wood

With Caesar tied up and unable to protest, the Sicilian Pirates claimed a ransom from Rome. Little did they realise what was coming their way. Once Caesar was set free he exacted his revenge!!!  Year 4 at Hawksworth Wood found out just what kind of leader he was!  Martin Riley and John Mee from Alive And Kicking took them through slavery, the noblity of Rome, gladiatorial combat, a confrontation at Hadrian’s Wall, a voyage across the seas, a long march north, a new version of Roman Wall Blues and the best Celtic Boasting of all time.  
From Mr Smith   "….. this really set them up for my follow up work in a new and exciting way."
“We don’t get many Roman Centurions in our staff room!” A startled T.A.!

Yesterday in London - Trish Cooke - our patron at Alive And Kicking

And here they are at Trish Cooke's book launch yesterday. Alive And Kicking sends thoughts and hopes to the people of Dominica.