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Creative ID: 088

Art form(s): Interarts, Literature, Theatre, Multi-Disciplinary.

Based in: Whangaparaoa. 

When I'm available: I will be available from Term 3, 2020 onwards. School days and times; actual days to be negotiated.

Where I'm available: The Northern Auckland region, including Whangaparaoa, Rodney, Warkworth and surrounding areas.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

This programme is school-based professional development for teachers in the use of creative drama pedagogy. High engagement leads to improved learning outcomes for students. Considerable evidence suggests the programme impacts on whole class and school well-being. Research is clear: growth in core competencies leads to enhanced self-worth and well-being. Inferential comprehension relates to critical thinking. The social nature of drama contributes to relationship development. Using picture books alongside creative processes provides for enhanced understanding and using of texts. The disciplinary nature of drama requires self-management. Participation in creative work sees students become actors rather than spectators. This is a one-term programme with in-class delivery of one hour each week. I plan and co-teach lessons with teachers in their classrooms. Planning, teaching and evaluation of lessons builds teacher capacity to include creative approaches. I model how to employ process drama-based methods to invite students into the world of a story, prompting deep critical thinking, nuanced perspectives, and real-world connections. The programme has been proven to successfully increase students’ oral language, written vocab and inferential understanding. The programme includes approximately 20 hours of PD focusing on own classroom: two staff meetings nine one-to-one planning meetings seven co-taught lessons pre-and post-benchmarking. 

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

The programme was established in Australia in 2009, a partnership between a theatre company and the University of Sydney. Research since then demonstrates the programme has significantly lifted literacy outcomes for participating schools. In 2018 our company gained exclusive rights to deliver this programme to NZ classrooms and has successfully delivered abridged and full versions of the programme in primary schools in Auckland. Adaptations to the Australian model have been led by a professor from the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland (also a theatre company director), to ensure cultural relevance of the work in the NZ context. Curricular changes have also been made where necessary. I am an experienced primary teacher, having headed up a syndicate at a primary school. I have worked in low to high decile schools on our theatre company's interactive family violence prevention programme. I have extensive experience of working alongside teachers in schools. Outstanding feedback and results from both the teachers and students involved in this programme. Teachers were able to see a significant change within all areas of literacy for their students including, but not only, inferential comprehension, oral and written vocabulary. Student engagement is always reported as high.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

I have worked with students of all primary school ages, from New Entrants to Intermediate. Within the programme I have worked with students across all years 0–8, adapting delivery according to their ages, needs and levels. I have worked with our theatre company delivering the family violence prevention programme nationwide since 2018, mainly to Year 7 and 8 students. This is the longest running and most researched in-school applied theatre programme in the world, having run since 2004. We have worked with over 70,000 students in this government-funded programme. It is an interactive programme that creates a safe forum for young people to talk about family relationships through a highly engaging and creatively facilitated applied theatre workshop. I am highly skilled and experienced in adapting/facilitating creative dramatic processes to suit the needs of all students and teachers involved. Themes and areas of focus for learning are decided in discussion with the classroom teacher and the students.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

Process drama and applied theatre are at the heart of everything our theatre company does. As an experienced primary teacher (syndicate leader), and now delivering on theatre programmes, I am a valuable staff member as a teaching-artist with the company. Teachers often ask how and where to learn to deliver pedagogy through process drama. There are few opportunities for this extended training in NZ, which is why our company was keen to enter into a relationship with another theatre company to offer the programme here. The programme professionally develops teachers in a practical and supported manner, while engaging their own classroom in creative and purposeful learning. For me, investment in the programme will provide the opportunity to enhance her skills as a teaching-artist, further developing and gaining more experience in providing this world-class, internationally developed and researched programme into classrooms.

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