Wider Auckland region.
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 New Zealand 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 New Zealand context. Curricular changes have also been made where necessary. I have a Masters degree in Applied Theatre (London) and 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 ages, ranging from New Entrants right through to University level. 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 2015, 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. This government-funded programme has worked with over 70,000 students. 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. With a Masters degree in Applied Theatre, 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 New Zealand, which is why our company was keen to enter into a relationship with another theatre company to offer the programme here. This 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 my skills as a teaching-artist, further developing and gaining more experience in providing this world-class, internationally developed and researched programme into classrooms.