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St Patrick's School (Panmure)

Region: Auckland

Art form: Applied Theatre

Project name: School Drama

Creative name: Stacey Dorthe

Project information: Teachers and students at St Patrick's School will focus on using Drama conventions to improve literacy learning outcomes. Developing oral language skills is difficult with most students, especially ESOL children, but is an essential skill needed to disassemble barriers and build belonging. The children at St Patrick's are low in all areas of the curriculum, especially literacy. Anything that assists with catch-up – confidence and trust being key players – is essential for educational outcomes across all key competencies. Teaching-Artists plan and co-teach lessons, building teacher capacity to include creative approaches. Students are invited into the world of story, prompting deep critical thinking, nuanced perspectives, and real-world connections. Ten years of research has shown it successfully increases students’ oral language, written vocabulary, inferential understanding, and measures of well-being. St Patrick's has a high percentage of Pasifika and ESOL children, with some having recently settled in New Zealand. Well-being for these students is hugely impacted by creative engagement and literacy skills in their ability to grow and adapt as new New Zealanders. The process uses an existing qualitative and quantitative benchmarking process that tracks development across language and well-being indicators.

Project status: Completed

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