On Friday 5th October, the Apollo Theatre, home to London’s most successful West-end musical Wicked, opened its doors to local primary school teachers for Catalyst; an arts education programme run by Children & the Arts.
Catalyst’s main objective is to help teachers bring the arts into the classroom with confidence and increase their creative approach to teaching the wider curriculum. Throughout the day teachers participated in dynamic acting and music workshops run by passionate Actor and Director Will Wollen and enthusiastic Composer John Webb who both illustrated how to teach the arts with inventiveness and originality using limited resources.
Will demonstrated a variety of simple yet extremely effective team work exercises that help to build confidence with children and enable them to explore their own creativity which included physical movement exercises, storytelling techniques and creative thinking activities. John also took teachers on a journey of musical discovery with activities that explored different tones, rhythms and sounds as well as a step by step guide to writing music. John broke this process down into rhythm, lyrics, music and song demonstrating how a whole class can work together to achieve a creative piece of music in a few simple stages.
Zoe Briggs, Creative Learning Officer (West-end) for the Ambassador Theatre Group, was also on hand to explain how to use Wicked as an informative and engaging teaching resource, and to point teachers towards future opportunities to work with the company’s range of West-end theatres and enable their children to have greater access to the arts. Teachers were then taken on a special behind the scenes tour of the Apollo where they were able to explore the stage itself and gain a greater understanding of live theatre from a presentation by the Stage Manager.
Feedback on the day was extremely positive, and teachers left with a number of resources for teaching the arts in the classroom including Children and the Arts’ Catalyst teacher training book, and guides from both Will and John on the activities and workshops of the day.
If you would like to take part in the next Catalyst event at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, please visit our Catalyst page for more information or download a booking form.