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creating possibilities for disabled children

A Creative Adventure on INSET DAY

The Brief

Watling View’s Deputy Head asked Bamboozle to provide a training day for the whole staff team at his school:

We are very much after how teachers can use a creative approach to support throughout the curriculum as well as making sure they are confident in using the schools’ Creative Arts Room when teaching creative subjects.”

Instead of delivering a more standard training package – where facilitators do a lot of the talking – we decided to send the staff on a one-day interactive adventure to demonstrate how we work with groups of children.

The INSET day 

The activities of the day were interspersed with introductory training and Q&A with a specific focus on how to adapt each activity to different cohorts of students. We created a story that the school staff would participate in and then have a go at a range of workshop activities. The outline for the day was as follows:

Introduction and welcome

Starting the story

We used a character in costume in a simple setting. We demonstrated how to facilitate an interaction between a group and the character and began to unpack the story. The character was a woman sitting crying by a well. The group spoke to her as she lamented the fact that the magic stones that kept the well water pure had been stolen and now everyone in the village was ill. The group discovered that the stones had been stolen by a Troll who lived on the other side of a forest. The group agreed to help the woman retrieve the stones.

Breakout workshops – the staff then split into four groups:

  • Group one – builds a multi-sensory forest with an obstacle course in it and make leaves for the trees.
  • Group two – makes the Troll, its den and decides how the Troll will protect the stones when the villagers come to retrieve it.
  • Group three – looks at how to build and shape a narrative.
  • Group four – works on creating a soundscape and a chant or song for the Troll.

Whole group activity

We watched as the character entered the forest, built by Group One, and completed the obstacle course – she shouted back to her helpers to follow her.

We then demonstrated a ritual where the group of helpers placed a leaf, made by Group One, on a special tree in order to bring them luck in their encounter with the Troll.

Encountering danger and resolving the narrative

After lunch the character and her helpers went to encounter the Troll, made by Group Two, in its den while the sound scape, made by Group Four, was played.

There was a final showdown between the character, her helpers and the Troll and the narrative was resolved with the input of Group Three.

Breakout planning session and Q&A

Towards the end of the day the staff split into their class teams and spent some time planning immersive activities for their classes based on their themes for the upcoming term and the workshops we’d done throughout the day. We finished the day with a Q&A session.

What staff said about the day

“Inspirational. I have used characters/problem solving in the woods at Forest School but without a facilitator. Now so many of us have done this training I think it could be a lot more successful/meaningful. Really liked the concept of being able to ‘freeze’ the story and step back into it, allowing spontaneity but having a way to bring it back to a structure.”

“Very interesting and inspiring! I particularly liked the part about holding silences for students – there’s not enough of this in education!”

“So many fantastic ideas for using in class. I love the idea of the Bamboozle Approach for use with valuing all students and ensuring all students are included.”

Benefits for me: “To understand the benefits of true value and attention over repetitive praise, not to underestimate children’s understanding and awareness, the power of story to motivate.”

“Having seen a production ‘Pulse’ it has been hugely beneficial seeing the ‘behind the scenes’ and how to pull it all together.”

“It was the most fun training I’ve had.”

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