A+ A-
creating possibilities for disabled children

Bringing Creativity into the Whole Curriculum

Most of Bamboozle’s training sessions for schools happen on the ground in the classroom with the students and the staff team. We spend time working with the group of learners – with staff on hand – and then we spend time with the staff team analysing sessions and looking at how the strategies and techniques of the Bamboozle Approach can be used in day-to-day practice.

As well as the behavioural and linguistic strategies of the Approach all of our sessions have a creative starting point and can be adapted to suit any area of the curriculum. For example, we might look at how to create an immersive maths session for complex needs students, or how to facilitate creative expression for students on the autism spectrum who are described as hard-to-reach. The training programmes look at a wide variety of creative techniques such as using characters and puppets, creating simple and cheap multi-sensory environments and using narrative and story telling to underpin learning sessions.

“Excellent, novel sessions! Adaptable to future topics, classroom practice, excellent observed responses from all pupils, led to greater understanding for staff.” Teacher – Woodlands Secondary School, Luton.

The Consultancy Model

Often the most effective way of delivering training is to spend time with groups of students and staff in the environment that they work in every day. Training sessions are practical and hands-on so that students get to experience a novel workshop session while staff get to try out different techniques in a supportive working environment. A typical training day for a project using the consultancy model looks like this:

  • 8.00 – The Bamboozle team arrives to set up the workshop resources.
  • 8.30 – Briefing – the Bamboozle team meets with the staff taking part in the day’s workshops to go through what will be happening and talk about the creative set-up and the strategies that will be focussed on.
  • 9.30 – Session one – the Bamboozle team, in conjunction with the staff team, lead an hour-long workshop session with the students.
  • 11.30 – Breakout for session one – after a break the Bamboozle team meets with the staff team for an hour to analyse the workshop and look at how techniques and strategies can be adapted for further use in day-to-day practice.
  • 1.30 – Session two – as session one.
  • 2.30 – Breakout for session two – as above.

This model allows us to work with two different groups of students and two staff teams on each day we spend in school. In some long term projects we work with only two groups and visit the school at regular intervals throughout the year for one day at a time. If we work with four groups we’ll visit the school for two days at a time – again at regular intervals throughout the year.

Each session provides the opportunity to explore a new creative technique – adapted for the needs of the group – along with the behavioural and linguistic strategies of the Bamboozle Approach.

“The sessions were the element which had the biggest impact – each session would change some area of my practice. After the first session I introduced ‘circle time’ (Nov). In January I introduced ‘circus physio’. Then next – Ritual, then a character and narrative. However, I still felt un-confident in telling a story. The final push came when I knew I was being observed I decided to make my own story up. It was surprisingly successful”. Teacher – Greenside School, Stevenage.

Examples of creative workshop training sessions for schools

  • Using characters – having someone play a character that interacts with the students is an effective tool for engagement and provides a way of setting up exciting and fun tasks that have a purpose behind them. A character might be a chef who’s preparing a cake for a banquet and needs help weighing out and mixing all the ingredients, or it might be a professor in a lab who’s trying to build a robot out of scrap materials and needs help gathering items and putting them together.
  • Multi-sensory environments – looking at ways of creating engaging themed environments for children to explore and then adapting the environments to facilitate learning outcomes. The environment might be a spice market with the sights, scents and sounds of far off lands, where children can explore different textures, tastes, smells, sounds, lights and colours.
  • Storytelling and narrative – stories can be a very powerful way of drawing a group together – we can use existing stories or build new ones around the children. We might, for example, bring some water themed resources along to a session and, as the children explore the resources, we begin to tell a story that describes what they’re doing and then draws their activities together.
  • Ritual – ritual experiences can be extremely powerful and they’re very useful for creating focus, introducing concepts or themes, celebrating achievements, creating energy and calming down after an energetic session. We might, for example, spend a session exploring a variety of natural resources and then create a spell at the end of the session where every member of the group adds their ingredients to a cauldron. This ritual adds value to the exploration that has happened and celebrates those that have taken part.
  • Physical expression & the physical environment – a lot of learning needs to be dynamic, especially for young children, so we explore the physical environment and look at how it can best be adapted to meet a group’s needs. In one school we looked at how to improve the experience for children doing their physio sessions which they didn’t seem to enjoy. We came up with Physio Circus – we changed the classroom into a circus tent, played lively music, had a ring master character and adapted the physio activities so that they were part of preparations for performing in the big top – the children engaged much more easily and seemed to enjoy the sessions.

All of the creative sessions use cheap and easily available materials so that they can be replicated and adapted easily to the school environment. All of the sessions can also be adapted to explore any area of the curriculum – we cover this in detail during our training programmes.

Available course formats

As well as the consultancy model described above we can also deliver training in a variety of ways tailored to your school’s needs:

  • INSET days and twilight sessions
  • Short term pilots
  • Long term culture change projects
  • Mini-residencies
  • Large-scale residencies

There’s more detail about all of these courses in this website section.

Dates, venues and fees

Training programmes usually take place at your school by arrangement. Fees depend largely on the requirements for the training sessions which are different for every school – to discuss your school’s training needs please contact our education co-ordinator nicole@bamboozletheatre.co.uk. Due to the COVID situation many schools are restricting the visitors who access their sites during the school day. We are however still visiting schools for training purposes when the children are not present. If you would like to explore possibilities for setting up a socially distanced training session at your school please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the Contact page. Alternatively you might like to investigate our Online Course offering.

Read about a two-year project focussed on bringing creativity to into the whole curriculum.

Unit 10 St Mary's Works | 115 Burnmoor Street | Leicester LE2 7JL | 0116 255 2065
Registered Charity Number: 1136157 | Registered in England and Wales.
Company No. 7193792