Lights, Camera, Action! A hush falls over the audience as the performers take their place on stage for the final scene, with a sense of nervousness the lead actor moves into position but will the hero defeat the monster…..and then the school bell rings and the performers and audience toddle off back to their classrooms!
Stockbridge Primary School is a small city centre state primary school with a school roll of c230 and nursery roll of c70. It is based in the centre of Edinburgh and is at the heart of the close-knit Stockbridge community. The school caters for children from age 3 to 12 and being a city-centre school, play space both inside and outside the school building is at a premium.
The aim of this project is to continue development of the school playground to maximise the value which the children and the community can gain from a small, but vitally important play space, and provide a ‘performing stage’ for children to learn and develop their drama skills as a further opportunity within the playground. The playground has a multi use sports area (very popular for games of football at playtimes), a sanctuary garden and a recently installed ‘soundgarden’ which was funded by a community grant. The ‘soundgarden’ has enhanced the playground with children enjoying the new experience and varied opportunity this has created in music making – sometimes a bit too enthusiastically! The aim of this project is to build on the success of the soundgarden development by providing a performing area for children to explore their creative side and potentially create some performers of the future.
Not only allowing creative play to prosper, the project will also build on the positive/co-operative play which has been widely observed since the soundgarden has been installed allowing the children to play well together, be co-operative and build relationships and provide support to each other in a constructive manner. This then also feeds back into the classroom allowing the developing playground skills to enhance the complete school experience for the children.
The school also has very close links with Mpeni Primary school in Malawi, and as was experienced during the creation of the soundgarden, projects such as this would not only have an impact within the Stockbridge community, but would also link with the school in Malawi allowing them to develop their performing skills as well through the sharing of ideas between schools.
The project will require funding of c£1500 to purchase the required equipment and for it to be installed, with the aim being that an Aviva community grant could fund the majority of the required funding, and the remainder being provided by a combination of the school charity and Parents/Staff Association. The proposed stage would be similar to the following http://www.handmadeplaces.co.uk/star-stage.html
Funding for schools is very restricted in the current environment, therefore community grants are a key way in which the school can continue to develop the opportunities for children both within the school and children from the community. The school operates an open playground during spring/summer/autumn months and therefore the resource which is planned would be available to the whole community.
We feel it is right to build on and maintain the huge enthusiasm shown by the children since the installation of the soundgarden and keep their creative minds developing with as many opportunities as possible.
…. and with a swing of her sword, the hero defeats the monster and is cheered by her friends. They bow to the audience, and head off home excited about what dramas will unfold the following day.