In August 2019, Sampad collaborated with Hawkesley Church Primary Academy and Sport Birmingham’s Happy Healthy Holidays scheme to create What’s Love Got to do With It? – A five day summer school focusing on theatre, drama skills and healthy living.
We worked with a group of twelve young people aged between eight and eleven in a series of drama workshops based around three classic love stories, asking whether or not they are really all about love. We also included an hour of physical activity in the form of games and outdoor activities, as well as preparing and cooking a hot healthy meal and snack every day.
For the drama-portion of the week, we worked with three texts; Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, the Punjabi classic Heer Ranjha by Waris Shah, and the Persian poem of Layla and Majnun by Nizami Ganjavi. We used these texts as a starting point to talk about common themes, characters and how these issues can relate to our everyday lives. From there, the group devised their own scenes in response to the classic tales, all culminating in a performance to friends and family at the end of the week.
We were so pleased to see the group really enjoy taking ownership of their devised scenes and loved exploring texts from South Asia. The children made a really clear connection between all three texts and had fun creating their own stories. They also developed some great performance skills and learnt about the process of creating a piece of drama.
Another cornerstone of the project was cooking and nutrition. Every day, we would prepare a fresh, healthy snack and hot lunch in the school kitchen. The children loved cooking (and washing up!), and helping to design a healthy, balanced menu. We cooked dishes such as vegetable biryani, pitta bread pizzas and soup.
We found this strand of the project wasn’t just great for the children to get hands-on experience in kitchen, but for us to get to know them a little better. We had some really great conversations with the children as we were cooking and cleaning up, and they seemed to really enjoy taking responsibility and ownership over certain tasks.
Overall, the week was such fun. We really go to know the group and have established a great connection with Hawkesley Church Primary Academy, continuing to work with them into the autumn term. The children got a lot out of exploring South Asian texts alongside one in which they were more familiar, as well as being able to help us cook every day.
Blogpost by Katie Webster
Generously supported by Healthy Happy Holidays