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Brierley Primary School go behind-the-scenes at The Civic

Last month, pupils from Brierley Church of England Primary School visited The Civic in Barnsley for a behind the scenes theatre tour and creative workshop. After receiving The Civic’s monthly Education Newsletter, year 3 teacher Mrs Elaine Fella contacted the theatre and art gallery, hoping to provide her pupils with an exciting theatre and arts experience. The school is working towards receiving the nationally accredited Artsmark, and Mrs Fella has been looking for a local arts organisation to partner with.

Chief Executive of The Civic, Helen Ball was delighted to receive the request: “It’s always a pleasure to work with schools, we ensure our educational programme benefits students’ learning through the arts, so it was exciting to welcome Brierley Primary School to our venue.”

The partnership began in March, when the whole school went to see a theatre production based on the popular children’s book, Nicobobinus. “All the children thoroughly enjoyed the performance - they were amazing, and the teachers enjoyed it too” commented Mrs Fella.

A group of Year 3 pupils from the school then returned to The Civic for a free, personalised tour of the venue and a creative workshop facilitated by the Front of House and Gallery teams.

Mrs Fella describes the morning: “We looked round the dressing rooms and the rehearsal rooms. We listened to funny stories about the theatre’s superstitions. In the auditorium we learnt some warm-up acting skills and played some games. Then we made some creative models using different materials using our imagination. The staff at the Civic were so helpful and friendly which made it into an amazing learning experience for us.”

The staff at Brierley Primary School believe that first-hand experience is important in providing their pupils with opportunities to enhance their learning; visits to places like The Civic are an important part of their curriculum provision to raise awareness of the world in which we grow and live.
The group included some children with behavioural problems, but this wasn’t an issue for The Civic staff on the day. Luke Robson (Front of House Manager) comments: “It was brilliant to see how excited the children were to be on stage, their imagination and creativity in the drama games was astounding. During the tour they were fascinated - learning all the strange superstitions associated with theatre and seeing photos of how The Civic has transformed over the years.”

David Sinclair (Curator) continues: “It was an absolute pleasure having a visit from the school and we were blown away with the creativity of the group. A few simple everyday objects were transformed by the children into beautiful butterflies, creatures, and flowers.” David was so impressed by the pupils from Brierley Primary School, he invited them to design posters for upcoming children’s exhibition, Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants by illustrator Nick Sharratt (27 June - 22 August). Their creations will be displayed in The Civic for the public to view. “We are so looking forward to repeat visits from Brierley Primary School, we hope they enjoyed the trip as much as we did!”

To find out more about how The Civic can enchance your student's learning experience, visit our Education@ page.