21st June 2005
Theatre Workshop for Special Needs children
The IOM Arts Council and the Department of Education's Special Needs and Psychology Service (SNPS) have organised a full week workshop with the Bamboozle Theatre Company from Leicester, England.
The Bamboozle Theatre Company specialise in working with young people who have a range of learning difficulties. They create residencies that are designed to stimulate, challenge and engage the students. These residencies also provide the teachers with an insight into ways that a variety of theatre forms can be used in new approaches with their students.
The residencies include a preparatory workshop for all schools involved and a sharing at the end. The participants are students with learning difficulties, behavioural problems and other special needs and all age ranges can be accommodated. The maximum number for the workshop is 24.
The content of workshops will vary and are pitched at different levels depending on the duration of the residency and the groups taking part. For this workshop a group of students from all the Island's secondary school special units will be taking part in activities such as drama, puppetry, art and craft; all within a theme that will develop throughout the week.
The workshop will take place in the Studio Theatre at Ballakermeen High School from Monday 27th June until Friday 1st July 2005. Coordinator for the event is Greg Hurt, a Team Leader with the Special Needs and Psychology Service (DoE) and he will be joining school staff in supporting the Theatre Company through the week.
The company has already visited the island on two occasions to train staff and to prepare for the weeks workshop. Hopefully, if this event proves successful the company will return next year to work alongside primary children who have special needs.
Adrienne Burnett, Headteacher at Ballakermeen High School has pledged the full support of the school to the event including particular attention to meeting the special needs of the students.
Students at Ballakermeen High School will also be recording the event in film and photographs for future use.
This initiative is another example of joined up working within Government, funded by the Arts Council and organised by Special Needs and Psychology Services.