Local Theatre Trust Helps Pupils Communicate

Project boosts Wimbledon schoolgirls

Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust has been encouraging local children to express themselves through a special communication project.

They have been working with pupils at The Cedar Base in Ricards Lodge School in Lake Road, Wimbledon.

The school educates a broad demographic of students including a high proportion of students with speech and/or language difficulties as well as English as a second language.

The WCTT project - 'How Can You Communicate with Me?', was part of the Trust's successful 'Express Yourself' strand.

The Project worked with 18 girls from the Cedar Base aged from 11-15. All had communication difficulties including problems associated with deafness or hearing loss, physical difficulties that effected language formation or issues with comprehension and confidence that limited their ability to communicate and express themselves effectively.

They took part in educational theatre sessions that aimed to improve their communication and social skills while offering support.

The project leaders led the group in a variety of exercises that aimed to teach the teenagers how to communicate with more than just words and with greater confidence. They introduced sign language, games which encouraged the group to use sound and body percussion and also performed short role plays to encourage the teenagers to be creative.

Organisers said t he results of the project were not only felt within the group, but teachers across the school reported a significant difference in the pupil’s general behaviour.

Pupils, who formerly did not participate in class, were now keener to be involved and have their views heard. They had developed the confidence to interact with their peers with one girl aiming to take lead in a morning assembly, another going up a set in maths and yet another achieving higher grades than expected in her GCSE Drama.

May 18, 2012