Spotlight: One BIG Creative Day at Heath Mount Primary! - One Day Creative
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December 14, 2015

Spotlight: One BIG Creative Day at Heath Mount Primary!

Here at One Day, our hard-working facilitators independently travel all across the country to deliver our creative, imaginative and inspiring workshops to schools. So when we get the chance to all come together in one school for one BIG creative day, we leap at the chance! And last week, we had the pleasure to visit Heath Mount Primary School in Birmingham to do just that.


Armed with seven fantastic One Day facilitators, we arrived at Heath Mount to deliver a range of creative projects spanning over various topics to all children, from Reception all the way up to Year 6. This two form entry Primary School was absolutely brimming with positivity, energy and enthusiasm, and from the onset we knew this was going to be a great day. As I circulated from classrooms to halls, I was able to witness the hard-work and preparation our facilitators had put into their workshops, and to see them in action.




First off I went to watch our lovely Katie Webster, whose role that day was to deliver the Dinosaur Dance workshop to the KS1 children. Her workshop would also act as the show-stopping KS1 performance at the end of the day. As I entered the hall, Katie was working with the Year 1s in exploring the different Dinosaurs, their movements and noises. They used their outstretched arms to illustrate the great chomping jaws of the Triceratops, they extended their bodies as high as they could reach to represent the long-necked Brachiosaurus, and they used their hands and fingers to create the spikey claws and teeth of the ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex! Donned with Dinosaur capes, complete with a long green tail and spikes down their backs, the children then used these dinosaurs’ shapes and movements to create a dance routine which encompassed as many pre-historic creatures as possible. It was a joy to see the children so enthusiastically growl and ‘RAWR’ as they followed Katie in the Dino Dance!




As I climbed the stairs to another classroom, I could hear the buzz and excitement of numerous workshops all going off in various places within the school. I visited our facilitator Nuala who was also delivering her workshop to KS1 children. They were working on The Gruffalo project, and as I opened the door they were already underway in their creation of a Forest Soundscape! Nuala was using this dramatic technique to set the scene of The Gruffalo story, encouraging the children to use their imaginations to explore the various sights, smells and sounds which are found in a dark forest. One child raised their hand and suggested that they might hear the ‘woooshhh’ of the wind through the trees, another suggested the ‘CRUNCH, CRUNCH’ of the leaves underfoot, another suggested the quiet ‘sniffle, sniffle’ of a hedgehog, and one young boy suggested the ‘Twit Twooooo!’ of an Owl high in the branches. Each sound was enhanced with a movement which the pupils had created themselves. Now they had these sounds and actions, they split off into groups where they each performed a different element of the forest at the same time. The effect of this was wonderful, and with your eyes closed these various sounds transported your mind into the deep dark forest where the Gruffalo lives.


I left Nuala’s workshop to look in on some KS2 workshops, where I found our charismatic Clem delivering the Cleopatra – Egypt’s Last Phaorah project to the Year 3s. Having completed their work on Ancient Egypt, this workshop acted as a fantastic conclusion to their topic as it brought this period in time to life. ‘If you were Cleopatra’, Clem asked the pupils, ‘How would you stand? How would you speak?’ Suddenly all the children straightened their backs, raised their noses in the air, and pursed their lips in a proud fashion. ‘What about her husband, Marc Antony? He was a proud politician and soldier. How would he walk?’ In reaction to this question, the children clenched their fists, puffed out their chests and walked sternly around the room. Each Ancient Egyptian ruler was characterised by Clem and the students, followed by an exploration into their duties and roles within this fascinating period. By encouraging the children to embody each character, their understanding of each Egyptian Pharaoh was strengthened and deepened in understanding… not to mention, it looked like a lot of fun!


I visited a second hall within the school, where our fabulous Sam was working on the Alice in Winter Wonderland project with the Year 6s. Like the Dino Dance project with Katie, this workshop would be showcased to the rest of the KS2 children at the end of the day. As I entered, there was one boy stood centre-stage wearing white rabbit ears and a giant clock around his neck. ‘I’m late! I’m late!’ he cried out the famous line from the book. Alice ran onto stage, donned in a blue pinafore, and with fantastic energy and passion she also reeled off her lines. From only working with these pupils for less than hour, they had all grasped the script with ease, and it was fantastic to hear each child pronouncing their words so confidently. Suddenly, the jingle of bells and the children burst into a Christmas dance, some wearing Santa hats, some wearing other costumes and props. Every child in that room was grinning like the Cheshire cat- from ear to ear! From that one small rehearsal, the children were already performing at such a high standard that they could have delivered their performance then and there.


Elsewhere in the school our lovely Lucy was working with the Reception children on the classic children’s story, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. ‘We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it’, I heard the children excitedly shout from the classroom, ‘OH NO! We’ll have to go through it.’ This was followed by lots of giggle and laughter! I also popped my head around the classroom where Eleanor was brainstorming with the Year 4’s their knowledge on WWII with the ‘We Need You!’ project. As she asked the pupils what they already knew about the topic, hands around the classroom enthusiastically flew into the air. Emma was also revisiting another period in history, the Terrible Tudors, this time with the Year 5 students. Just like Clem’s Ancient Egyptian workshop, Eleanor’s and Emma’s projects beautifully complimented and enhanced the pupil’s existing knowledge on these topics and their classroom teaching.


4L enrichment day 201514


The writing leader, Kabir Ahmed, who had organised this wonderful creative event, also gave me a tour around the rest of the school. Each wall was decorated with brightly colour decorations, pictures, paintings and artwork – there was even a large papier mâché Tiger growling in one of the hall ways! Recent extensions have allowed the school to also provide their pupils with a small kitchen, where they can practise cooking and learn about nutrition and healthy eating.


They also have a fantastic ‘Apprentice’ Scheme, which was only recently launched this term. This scheme asked for the pupils of Heath Mount to write a letter of application for the role as the Head Teacher for the school! I saw some examples of these letters, and the writing level was extremely high and very pursuasive, many containing enticing and innovative ideas about how they will positively impact the school. The successful applicants were then put through a formal interview process, which acted as invaluable life experience for the students. After much deliberation, a successful candidate was appointed and hired! Her first task was to appoint a senior leadership team. As a result, the new leadership represented a child from every year group. Their first action was to plan Children in Need Day and the remit was to have fun but also understand the importance of the event. The new Head Teacher informed parents by letter and led an assembly to the whole school. Finally, as a responsible Head Teacher dedicated to raising standards, she initiated a learning walk to judge the standards of teaching and learning!


The day after the workshop, and Kabir kindly sent me a lovely email thanking each one of our facilitators for their hard work, and positive impact on the children. Each one of us was saddened when we realised how fast the day had flown by, and that it was time to leave. The children were an absolute pleasure to work with and we can’t wait to see them again in the spring term for some PSHE-based creative learning.



Thanks again to the lovely staff and pupils of Heath Mount Primary School!




Victoria and the One Day Team! X



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