by Ali Franks, Drama Development Worker
As part of our Families First work we have been working in partnership with Active Young People as part of the Physical and Emotional Wellbeing Programme. We have just finished the first two programmes in Nantyffyllon Primary School and Nottage Primary School. Our workshops run alongside the Physical Wellbeing sessions run by Active Young People Bridgend. We were asked to complement this focus on Physical activity and wellbeing with a programme around Emotional Wellbeing. These workshops are primarily with 2 to 7 year olds and involving their parents.
We have based our programme on exploring folk and fairy tales through drama and crafts, each week trying to remember a key message from the story that we could put into practice over the next week at home and at school, such as … sharing, telling the truth, how our behaviour affects the feelings of others, looking for things that make people special on the inside.
There are many advantages of using story and drama for children’s emotional and social development at this age including developing problem solving and decision making, extending attention span, interacting socially and building self esteem, planning and collaborating with others, understanding social conventions, extending empathy towards others and understanding self. In order to make the sessions varied and appealing to all the children we have included a different craft activity every week as a reminder of the story and play activity that we had entered into.
The feedback from parents and teachers at the schools has been fantastic in terms of the children’s personal development and we are looking forward to the next two programmes starting in February at Mynedd Cynffig Primary School and Sarn Lifelong Learning Centre.