The school identified 10 young people with complex learning and physical needs. They came to The Cooke’s Studios with 2 members of staff each Tuesday lunchtime through the autumn and spring terms. We ate lunch together and then spent the afternoon in the creation of stories for performance using improvisational and story telling methodologies. Rachel Ashton worked on the storyline with local writer Kate Davis, who created a script from the improvisations.
The 10 students performed along with 2 of their teachers, and 40 pupils and members of staff came to watch. After the show Rachel ran a workshop with the cast and members of the audience, and then asked if any one would like to repeat the process next year. All of the cast and audience said that they want to be involved next year, and Rachel will hold a meeting with the school in September/October to establish the best way to take the project forward. The staff from the school reported that there were significant improvements among some of the participants during the course of the project, with one child in particular showing a distinct improvement in speech.