COMMENTS FROM DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OR COLLEGES ROUND THE COUNTRY
QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES FROM A SCHOOL IN THE EAST END
1. Why did your school ask for a DCF Workshop?
We were contacted by the DCF and had a specific exam need. We’re also keen to have industry professionals in to engage pupils with the concept of working in the arts.
2. Was it a success (a) With the kids? (b) With the teachers?
Yes, based on anecdotal feedback lots of them found it interesting and engaging, particularly the industry seminar for the smaller group.
Yes, thoroughly – with both the Media teachers in the room, as well as it being the talk of the school.
3. Was it the right length, too short or too long?
Correct length for both sessions – we had 15 minutes of questions in the hour session.
4. Was it well targeted at the pupils in terms of their age and understanding?
Yes. Thanks to direct liason with the director we were able to set up the session successfully.
5. Do you think the children connected with idea of the art and craft of directing, as explained by the Director?
Yes and what was particularly good about our director was that he gave us an insight into a variety of roles and the importance of knowing about your crew in order to be able to lead them effectively.
6. The main aim of the Scheme is to offer artistic stimulation to school children with little other access to the culture of theatre and film. (a) Did the workshop contain any such children? (b) What percentage, approx?
Definitely. Our school has 61% Pupil Premium.
Report from a school in South London
A few months ago, my school was offered a free workshop with a specialist director on a topic of my choice by The Directors’ Charitable Foundation. We were preparing our GCSE students to perform a devised piece for component 1 of Edexcel GCSE so we decided to ask for a devising workshop.
We were working with two historical stories, one being the establishment of the first women’s football league in the late nineteenth century and the other the story of Anne Bonny and Mary Reid, cross dressing pirates from the eighteenth century. Students from this age bracket often get sucked into ‘worthy’ sentimental themes in devised work and we had wanted to stimulate them into a fun, storytelling piece, full of theatricality.
Our director ran a fantastic workshop, giving the students some brilliant rehearsal tools. She introduced the idea of diary writing and back stories, which provided lots of material for monologues and flashbacks, but most importantly created more rounded characters for the students.
There were lots of games and laughter, the director letting the ideas flow without judgement. It was great to get her eyes on a few key scenes, she had such a positive and encouraging attitude which allowed my students to transform themselves from school children to theatre makers. It was great for them to meet a practitioner from the business, and, especially as they are predominantly girls, to have a female role model who is out there, making theatre.
I would recommend anyone to get in touch with the Director’s Charitable Foundation. The workshop was completely free and tailored for us, and I’m so glad that amongst the sea of emails that land in my inbox, I picked this one up and responded!