A New Chapter for Imaginary Communities

Explore our full Imaginary Communities information sheet

Chol’s approach to drama education, Imaginary Communities (IC), is entering an exciting new chapter. Let’s leaf through the story so far…

The Story So Far

Imaginary Communities (IC) is Chol’s unique approach to drama education. IC promotes play and imagination to aid writing and integrate theatre into the wider curriculum. In giving children the opportunity to create their own worlds and characters they are acknowledged as equal play-makers, able to discover their own unique voice in the classroom.

When working in schools IC practitioners collaborate with teachers to develop a tailored programme structured around 3 stages: idea generation, creation of imaginary worlds, and character development.

Encouraging young people to immerse themselves in their creations and write about their worlds has been proven to have a positive impact on literacy and well-being, with 58% of pupils making ‘better than expected’ or ‘outstanding’ progress in writing during the project intervention.

“I think it has really helped my writing because instead of just writing a story, I have lived it! And it’s really fun” – Kimberly, Y3 St Bede’s, Rotherham

The IC process also includes opportunities for training to inspire teachers and show that placing theatre at the centre of learning can nourish study in other subjects across the curriculum. Of the lead teachers from our previous IC project, 80% of Year 1 teachers continued to use IC, 89% from Year 2, and 90% from Year 3.

“For the first time this year he is engaged with learning, I wanted to cry with joy” – Year 5 teacher, Kirklees

 

The Next Chapter

There are three major plot points to this next phase of the IC adventure:

1 Creating a bigger community

The launch of A World Full of Imaginary Communities marks the next stage for IC in the classroom. With the support of funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation we are now immersed in a 3-year plan for IC: between 2018-2021 Chol will be working with 24 new schools, each for 1 academic year.

2 Working with children of a range of ages

Having previously used IC with KS2 & 3 we have now worked with teachers and children in KS1, Early Years & Foundation Stage to develop specialised imaginary communities for these year groups.

3 Beyond the classroom: Story Clubs 

Our IC Story Clubs are focused on raising aspirations and developing confidence in young people through after-school clubs delivered in libraries, communities and all types of schools.

“Thank you and your skilled practitioners for enriching the children’s experiences with a very special story club” – Dora Plant, Headteacher

“I’ve enjoyed today, it was very creative and action-ish” – Ali, age 11

 

For more information or to speak to Chol about booking us to work with your school or community group please contact Lauren Ash, Creative Director at lauren@choltheatre.co.uk

Costs

IC for schools: the project’s funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation means we can offer schools this project at the heavily match-funded rate of £1000.

IC Story Clubs: Chol’s unique programme of after school story clubs are £750 per 8-week block.

 

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