Teachers creative professional development with Rachel Riggs – www. imaginaryleaps.com
Imaginary Leaps investigates new approaches to creative arts activities for children with complex learning needs, including:
- using puppetry and other art forms as an approach to creative learning with students
- exploring what different materials can mean to the child in open ended activity play
- identifying how different creative play techniques can be used to address different learning needs for curriculum outcomes and IEP’s
- ideas for exploration using materials, movement, storytelling, puppetry and object play
- identifying learning outcomes of the Early Years Framework curriculum addressed through this creative approach
Rachel Riggs is an early years professional creative and visual theatre engagement specialist, currently working with Carson Street School, Perth which is W.A’s only Education Support Primary School. Students needs are such that they are not presently being integrated into the regular school system, and all require extensive therapy and educational services. The school recognises and actively encourages creative practice development for special education, and invited me to share my skill set with the whole school community. I have been resident for the Song Room as an artist in education mentoring some of the teachers within the school this year and also worked there extensively in creative development with Sensorium Theatre. The feedback was very positive and other teachers, education assistants and staff also requested professional creative development.
Because of the students diverse needs and strengths, having an early years skillset in line with the EYLF, and training in puppetry and storytelling, such as improvising with objects and materials, with sensory elements that can be touched, smelt, heard and sometimes tasted, assists in creating explorational learning journeys for each child at their level.
With the students, we have been freely playing and exploring all kinds of puppets, tissue paper, coloured cellophane, moving into making tactile textured rod and hand puppets and investigating the world of shadows. Mentoring the teachers, I am facilitating a more open approach to learning through a creative play process, which gives freedom to make bespoke outcomes for each child.
Thanks to Roslyn Hamlyn and the fantastic staff of Carson St for the playing, what a joy!