Touch It – Yr 7 & Yr 8 Learning Support Groups
Touch It Evaluation
Highlights from teacher’s evaluation
The two workshops took place at Mythstories museum, in summer term 2006.
Each year group had one 2-hours workshop. No preparation work was undertaken.
Present were 10 / 12 pupils, teaching and support staff, two storytellers (Dez and Ali Quarréll) and the sculptor (Neil Dalrymple).
The following points were being monitored
1. Knowledge and Understanding
• Knowing about something
‘We were very surprised by how much of the story the pupils remembered. We had a quiz about a fortnight after the workshops and most of them remembered most of the story, together they remembered it all.’
• Making sense of something
L. was fired up by the story behind Neil’s sculpture of Merlin. She told us it showed how a woman or girl was strong because of her hair and compared this with Enkidu and the woman at the watering hole in the Gilgamesh story.
• Using prior knowledge in new ways
They used their computer skills to produce posters advertising the museum and also the exhibit they were involved in creating.
• Social skills
The change in their behaviour during the workshops really surprised us.
They were still working even when no adult was watching them.
J. and C., who we always keep apart to prevent them physically attacking – or at least spitting at – each other, sat at the same table and worked alongside each other.
• Communication skills
We had some very interesting discussions on how to communicate with people who were either deaf or blind or both. This was not something they had previously considered. One pupil, talking about a blind person, said “I’d go up and touch their arm and say ‘I’ve arrived’”
3. Attitudes and Values
• Positive attitudes in relation to an experience
They told us how lucky they felt to have met Neil, “He really made all those things”.
Some of the girls were being negative because their usual routine was being disrupted and C. (a fellow pupil) got up and really laid into them, telling them how lucky they were to have this opportunity and how Dez and Ali and Neil had given them their time and energy. There was a big debate and he really turned their attitude around.
4. Enjoyment, Inspiration and Creativity
• Having fun
Yes, they enjoyed themselves – being out of school and being in such a different place helped a lot, but they also enjoyed hearing a different story and listening to it intensely to draw the pictures.
• Being inspired
R. thought really hard about her pictures and said she wanted to put in lots of things – like a smiley-faced sun – that she remembered because ‘that’s how they ought to be’.
5. Action, Behaviour, Progression
• Change in behaviour
Participating in the project gave some pupils a real sense of belonging. They say things like “We can go again, Miss, it’s our place”.
• Progression – towards further learning etc
i. Some pupils in the Year 8 group answered specific questions to create a feedback sheet
ii. Some used computers to produce posters advertising the museum or the new exhibit
iii. Some wrote letters about the workshops
iv. All completed a quiz on the story
v. Both groups had a discussion with school staff and this included talking about how people communicate, difficulties faced by
people who are deaf or blind and general disability awareness
vi. One group followed-up by drawing key points in a story from Wem
vii. The groups intend to make their clay tablets and put a display on in the school entrance area.
Without exception the pupils struggled with the length of the session. Although they had a break, they are not used to concentrating for so long on one task.
C. & D. were very proud to meet the mayor and see the finished tablets.