Our relationship with Creation Myth Puppets is not a one off, it is a planned experience linked to the curriculum we provide and focussed on enabling pupils to realise their potential. It is interwoven in the curriculum across the school and a focus across all areas of the curriculum. Tony and his team are part of the culture and ethos of our school, the children don't just remember what they did a year a go, they are excited about what they will learn this coming year and eager to share their learning and discover new skills and talents over time. They remember what they have achieved and imagine even greater possibilities. There is an emotional investment from all. Magic happens.... and we laugh and cry.
Headteacher, Lakenham Primary School, Norwich
A quality process = a quality product. The two are completely interdependent. Like any art work we concentrate on each little part being high quality so that when it all comes together then the whole exceeds the sum of the parts.
Perhaps the most important aspect of all of process and product is that the participating students have an authentic sense of ownership and pride in what they have created.
The most important faculty that those taking part bring into play is their imaginations. The imagination is like a muscle and the intense creative work of making an amazing event is a few days is great exercise.
"It’s a journey from I can’t to I can."
9 Year Old Girl on a project.
Our Honorary Patron, the poet, John Moat wrote:
When you see a group of children immersed in creative production, you realize that the imagination is this limitless store of unlimited invention - the common source of all imaginative product. We relate with that source in a funny way. Out of that experience of making something of ourselves we gain insight into who we are and what we can do.
The challenge of crafting a performance from nothing with a huge cast can only be met by everyone pulling together. As John writes above, we are tapping into a common source - the imagination; and then each individual is amplified by each other’s efforts. This collective creativity is an element we work to nurture.
We believe that it is vital in the world that we find out about and begin to understand each other’s stories. For the children to bring these stories to life through their own puppets, movement, word and music is a profound engagement with that culture.
These intensive weeks building towards a grand performance have intrinsic and extrinsic learning value. We have got a headteacher to note down her thoughts about how the event affected her children and school- click here to read her thoughts.
Once children learn how to work with their imagination, they never forget. Workshops and performance help to unlock the talent within every child and all this inventiveness has a huge influence on learning and teacing in schools!
Improved Thinking Skills
Children's natural curiosity has been stimulated and their search for search for meaning increased. It encourages intellectual thinking and encourages children to question and explore issues, concepts and ideas that are important and relevant to their lives, whatever stage of life they may be at.
Self Belief and Belief in Power of Community
There is full and complete emphasis on inclusion; all participants get the opportunity to learn new skills and new ways of working which will leave them with feeling enlightened, confident and inspired
Improved Behaviour Choices
Through the dynamics of producing a puppet show, children develop self awareness and an understanding of the impact of their actions on others.
Achievement in life is rooted in self-confidence. The process from start to completion, focuses on interaction and helping participants discover the creativity that lies within them. Children develop higher expectations of themselves.
Collaboration and Teamwork
Children will get used to working with one another towards a specific shared goal. This skill can be transferred to the classroom.
Parents/Carers Appreciation of School
Parents will be amazed at the school’s ability to produce a World Class Show in a brief time span, they will be proud of their child and appreciative of this opportunity. They will be inspired to participate in creative activities with their children.
"We’re creating something in the same way the sky god did, we’re moulding little people only the Sky God used mud and we’re using newspaper."
Naomi Harris, 8 years old, Unicorn School.
Creation Myths are also called Myths of Origin and Myth of Emergence. They deal with an essential mystery – how does nothing become something? How do things emerge? Artists of all sorts, in fact all imaginative beings, are very familiar with this particular conundrum. Faced with a blank canvas, page or stage it isn’t possible for the creator to predict what will emerge from the first moment when they commit their energy to the task. But, to paraphrase Goethe, when we commit then all sorts of magic happens. Creation Myths deal with the essential mystery of emergence. They are the root myths of a culture and they have clear, resonant images, motifs and symbols.
The first world myth we animated with a large cast of children dealt with the question of why the human race is so diverse. It’s a myth from West Africa. In the sky is a sky god who likes nothing better than making things. Inside his belly lives sky spirits. He makes an earth basket full of wonderful creations and creatures and lowers it to where it is today on a rainbow rope. A curious girl sky spirit persuades her friend whose a boy spirit to climb into the sky god’s mouth to see what he’s making
These are the primary reasons why we use world creation myths. Because they:
Are brilliant stories that can accommodate a large and diverse cast of children and puppets.
Present stories that resonate and make sense to the children.
Emphasise the important qualities of being a human being – such as respect, wonder, creativity, imagination and flexibility.
Offer theatrical themes that children can present with panache and virtuosity.
Introduce vital world cultures and cultural diversity in an irresistible form
- Are not only the tale of an emergence but also the tale of exactly what the children are doing in their days working with us…
Teacher: what are you making?
Girl 1: Pigs
Girl 2: Actually we're creating life.
Creation Myths are tales of creativity. They tell the story of the relationship between the infinite and the finite – no matter how small that finite creation seems. There is a deep correspondence between making a magnificent puppet out of recycled cereal packets, producing a spectacular show with a whole school and creating a universe.