In March 2012, Sam completed the Royal Opera House’s Creative Connections scheme, a programme which;‘brings together Royal Opera House staff members from across the organisation, with local teachers and arts practitioners to learn new skills, establish networks and initiate and manage new projects that will support young people’s creative development.‘
On the scheme Sam worked jointly with a scenic artist and with a primary school in Essex, to create an exciting creative experience for children at the school. She worked in a class of 30 children aged 7-10, bringing expertise in writing into aspects of the project.
The objective was to give the whole school a magical adventure, that was co-created and led by the children in one class. The children wanted to take the whole school on a treasure hunt, which featured 4 zones where you had to do an activity devised by the children. To move on from the zone, you had to complete the activity and correctly answer a riddle. The treasure was a card on which you wrote your wish, then hung from the wishing tree outside.
Sam facilitated and co-facilitated several sessions with the children where different activities were undertaken, which helped them to think about what a treasure hunt is and to co-create the treasure hunt. Activities included: designing clothes for a writer, a teacher, a musician and an artist, then making them out of brown paper; defining 4 treasure hunt zone areas focussing on the words: magical, treasure, hunt, adventure, by making a mindmap; tracing a map of the school and deciding where each treasure zone would fit; making the practical elements of the treasure hunt – including costumes, riddles, flags and wishing cards.
On the day of the treasure hunt, the children were split into small teams with their own roles to play, as they led the rest of the school on the hunt. Throughout the project the children acted as reporters and recorders with cameras and microphones.
The objectives of the activities were: to reinforce creative thinking; to introduce creative career pathways (with the example of an artist and a writer); and, the school needed to have aspects of the national curriculum covered in the project. (This was achieved for several topics; Design and technology: most objectives in whole of curriculum covered!/ Geography: describing land uses. Comparing land uses, drawing plans./ PE: trails./ Literacy: riddles. / PSHE – turn taking, sharing, making wishes.)