February 20, 2020

Drama society shipwrecked school visit

Hi I’m Alice and one of the co-presidents of the Drama Society at Cardiff Met. I joined the society in my second year of study and I can honestly say I have met some of the most incredible people that I am proud to call my friends! The Drama Society runs a number of activities – from improvisation workshops, to enhancing member’s drama skills through games and workshops and rehearsing for our upcoming productions. Our next play is ‘Education, Education, Education’ by The Wardrobe Ensemble which we’re really looking forward to.

When the Drama Society was contacted by St Francis RC Primary School to help with a pirate themed ‘shipwrecked’ activity with the school children, we jumped at the chance to be involved! As three aspiring primary school teachers it would be the perfect opportunity to gain classroom experience whilst exercising our improvisation skills.

Miss Price a Year 2 teacher asked if we would be interested in helping with their ‘hook’ for their new topic by coming in dressed as pirates. After explaining the back story that our ship had crashed in the school’s playground and we needed the children’s help to find our missing belongings, we couldn’t wait to get started!

When we arrived at the school gates, we were greeted by posters that children had drawn for us, hoping we (the pirates) would see them and come and ask the children for their help. Little did they know that Captain Nancy, Pirate Peggy and Pirate Betty were already on their way to find them! We were welcomed by the school’s receptionist who gave us some items that the children had left for us to find. These included some gold coins, crumpled notebooks filled with sea shanties and pieces of a map.

The reception we received was amazing! The children were so excited to meet Nancy, Peggy and Betty and help them work out what happened to their ship and belongings; with one child presenting Nancy with her missing sword that they found in the playground. The children told us that there were 20 bottles of rum missing from our ship. Now that was something worth finding! The atmosphere was buzzing!

Ahoy there! The children’s reaction to our ‘Shipwrecked’ pirate themed session was amazing! (Me with Abby Simm, Eleanor Speer and parrots at St Francis RC Primary school).

After 15 minutes or so of hot seating, the puzzle solving began. In the Year 2 class with myself and Pirate Peggy, the children helped us piece together multiple crumpled and torn up maps to see if we could find the location of the buried treasure and solve the mystery of what happened to our ship! Meanwhile down in the Year 1 classroom, Captain Nancy was teaching the children the Pirate Code and trying to discover the whereabouts of our missing parrot Jerry! The children were calling his name when they went out on the playground – it was too cute!

When the ripped maps were pieced back together, the children discovered a red cross marked on St Francis meaning that Captain Nancy, Pirate Peggy and Pirate Betty were planning to come to the school all along, and as you know, X ALWAYS MARKS THE SPOT!

After lots more excitement, it was time for the three pirates to ‘set sail’. Being stranded for several days, we were all very hungry so our exit queue was initiated with the prospect of food. Once we had managed to leave the classroom, Miss Price thanked us and asked if we would like to return for the final session at the end of term, you can guess what our response was…ARGHH ME HARTY!

The whole experience was magical and seeing the excitement on the children’s faces was just amazing. All three of us can’t wait to study a Primary PGCE and become teachers so we can continue aspiring children in our own classrooms!

Cardiff Met Drama Society’s production of ‘Education, Education, Education’ takes place between Saturday 9th May and Sunday 10th May at Centro Bar Lower Lounge at Cyncoed Campus. For more details or to enquire about ticket reservations message Cardiff Met Drama Society on Facebook or  @cmetdramasoc on Instagram.