Theatre company Stan’s Cafe collaborate with former ‘Trojan Horse’ school.
Eight notable scenes from British history are to be translated into a colourful performance installation decorating the corridors of Saltley Academy, formerly Saltley School. Created with 11 and 12 year olds the project is a fresh and visionary approach to teaching and learning around the British values of tolerance, the rule of law, community, freedom of expression and equality.
Following last year’s play Any Fool Can Start A War which told the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis with sixty Year 6 students, internationally acclaimed theatre company Stan’s Cafe are now working with 240 students from Saltley Academy. Each Year 7 class is responsible for a different scene depicting a moment in British history from the discovery of Guy Fawkes’ gun powder plot through the Suffragette movement and 2012 Jubilee. In each scene ‘St. George’ will metaphorically ‘slay a dragon’ that threatens freedom and tolerance. When completed, the installation will be used as a teaching resource and shared with the rest of the school, parents and children from neighbouring schools.
Launching on St George’s Day, St George’s Steps will be the 20th edition of Stan’s Cafe’s Steps Series which was originally inspired by ‘teach yourself to dance’ floormats. The series has included an Olympic focused Golden Steps in Camden, Revolutionary Steps at the National Theatre adapting Danton’s Death as well as versions in Los Angeles and Montpelier. The Steps Series invites audiences to perform dramatic scenes themselves following visual instructions printed out as vinyl footsteps, handprints, ‘objectprints’ and script fragments and applied to the venue’s walls, floors, windows and doors. The series is particularly enjoyed by young people who puzzle out the action by following the footsteps of the protagonists.
Peter Weir, Head of School says “We’re confident that by challenging our students to create this installation with Stan’s Cafe we will stimulate deep learning around themes of British values. Working with Stan’s Cafe is part of our strategy for making teaching and learning more engaging and for enriching our students’ cultural experience at school.”
Stan’s Cafe Artistic Director James Yarker said: “We are deeply committed to helping schools help young people. We love collaborating with young people and using art as a way of learning about often complicated ideas and developing key skills. St. George’s Steps is an ambitious project for the academy to take on and a sign of their commitment to teaching British values.”