Attendance is the star of the show in Doncaster

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
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Attendance is the star of the show thanks to a new scheme.

Doncaster Council’s Attendance and Pupil Welfare team have been working on a new approach to improve attendance and punctuality by linking up with a theatre company.

Talegate Theatre Productions’ artistic director and actor James Worthington developed the shows which aim to improve attendance and punctuality in Doncaster schools.

There are two productions, The SAM (school attendance matters) Roadshow for primary school children, from nursery to year six, and the Wise Up show for years seven, eight and nine in secondary school.

Councillor Nuala Fennelly, Doncaster Council’s lead cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “Excellent punctuality and attendance are key to our pupils’ success. These shows are a fantastic way to reinforce important messages and help the children understand these issues through fun.”

James Worthington said: “TaleGate Theatre Productions is dedicated to producing top quality theatre, in any given space or scenario.

“The SAM Roadshow is a 50 minute long production geared towards dealing with the on-going issues of attendance and punctuality and how by looking at these issues students can aspire and achieve their full potential. It is a musical production containing six songs, which reinforce this message through larger than life characters. It is a fun filled, high energy show that encourages the pupils to learn whilst being entertained.

“Wise Up for secondary schools takes a powerful approach to these issues, using both comedy and real life drama to bring the implications of school absence and lateness to the forefront of the students minds. This production is unique, having been developed with secondary school students themselves, to provide a realistic look at how our decision making might affect us later in life. The production is fast-paced, using modern multimedia technology to provide a highly entertaining piece of drama.

“Both productions are followed by a supporting workshop where pupils are asked to participate with our of professional actors, by acting out real and imagined scenarios and problem solving whilst up on their feet. The students are challenged to remember important facts that have been presented to them in the show and consistently asked to repeat this. Through drama we can begin to understand and communicate any problems the students may have with attendance, issues the older ones may have with transition and illustrate how to begin to solve these. We consistently make the connection between school attendance and achievement.

“Above all we want to enhance the pupils learning and understanding through fun.”