Children get in on the circus act as council and M6 theatre link for special project.
The council's Linking Schools Project sees schools from across the borough join together for special lessons aimed at exploring identity, celebrating diversity, championing equality and promoting community.
As part of this project, leading young people's theatre, M6 Theatre Company, developed unique showing of their latest production, 'A Tiger's Tale', to schools involved.
12 schools are involved in the linking project and last week Ashfield Valley, Healey, Caldershaw and Meanwood primary schools took part. The schools came together and the children threw themselves into activities despite only knowing each other for a few hours. The activities proved a great way to help them learn things about themselves, not just their linking classmates.
'Those children will have had an experience that will stay with them for years to come, perhaps a lifetime'
Councillor Donna Martin, cabinet member for children's services, said: "Those children will have had an experience that will stay with them for years to come, perhaps a lifetime. The purpose of the linking network is to support schools to develop a positive, cohesive ethos by helping children to explore identity, celebrate diversity, champion equality and promote community."
Erica Field, teaching and learning advisor at the council, said: "The children were brave and kind and incredibly supportive of each other. The M6 visit created the opportunity for them to have a shared experience with their linking classmates and supported them to learn about each other while discovering things about themselves. Their enthusiasm and joy was infectious."
The play, based on the true story of the Holmfirth Tiger, is a high spirited balancing act of circus, puppetry, live music and song to schools across the borough. From a circus train in South Africa, to a steamboat on the Atlantic Ocean and onward to West Yorkshire, a ramshackle travelling troupe tell us the unbelievable true story of a family of acrobats and their adopted tiger cub.
The production was written by Mike Kenny, one of the England's leading writers in young people's theatre. Mike is the recipient of numerous awards, was included in the Independent on Sunday's list of Top Ten Living UK Playwrights and his plays are performed regularly throughout the UK and all over the world. Music in the show is by James Atherton, musical director and composer for theatre, television and film including work for the New Vic Theatre, Oldham Coliseum and the BBC.
'It is our pleasure and privilege to work with Rochdale council on this project'
Debs Palmer, chief executive of M6 Theatre, said: "Friendships and experiences in childhood stay with us all our lives. They are the foundations of what we believe about ourselves, each other and the world around us. It is our pleasure and privilege to work with Rochdale council on this project, where education and arts specialists combine to create memorable and potentially life-changing experiences for children."
Rochdale's M6 Theatre was founded in 1977 and is acknowledge as one of Britain's leading touring theatre companies specialising in creating and delivering high quality theatre for young audiences. They have created education resources around the play, for use in schools and groups, on
M6 Theatre Company.