Key Stage Two Workshops

Welcome to Ignite Lights’ home for all things KS2! Some of the workshops described here aim to offer an exciting intro or fun ending to your term topics, or to explore a special occasion, whilst some are designed to complement your term as projects and creative explorations. They come complete with additional curriculum linked follow up lesson plans and resources to ease your workload. All Key Stage Two workshops are available across LKS2 and UKS2 and can be customised to suit your class’s requirements. If you cannot find the topic you are looking for, please contact me to discuss a bespoke workshop.

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History
Theatre
PSHCE
STEM/Topic
English
Special Occasions
History
 
Ignite Lights history workshops are carefully researched down to the last detail and delivered by a qualified teacher with a first-class honours degree in history and experience of working with children in the heritage sector. Workshops include living history 'dress and do' sessions with authentic costume and re-enactment activities, 'mantle of the expert' sessions in which children enjoy an interactive discussion, then apply their new-found knowledge to solve a real-life problem, and object exploration sessions inviting children to handle authentic historic artefacts. Each workshop is designed to inspire interest and develop a sophisticated understanding of the subject as well as methods of creating history. Workshops described here are examples and elements of each can be interchanged to construct a workshop specific to your individual needs: all pre-1900 workshops are available with an archaeology element, mantle of the expert drama activities and/or cultural storytelling.
Angels on the Front Line: the Nurses of the Great War.
 
Experience the Great War like never before! Your class will be inspired by a visit from Edith Cavell before becoming WWI nurses in training. Ignite Lights’ signature sensory style comes to the fore as children encounter the sights, sounds and smells of the Great War from a nurse’s perspective. A full day workshop includes an interactive timeline, historically accurate nurse triage training and a unique performance outcome to share with other pupils and/or parents. A great event to kick-start your topic, round off the term, or commemorate the war in a special way.
Full-day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.

Digging Up The Past: Ancient Egypt.

 

Get that Howard Carter feeling as you learn about the science involved in archaeology, then discover and excavate an Ancient Egyptian tomb! Who was buried here? What did they do? How did they live? Learn how archaeologists piece together information such as this from the physical artifacts they find on digs. Develop investigatory historian skills and hone deductive abilities by exploring secondary sources to gain perspective on the time period. Then bring your discoveries to life by creating a unique piece of theatre based on your finds, to share with school and family.

Full day workshop for up to 30 children. 

Digging Up The Past: Ancient Greece.
 

Peel away the layers of time and travel back to the birth of democracy in this archaeology-themed workshop. Learn about the science involved in archaeology then experience the excitement of excavating a Greek burial site. Watch your class become mini detectives as they piece together information from the evidence they uncover. What can we learn about the excavated figure from the objects with which they were laid to rest? Develop investigatory historian skills and hone deductive abilities by exploring secondary sources to gain perspective on the time period. Then bring your discoveries to life by creating a unique piece of theatre based on your finds, to share with school and family.

Full day workshop for up to 30 children.

See also: Greek Theatre.

From Rock to Metal: An Exploration of Prehistoric People
 
Who were the mysterious Stone, Bronze and Iron Age people of Britain? Become archaeological detectives as you explore an enigmatic deserted settlement. Who were the inhabitants? Why did they leave? And how can their old homes teach us about the way they lived their lives? A mixture of storytelling, Mantle of the Expert and archaeology, this multi-faceted workshop covers the topic from several viewpoints, enabling children to apply their knowledge and skills to build a story, the facts of which will stick in their minds as they continue to learn about this exciting topic.
Full-day workshop with optional performance outcome for up to 30 children.
Masquerading as the Mayans
  
Immerse your class in Mayan culture - step through a doorway in time and space and experience the Mayans through interactive traditional South American storytelling. Participate in the telling of Mayan creation myths and stories including some of the Mayans' most revered characters before retelling Mayan stories yourselves, building literacy and articulacy skills.
A full-day workshop for up to 30 children.
Resurrecting the Romans
 
Calling all budding Caesars! Experience an introductory interactive timeline of the Romans' time in Britain, before exploring the life of a Roman family settled in the UK through the use of genuine Roman artefacts and the Mantle of the Expert technique. Children will work together in small groups and as a full class to bring the Romans back to life in an exciting performance drawing on their experiences through the day.
A full-day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
How Many Angles does a Saxon Have?
 
Learn the punchline to this joke, and much, much more as you engage with incredible Anglo-Saxon artefacts, including an exact replica of the famous Coppergate helmet, found in York. Unearth two Saxon graves similar to those found at Sutton Hoo and become history detectives as you analyse your finds to decide the social status, job and more of the people you discover, before showcasing your knowledge in a fun re-enactment session.
 
OR
 
Use some amazing artefacts as a jumping off point into the wonderful world of Dark Age mythology. Engage in an interactive storytelling session exploring the tropes of British and Saxon myths, from King Arthur and Merlin to Beowulf and Grendel as well as several lesser-known tales, before using costume, props and exciting storytelling techniques to create your own modern myth in the British or Saxon style. This challenging workshop encourages the acquisition of high-level literacy skills as well as an understanding of cultural history and the interesting assertions it enables us to make regarding past societies.
A full-day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
Viking Raiders
 
Travel beneath the streets of the city of Jorvik and discover the Viking treasures which made Yorkshire a great stronghold over a thousand years ago, then follow the story of a Viking family and discover how they lived, prayed, loved and died. Handle objects, learn archaeological skills and explore the stories at the heart of Viking history in this multi-faceted workshop.
A full-day workshop for up to 30 children.
A Picture Fit For a King: Tudor Portraits
 
In a time before Google Images, when the printed word was at its inception, portraiture was imperative to maintaining a public image. Enjoy a quick, fun introduction to portraiture, before exploring Hans Holbein's iconic Tudor portraiture, playing Tudor detectives to uncover the hidden meanings behind famous portraits. Finally, in groups, create your own large mixed media Tudor collage portraits, applying the techniques and symbolism you have learned during the workshop.
A half-day workshop with artistic outcome (at least two large multimedia Tudor portraits) for up to 30 children.
Remember, Remember...
 
...the 5th of November! Why do we celebrate Bonfire Night? Was Guy Fawkes a villain or an unfortunate scapegoat? Why did anyone want to blow up Parliament in the first place? Discover the answers to these questions and many more as we put Guy Fawkes on trial in a fun, fast-paced improvised theatre workshop preceded by an introduction to Stuart politics and historical evaluation of sources with an exciting difference!
A full-day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
Victoriana
 
So many things we take for granted today have their roots in the Victorian era: from rail travel to x-rays, state funded schools to sewer systems, discover the changes which made the Victorians great as you participate in an exciting, fast-paced Victorian timeline, enabling children to order major events from the Victorian era as well as understand the extraordinary progress made in this age of industry and improvement. Then embark on a journey through Victorian life: engage with two object-handling sets (choose from: Fashion and Beauty, Work and Play, Travel and Transport, Health and Medicine) before creating your own mini-plays in the style of popular period drama. Round off your day with an afternoon at the village school: learn your catechism, three 'r's and drill but be on your best behaviour or you might just be in for a Victorian punishment!! 
A full-day workshop for up to 30 children.
Kings and Queens of England: the Anti-Rote!
 
The new history curriculum places emphasis on rote learning and fact recall. But at Ignite Lights, we don't believe in superficial learning. Enter the anti-rote! A fast-paced sensory antidote to rote-learning, the anti-rote enables children to learn to recite a list of kings and queens through utilising memory building techniques and attaching sensory meaning to the facts. Watch your class journey through the ages and learn snippets from a thousand years of English monarchical history, taking on the memory challenge of learning over forty names and dates in just one day, using living timelines, costume and props alongside theatrical techniques to bring the royals to life. Work towards a full class performance of names and events from the royal timeline or create an interactive opportunity for parents and children to learn together with this flexible workshop.
A full-day workshop for up to 30 children.
Our School: Our History
 
The 
A full-day workshop for up to 30 children.
Theatre
  
From inception to performance, participating in theatre and drama is immensely beneficial to children's social, emotional and intellectual development. Engaging actively with theatre has been proven to enable children to perform at a higher level, both in related subjects (fluency of expression and imagination in English and the humanities) and in seemingly unrelated subjects (resilience and resourcefulness in mathematical problem-solving). Drama helps to enhance collaborative abilities, enabling greater class cohesion so if your class struggles to connect, why not help them to bond with a shared experience they'll never forget? If your class already work well together, try maximising that connection by extending their social skills with one of our more advanced workshops. All theatre workshops are devised and delivered with enthusiasm and expertise by a qualified teacher with over ten years' experience of working in professional theatres, writing, directing, acting and designing with and for young people. 

Arts Award: Discover and Explore

 

Arts Award is a fantastic way for young people to access the arts: the programme develops creativity, leadership and communication skills. The Discover award enables children aged 5+ to begin investigating their artistic side, whilst the Explore award helps those aged 7+ engage with the arts. Designed to empower young people, Arts Award gives them the opportunity to discover their own passions within the arts world. Whether there’s a hidden artist, performer, designer or a mixture of the above in your group, Arts Award will bring them out. Don’t be surprised to see the shrinking violet of your class blossom in earnest as they find their niche and grow in confidence. Arts Award’s unique qualifications support young people to develop as artists and arts leaders and through Arts Award, young people learn to work independently, helping them to prepare for further education and employment. Ignite Lights offers both Discover and Explore programmes to suit your class. Arts Award runs perfectly as a half or full term PPA cover or after-school provision, with curriculum-linked drama/theatre, visual art and creative writing/poetry options to fit your school’s requirements. The Award also works well as a transition project for Year 6, connecting feeder schools with a group of Secondary pupils completing a higher level Award. Ignite Lights is happy to coordinate and deliver transition projects concerning multiple schools: please contact us to discuss your needs.

Greek Theatre
 
Let’s go back to the beginning. The very beginning of theatre. In a land of legends, gods and amazing stories, the tradition of performance as we know it today was born. Discover what the first theatres looked like, how it would have felt to perform on the stage of an amphitheatre and what kinds of plays would have been performed. Then work towards short tragedy, comedy and and satire pieces engaging with some of the important events which occurred during the supremacy of Greek rule.
Full day workshop or half-term PPA cover with performance outcome for up to 30 children. 
Behind the Scenes at the Theatre
 
When we go to the theatre, we all see the actors, but do you also notice the set, the scenery and the props? Discover how much more there is to the theatre than acting in this artistic, project based programme. Develop STEM problem-solving skills alongside creative prowess as you work collaboratively to create all the artistic items necessary to put on a performance.
Full day workshop or half-term PPA cover (works well alongside the Greek Theatre workshop) with performance outcome for up to 30 children. 

Acting Up: How to Write a Play.

 

Calling all budding Shakespeares! Have you ever wondered how a play is transformed from an idea into a script, then into a fully-fledged performance? Work with a playwright whose scripts have been performed by children in nationally acclaimed theatres to discover how to create your own script with characters, setting, plot, props and more! Learn to manipulate language to make each character’s voice unique and enjoy experimenting with the wonderfully wacky things characters can do when they take on a persona of their own in a strange setting. This programme builds confidence and articulation alongside playwriting skills as children work together to create a collaborative script.

Taster workshop: full day for up to 30 children; Full workshop with performance and printed produced script: half or full term weekly sessions (morning, afternoon or full day).

PSHCE
 
Emotional and social education is imperative to a young person growing up in contemporary Britain. We have no idea what today's children will face in tomorrow's world, but we do know that if we enable them to think compassionately, reject prejudice and understand difference, they can help to turn tomorrow into a better day for everyone. At Ignite Lights, we believe passionately in equality and rights for all. Children are never too young to begin an exciting journey into a world full of possibilities, a world where people understand the impact of emotional health and wellbeing. PSHCE workshops are delivered by a qualified teacher with first hand experience of disability, experience of working with displaced persons and those seeking asylum in Britain and abroad, experience of dealing with road traffic incident trauma and practiced in guiding children through safety and wellbeing in the contemporary world, making activities relevant and affording your class the opportunity to connect with real life experience. Workshops are available as hour-long interactive assemblies (minimum booking: 3 consecutive hours), half-day workshops or choose a selection of topics as PPA cover for a half or full term.
Asylum: Seeking Refuge
 
Explore the important current issue of immigration with your class with this sensitive workshop. What is the difference between refugees and asylum seekers? What is it like to be forced to leave your home behind, and why do our countries have borders in the first place? Connect with the concept of refuge through the use of physical theatre and performance poetry in a workshop which covers the hot curriculum topic of British values as well as PSHCE links with bullying and segregation/inclusion. 
 

What is Disability?

 

What does disability look like? Can we always tell when someone is disabled? What rights do disabled people have? Did you know that there are 9.4 million disabled people living in the UK, but only 8% of those people use wheelchairs. Would you know how to respond if someone told you they had an invisible disability? 65% of people admit they avoid disabled people because they don't know how to act around them. This workshop provides an illuminating look at life with impairments and social inclusion, led by a person with disabilities. Activities are multi-sensory and inclusive: characters are introduced through storytelling and children are invited to explore concepts in a safe environment.
How to Stay Safe in the Digital Age
 
The internet and new digital technology are incredible resources, containing so much useful information and inspiring knowledge, and enabling us to communicate easily. But where there is convenience, knowledge at our fingertips and exciting games to play, there is also potential danger and easy access to unsuitable content. From risky selfies to indelible online marks, the dangers of meeting strangers through Xbox Live to the plethora of social media mess-ups, this workshop seriously explores how to use tech without being used yourself. Children will participate in controlled role play, discussion groups and related drama as well as exploring verbatim theatre from children affected by these issues using puppetry and props. Every care is taken to ensure children are not exposed to any harmful of distressing material whilst covering this tricky topic, and workshops have been checked by teachers. As sensitive topics are covered, a full lesson plan is provided in advance, as well as prepared letters for parents/guardians. 
Bully for You
 
What is bullying? Why do some people turn to bullying? How can we protect ourselves from bullies? Gain valuable insight into the mind of a bully and useful strategies to prevent bullying in this SEAL based workshop. Discover valuable statistics and case histories with a brief interactive breakdown of bullying in schools complete with a working definition devised together, then explore what physical, emotional and cyber bullying might look and feel like as well as how to deal effectively with the fallout, using safe spaces drama techniques.
Why Don't I Look Like That?
 
We live in the age of photoshop, where even our most beautiful people are altered beyond recognition before being presented to the public as aspirational images. As supermodel Cindy Crawford said, 'I wish I looked like supermodel Cindy Crawford!' Female body hair is so taboo that even adverts for razors show women shaving an already glass-smooth leg and if skin isn't perfectly unblemished and peachy-soft, it's immediately airbrushed. Men don't fare much better, with 'weedy wimps' becoming the butt of every joke and cheese-grater abs selling scents which make women swoon, it's no wonder many children are confused and depressed about their appearance. This workshop exposes the prevalence of photoshop, arming children with an understanding of the beauty myth used to create an industry based on people feeling bad about themselves, before launching into a round of fun drama activities based on body positivity, inclusive beauty and diversity. Learn to love your features, inside and out, and develop a toolkit for embracing your own beauty in the face of media misrepresentation.
STEM and Topic
 
Topic sessions are an exciting opportunity for children to discover new interests and passions: at Ignite Lights, we strive to give children the best possible introduction to your chosen topic. Our sessions use the five senses to engage all children from the outset, exciting props, objects and costume to bring the topic to life, and interactive problems to solve, ensuring learning is embedded and used in ways which broaden understanding and develop topic-specific skills.
Ignite Lights STEM workshops are a fun way of connecting science and technology to drama and history, engaging children who might previously have struggled to enjoy the sciences. From archaeology to zoology, we use museum-quality objects and dynamic activities to kick start your topic with a chemical bang or inspire your children to aspire toward a career in a STEM subject. 
All sessions are delivered by a qualified teacher.
From Source to Sea
 
Travel the journey of a great river from spring to estuary, connecting with the correct geographical terminology before applying it in a alternative context as your class work as a team to create a whole class performance poem on the subject. Develop alternative modes of expression and enable your class to see the ways in which language and writing can spill across every subject we study.
Half day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
Rubbish Percussion: Good Vibrations!
 
Explore the way in which sound works by designing, building and refining your own instruments in this fun workshop created in collaboration with a professional musician. Discover instruments invented around the world on the basis of sound vibrations. Learn how materials can be manipulated to alter pitch and tone as well as investigating the insulatory properties of some materials to construct earmuffs so that teacher doesn't have to suffer too much through the performance!
Half day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
In Space, No One Can Hear You Learn...
 
Travel into the cosmos in this intergalactic workshop, exploring the physics of space travel as well as the workings and layout of our solar system before learning some of the history of our human interactions with the big night sky. Understand how day and night happen, and how long they last on other planets, then get your engineering hats on as we require fast thinking problem solvers in the run-up to our very own lift off!
Half day workshop for up to 30 children.
English
 
English is important to every aspect of our lives, but how can we bring it to life? We offer exciting writing workshops, fun comprehension activities and even bespoke drama-days based on your class text. Ignite Lights' English workshops are created and delivered by a qualified teacher with a first class degree in the subject, plus professional experience writing for children's theatre, education environments and poetry. 
Seasonal Scribbles
 
Enlarge vocabularies and inspire engagement with the change of the seasons with this interactive writing workshop. Your class will collaborate, learning team-writing skills and honing linguistic control, to create a group poetry performance taking inspiration from the current season.
A half-day workshop for up to 30 children.

It's Easy as One, Two, Three: Story Structure and Characterisation

 

Work in groups with the 1-2-3 of story writing: character, plot and setting, to create a speedy snapshot story. Enjoy the fast-paced fun of creating characters using the 'character-bot', complete with props and partial costume, then move on to building an exciting setting to match or contrast your characters. Discover what an 'inciting incident' is, and play with various incidents to discover how your characters behave. Use theatre devising skills to build your story, then set it out in your very own book.

Available as a half-term PPA cover, or as a full-day workshop in a shortened format.

Snazzy Sonnets and Hilarious Haikus

 

What is a poem? How does poetry differ from other written and spoken interpretations of the world? Challenge your preconceptions as you journey through the history of poetry from Greek Epics, Saxon Sagas and Viking Lays to modern beat poetry, found verses and Caribbean protest poetry. Children will make links between history and language, understanding the intricate relationship between the poet and their contemporary culture. They will explore a wide range of poetry styles, identifying characteristics, differences and similarities, engaging with famous poems before creating their own.

Full-day workshop or half term PPA cover with potential performance and/or an anthology.

Text Detectives

 

Explore reading comprehension through dramatic analysis in this fun alternative to written comprehension tests. Theatrical exercises enable in-depth interrogation of character and text, and children are encouraged to use their inference skills to dig deeper into a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. These workshops can be run using Ignite Lights’ stock texts or a specific book/set of books of your choice. Children’s learning is extended through formulation and articulation of opinion, enquiry and consideration of high-level questions, developing empathy alongside intellect.

Full or half day workshop.

Autobiography: Writing the Self

 

Life writing is the place many writers find their voice and this programme enables pupils to engage with important events in their own lives, finding real-world relevance in their writing, whether poetry or prose. Through the use of high-level vocabulary, grammar and syntax, children will produce vivid retellings, allowing them to reflect intellectually and emotionally on formative events and make informed evaluative decisions regarding their work. A collaborative theatrical orientation makes this scheme fast-paced and fun, often yielding long-term bonds through shared experience: something frequently cited as imperative to children’s healthy development.

Full day workshop or half term PPA cover with anthology or performance.

Special Occasions
 
From Easter to Eid, Poetry Day to Book Week, Disability Awareness Week to Refugee Week, our calendars are bursting with significant celebrations, notable events and important causes to support. As a teacher, it's almost impossible to research and resource exciting, interactive activities for each event. Enter Ignite Lights! We have worked extensively to provide you with fun-filled, thought-provoking workshops for all those calendar-specific learning opportunities, putting in the work so that you can relax and enjoy the bonding experience with your class or just catch up with your marking! Many workshops involve object-handling, theatre, interactive storytelling and artwork, writing or performance material to take away/use as part of a display. Although every care has been taken to place each occasion in the correct half term block, due to fluctuating term dates and inconsistencies in continuity, special dates may slip into the wrong box. Of course, any of these workshops are available at any time.
All occasions workshops run for half a day for up to 30 children unless stated otherwise.

Autumn One

 

 

International Literacy Day

 

What does it mean to be literate? Discover some of the issues and disadvantages faced by people with low literacy levels both in the UK and in the developing world through role play with props, then enjoy an interactive storytelling session with traditional tales from different continents, highlighting the wonderful world we can access using literacy skills, and inspiring children to want to read for both learning and enjoyment.

 

International Day of Peace

 

A SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning) based session, this workshop explores the concepts of war and peace using scripted and devised theatre alongside poetry and movement to enable children to engage safely and empathetically with the impact of war on families, cities, economies and the natural world. What does peace mean for us? Can people exist together peacefully? Why do we find it so hard to spread peace? Find your own answers to these questions as you consider the small, everyday ways in which we can live peacefully

 

Black History Month

 

Hone your research skills, learn how to reconstruct the histories of marginalised groups and learn about the lives of several notable people of colour in British history in a workshop which highlights the necessity of writing silenced people back into history. Incorporating cross-curricular links, from British values and STEM links to history, English and art, this workshop embraces and celebrates the unsung movers and shakers from 2000 years of black British history - discover the impact people of colour have made on Britain from the days of the Romans through the industrial ages and the dawn of modern medicine, to today.

 

National Poetry Day

 

Learn about different types of poems and experiment with performing poetry using theatre techniques before writing and performing your own class poem on a topic of your choice or on the year's theme (messages: 2016). Enjoy an interactive performance of your workshop leader's own poetry for children and gain a working understanding of rhetorical techniques useful for poetry.

 

World Mental Health Day

 

Mental health is unarguably important and in these hectic, stress-filled days, it's more important than ever for children to be able to face the world armed with a full arsenal of wellbeing strategies. Learn about the prevalence of mental health problems faced by people through statistics and case studies before discussing the source of some mental health issues and trying out some calming, fun strategies for warding off stress and negative thoughts.

 

Hallowe'en

 

Discover the origins of the spookiest of cultural holidays, before teaming up to write and tell your own ghost stories around a campfire (no real flames) with real marshmallows! Use costume and props to bring your stories to life and learn about the role of the narrator in storytelling as well as how to build dramatic tension using voice, movement and musical instruments in this multi-arts workshop.

 

Autumn Two

 

Anti-Bullying Week

 

What is bullying? Why do some people turn to bullying? How can we protect ourselves from bullies? Gain valuable insight into the mind of a bully and useful strategies to prevent bullying in this SEAL based workshop. Discover valuable statistics and case histories with a brief interactive breakdown of bullying in schools complete with a working definition devised together, then explore what physical, emotional and cyber bullying might look and feel like as well as how to deal effectively with the fallout, using safe spaces drama techniques.

 

Guy Fawkes Night

 

Remember, remember the 5th of November...Who on earth was Guy Fawkes, and why do we celebrate his failed plot with fireworks and bonfires?! Travel back in history to the cellars beneath the Houses of Parliament to get into the mind of the notorious gunpowder plotter, trace the separate history of the firework and then join the two together to create a performance with a pop!

 

Remembrance Day

 

A hundred years on from the Great War which took so many lives, we still gather every year on this special day to remember in silence and cover the cold earth in bright poppies. Participate in the stories of soldiers, medics, airforce and navy, learning about the sacrifices made so that we can live in comfort, before making a creative response using visual arts and poetry, suitable for display purposes.

 

Road Safety Week

 

There are more cars on the roads than ever before so it has never been more important to Stop, Look and Listen! Ignite Lights' interactive storytelling workshop enables children to think carefully about how to act around traffic by allowing them to act out potentially dangerous scenarios in a safe space, discuss the consequences of poor choices around traffic, and subsequently enact safe strategies for walking and playing in areas where traffic might appear. The immersive nature of the workshop, alongside a preliminary talk, enables children to effectively internalise and embed the knowledge for a greater chance of safe choices.

 

St Andrew's Day

 

Discover the reason Scotland's flag displays a saltire cross (x rather than +), learn and re-enact some of the legends surrounding St. Andrew, the oldest patron saint of the UK, and then immerse yourselves in Scottish culture in this cross-curricular workshop spanning history, religious education and British values.

 

Diwali

 

Discover the Hindu, Sikh and Jain festival of lights: go on a whirlwind tour through the five days of Hindu Diwali, with traditional costume, amazing objects and of course, the stars of the show: the lights. Diwali is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, light over dark - explore the relationship between the two over the course of the workshop. Celebrate this joyous event with an exciting Hindu dance, then find yourselves relaxed and calmed as we experience the meaning of Diwali for Jainism: the attainment of Nirvana for the Jain Tirthankara. Find your own inner light in the candle you hold and enjoy a short meditation session to balance out the excitement of celebration.

 

International Day for Disabled People

 

What does disability look like? Can we always tell when someone is disabled? What rights do disabled people have? Did you know that there are 9.4 million disabled people living in the UK, but only 8% of those people use wheelchairs. Would you know how to respond if someone told you they had an invisible disability? 65% of people admit they avoid disabled people because they don't know how to act around them. This workshop provides an illuminating look at life with impairments and social inclusion, led by a person with disabilities. Activities are multi-sensory and inclusive: characters are introduced through storytelling and children are invited to explore concepts in a safe environment.

 

Winter Solstice

 

Discover the mysterious festivals held on the Winter Solstice, the day which marks the turning point when the days cease to get shorter and we know we can begin to look forward to long evenings again. From Jul to Saturnalia, explore the ancient celebrations which took place on this important day and the cultures which created them. Take part in the telling of a Pagan legend, then create your own myth to welcome the longer evenings back! 

 

Hanukkah

 

Celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights in style with traditional Jewish song and dance, lighting the Menorah, and playing the Dreidel game with your own hand-crafted dreidels. Learn the story of the Maccabee, explore the miracle of the oil and enjoy the ingenious tale of Judith and Holofernes. Who knows - by the end of the day, children might even be ready to reinstate the Jewish tradition of giving 'gelt', or monetary gifts, to their teachers as an expression of gratitude on Hanukkah!!

 

Christmas

 

Why do we bring trees into our houses at Christmas? How long have we been roasting turkeys for dinner on the 25th? How did Henry VIII celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, and how different was it to winter celebrations a thousand years before? Take a trip to Christmas past and explore some of the weird and wonderful British Christmas traditions of the past 2000 years, from secret Roman celebrations to Christmas rations. There are songs to be sung, crafts to be made and occasionally celebratory heads to be chopped in this whirlwind workshop. And of course, there's the obligatory partridge in a pear tree...

 

Mysterious Masks
 
Learn the basic tenets of mask-work and work on building character through physicality, using your body to create mood and convey a sense of personality. Specify the starting point for your piece of theatre, or select from our comprehensive lists, many with bespoke masks and movement sequences to engage with. Discover the exciting history of masked theatre and trace the narrow line between dance and physical theatre. This course is great for children in G&T or SEND groups, children with emotional or behavioural difficulties and children new to English.
Workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
Sensational Shakespeare
 
Who was the Bard? Why is he still the most popular playwright in the world, four hundred years after his death? What do his words mean to us today? Learn the answers to these questions and more in Ignite Lights' introduction to Shakespeare. Designed especially for KS1, this workshop places Shakespeare in his cultural and historical context using interactive props before exploring his most important works through sensory drama. Literacy comprehension links and elocution games are just a bonus! Ramble through a certain wood in midsummer, to find the bank where the wild thyme grows, battle through the streets of fair Verona, try and try to finally get that damned spot out and much, much more!
Full day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
 
 
Delightful Devising
 
What on earth is devised theatre? Discover the imaginative process of constructing a performance as you learn improvisation skills, then use high level thinking to evaluate and refine your initial ideas into a carefully crafted piece of theatre which is entirely yours. Build a piece of theatre connected to a school topic, current event or social issue and discover famous practitioners, from Brecht to Artaud, whose insightful ideas altered the way we make theatre today. Fuse their concepts into your own imaginative designs to create the theatre of the future. This woorkshop runs as a 'Play in a Day' full day session or, for a truly fantastic performance and in-depth exploration of theatre practitioners and methods, can be run as PPA cover for a half term.
Workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
Phantasmagorical Puppetry
 
From Japanese Bunraku and Chinese Shadow Puppetry to the Muppets and Punch & Judy, puppetry is intricately woven into Eastern and Western culture alike. Step back in time to discover the long history of this mysterious art form, and work with marionette, rod and hand puppets as well as experimenting with shadow and sound, to create an enchanting series of mini-performances. Learn the differences between varying forms of puppetry and enjoy experimenting with creating characters, structuring scenes and building settings, augmenting literacy skills without even realising it! Take the first steps in a lifetime’s journey to becoming a puppeteer and increase your focus, team communication abilities and motor skills. 
Full day workshop with performance outcome for up to 30 children.
 
 
Road Safety
 
There are more cars on the roads than ever before so it has never been more important to Stop, Look and Listen! Ignite Lights' interactive storytelling workshop enables children to think carefully about how to act around traffic by allowing them to act out potentially dangerous scenarios in a safe space, discuss the consequences of poor choices around traffic, and subsequently enact safe strategies for walking and playing in areas where traffic might appear. The immersive nature of the workshop, alongside a preliminary talk, enables children to effectively internalise and embed the knowledge for a greater chance of safe choices.
 
Exciting Excavations 
 
Discover the versatile science of archaeology engaging with an entire excavation, from using maths skills to bid for the right to dig, to exploring geophysics to determine where to dig, learning how to read soil strata and becoming rock detectives, to engaging with finds and analysing objects, we'll take you through the whole inspiring process. Choose four eras for your class to engage with, from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Medieval, Tudor or Victorian. Then watch them work in teams to actively solve real-life problems, enhancing core skills in maths, comprehension and analysis. This workshop comes complete with core lesson plans to extend and augment learning in maths, science and English.
Full day workshop for up to 30 children.
Extraordinary Evolution and Amazing Adaptations
 
Journey around the world with Charles Darwin, following the routes and thoughts which led him to write the seminal Origin of Species. Explore the fossils and living animals which enabled him to put forward the theory of evolution before constructing your own sci-fi narrative, using your understanding of evolution to create a world populated by weird and wonderful creatures who have evolved and adapted to their environment over millenia.
Half day workshop for up to 30 children.
 

Myths and Legends: Is This The Real Life?

 

Or is this just fantasy? Explore the wide realms of the imagination, from faerie to Norse mythology, King Arthur’s Bryton to Aboriginal Dreamtime, journey through mythical lands and learn how to create your own, complete with characters and history. This writing workshop encourages children to develop their breadth as writers, allowing imagination to run free. Children work in small teams to create their own myth using drama, then draw and write their stories. The session also focuses on inter-disciplinary learning, using history, R.E. and P.S.E learning points to enable children to develop emotionally as well as intellectually, as they consider other cultures and ways in which stereotypes can be harmful.

Literacy Links

 

Ignite Lights' bespoke literacy linked workshops are designed especially for you, to give your class exciting insights into your class text. From super-speedy canines to bears with very little brain, wizarding wonders to secret-revealing robins, we've cast our eyes over the pages and our magic spells over the words, bringing them to life as never before. Explore your favourite characters, discover contextual information to help you understand events and motivations, and empathise with decisions made as you journey through the text in a fresh, interesting way. Workshops can be designed to kickstart a text, to breathe new life in at the halfway point, or as a fun ending to the adventure: please specify upon booking.

Full or half day workshop with optional performance outcome.

Spring Two

 

St. David's Day

 

Learn all about the patron saint of Wales in this British Values workshop. Engage with life in an early British monastery using costume and interactive objects, discover how St David is connected with the Welsh adopting the leek as a national symbol, then participate in a traditional Welsh craft session with song and dance on the side!

 

World Book Day

 

Did you ever think about how books are made? Take part in the book-making process from initial concept, right through to publication, and make your very own set of class books to keep and cherish. Learn how important books are to our culture, and how changes in book-making over the past thousand years have made books and reading more accessible for ordinary people, and finish the day with a cosy storytelling session.

Half or full-day workshop.

 

International Women's Day

 

Who rules the world? Girls?? Not yet... Learn about notable women throughout world history and how their achievements were often overshadowed by those of contemporary men. Play games which emphasise the disparity between women's and men's rights, pay and cultural capital and write your own pledge for gender equality to keep and display.

 

National Science and Engineering Week

 

From astrophysics to zymurgy, we've got you covered this NSEW: enter the weird and wacky world of science and try out a multitude of STEM related careers, from archaeology and forensic science to pharmaceuticals and zoology, let us be your A-Z of all things STEM. (This workshop comes complete with follow up lesson plans and activities.)

 

Commonwealth Day

 

What is the Commonwealth? From Botswana to Barbados, Belize to Bangladesh, the Commonwealth traces the history of an empire where the sun never set. Enjoy a day of cultural variety: costume from the four corners of the earth, dances, songs and world theatre: this workshop is a celebration of the incredible diversity of the 53 countries which make up the Commonwealth. Learn what binds these countries, large and small, rich and poor, together, and how countries can benefit from equal cooperation.

 

St. Patrick's Day

 

What do you know about St. Patrick? No, he's not the patron saint of alcohol! Recent commercialisation of Ireland's patron saint has resulted in the sad loss of the legend surrounding this figurehead: reclaim St. Patrick in your school today, and learn about the apostle's amazing life, including his capture by pirates as a young boy! Discover the richness and beauty of Ireland too - St. Patrick's Day isn't all about the saint himself - in Ireland, the day is a cultural celebration of Ireland's amazing heritage.

 

World Storytelling Day

 

Why do we tell stories? Oral storytelling enables members of a culture or society to understand their shared roots and values as well as allowing developing children learn to articulate simple and complex ideas eloquently. Join together to enjoy traditional stories from around the world: participate in an Aboriginal Australian Dreamtime telling, be inspired by the adventures of African heroes and heroines, step into the world of Native American Indian tribal stories and follow the myths and legends which have made Britons what we are today. Use music, costume and props to bring these exciting stories to life.

Half or full day workshop.

 

World Poetry Day

 

What is a poem? How does poetry differ from other written and spoken interpretations of the world? Challenge your preconceptions as you journey through the history of poetry from Greek Epics, Saxon Sagas and Viking Lays to modern beat poetry, found verses and Caribbean protest poetry. Children will make links between history and language, understanding the intricate relationship between the poet and their contemporary culture. They will explore a wide range of poetry styles, identifying characteristics, differences and similarities, engaging with famous poems before creating their own.

Half or full day workshop.

 

World Theatre Day

 

Step behind the scenes to discover the inspiring nature of theatre, from improv and devising to scripted work, puppetry and mask work. An introduction to the most magical of mediums, this workshop is a fun-packed whistlestop tour through the sparkle and illusion of theatre to find the essence, the moment that makes the audience gasp in wonder. Watch your class blossom as they find joy in new modes of expression and learn something about themselves in the process.

Half or full day workshop.

 

Easter

 

Before British Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ at Easter, Ancient Britons celebrated Eostre, the harbinger of Spring and new life. Learn her story and discover the scraps of her legacy which remain in the way we celebrate this holiday today, including a certain bunny and some brightly coloured eggs! This workshop includes storytelling, music, craft and lots of fun!

Spring One

 

National Storytelling Week

 

Storytelling is a huge part of being human - our earliest societies used stories to pass on information before writing existed and some cultures still follow this oral tradition today. Explore the myths and legends which have shaped our own culture before learning how to shape and perform your own story as you take on the role of storyteller, learning how vocal tone, gesture and facial expression, as well as your words, can influence and entrance your audience. 

 

Chinese New Year

 

Are you a monkey, a rat, or even a dragon? Learn the rules behind the Chinese zodiac and the meanings of the different animals, elements and colours. Then get ready for the year of the Red Fire Rooster (2017) and explore the wonderful tradition of Chinese New Year using dance, puppetry, music and object handling.

 

Burns Night

 

Discover who the poet Robert 'Rabbie' Burns was, what he means to Scots, and why the Scots celebrate him on this day of revelry and spoken word. Prepare an authentic Scottish feast (not edible) and write your own toasts, poems and tales in the style of traditional Burns revellers, then sit down to re-enact your very own Burns Supper.

 

St. Valentine's Day

 

Who was St. Valentine? Why has his name become synonymous with the celebration of love? Take part in an interactive storytelling session exploring the life and times of St. Valentine, from secret marriage rites to legendary healing from his prison cell, before learning how the patron saint of lovers became the patron of one of the most commercial holidays around! Finish by having a go at writing your own love poem and decorating it  with Valentine's symbols.

 

 

Summer One

 

St. George's Day

 

What do you know about St. George? England's patron saint is famous for slaying a terrible dragon to save a beautiful maiden, displaying the very British virtues of chivalry and gallantry. But what can we learn about the real man, a Roman soldier from Turkey, beheaded in Palestine after pleading for the Roman Emperor Diocletian to spare the lives of persecuted Christians.Discover how real events can be distorted into exciting myth and legend, and have a go at creating your own allegorical story incorporating the best and worst of English culture. 

 

Shakespeare's Birthday

 

Are you ready to celebrate the bard's birthday? Who was the Bard? Why is he still the most popular playwright in the world, four hundred years after his death? What do his words mean to us today? Learn the answers to these questions and more in Ignite Lights' introduction to Shakespeare. Designed especially for KS1, this workshop places Shakespeare in his cultural and historical context using interactive props before exploring his most important works through sensory drama. Literacy comprehension links and elocution games are just a bonus! Ramble through a certain wood in midsummer, to find the bank where the wild thyme grows, battle through the streets of fair Verona, try and try to finally get that damned spot out and much, much more!

 

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week

 

A FREE (to schools in the Leeds area, available to other schools at a reduced rate) workshop enabling children to understand life with chronic illness, invisible/visible disability and deteriorating health. Explore disability through interactive storytelling, experience some of the symptoms of MS in a safe way, then ask all those questions you didn't know whether you could ask. Led by a qualified teacher with multiple sclerosis.

 

Local and Community History Month (May)

 

How old is your school? How about your area? Have you ever wondered what was there before your home was built? Explore your local history through object handling, pictures and audio, and learn what it was like to live in your local area at different points in time. Each workshop is individually researched to ensure local relevance and interest, and further lesson plans detailing the study of local history are included to make follow-up activities easy.

Available as a half or full day workshop, or as a weekly half-term long project, culminating in the production of an anthology detailing the local history of your area.

 

Beltane - the Celtic Festival of Fire

 

Who were/are the Celts? Where did they live and what did they do? Retell the story of a Celtic family in a fun, interactive historic theatre session culminating in the raucous celebration of Beltane, complete with Celtic music and dance.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week

 

Mental health is unarguably important and in these hectic, stress-filled days, it's more important than ever for children to be able to face the world armed with a full arsenal of wellbeing strategies. Learn about the prevalence of mental health problems faced by people through statistics and case studies before discussing the source of some mental health issues and trying out some calming, fun strategies for warding off stress and negative thoughts.

 

Summer Two

 

The Queen's Official Birthday

 

Queen Elizabeth Windsor: at 90 years old, her majesty has seen a lot in her long life. This workshop looks at the queen we all think we know in a fresh light. Work with Princess Elizabeth as a driver and mechanic in war-torn Britain and experience the splendour of her coronation and accession to the throne, before re-enacting the Queen's birthday parade, trooping the colours around your school. 

 

Summer Solstice

 

The point in the year when late evenings reach their zenith, midsummer is a moment for many people to swap doing for being, to reflect on your achievements through the year. Celebrate Litha, the Pagan summer festival, by crafting items from bird feathers and sharing achievements from the year. Midsummer is also allegedly a time when faries abound as the veil between worlds is thinnest at this point. Take part in the telling of a Pagan fairytale, then create your own fairytale to welcome the cosy evenings by the fireside back! 

 

Refugee Awareness Week

 

Explore the important current issue of immigration with this sensitive workshop. What is the difference between refugees and asylum seekers? What is it like to be forced to leave your home behind, and why do our countries have borders in the first place? Connect with the concept of refuge through the use of physical theatre and performance poetry in a programme which covers the hot citizenship topic of British values as well as PSHE links with bullying and segregation/inclusion. 

 

Children's Art Week

 

The visual arts are an exciting way for young children to express themselves as well as to learn about the world around them. During Children's Art Week, Ignite LIghts offers a wide variety of workshops in visual arts, including puppet making, mask making, make your own dream catcher, 3D painting, fabric art, print-making, sculpture and teardrop painting. Many workshops can be linked to curriculum topics and all come with extra resources to turn your fun arts day into a vibrant classroom display.

Full or half day workshop.

 

Festival of Archaeology

 

Learn to read the ground beneath your feet in this exciting workshop, incorporating science, geography, history and theatre. Choose from prehistoric, Roman, Egyptian, Viking or Anglo-Saxon digs and enjoy a quick interactive talk on the art and science of archaeology before preparing for and participating in your own archaeological dig. Finally, discover exactly what you've found as you are guided through a post-excavation analysis complete with artist's renderings and materials which can be used to create an exciting class display.

 

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