Teacher-Director Victoria Bowyer’s week 1 diary

Week 1: Victoria Bowyer

Last year’s performance is now a misty-eyed memory. The chaos of organising two casts: the panic; the ‘they are never going to get this’ fears; the ‘what have we done…’ moments are long gone. Even this year’s Teacher Director Workshop seems a lifetime ago.  Yet here we are, back at the beginning.

We are incredibly fortunate in our school in that we have been able to build our Autumn Term curriculum around SSF. This year we are bringing two casts again, but this time with two different plays and two teacher directors. Starting from the  moment we met on Move Up Day, our children were introduced to the idea of being a company. Some schools have a Year 6 residential, we have SSF and have found no better way of building that sense of community.

The thing you have to know about SSF is that it is addictive. You find yourself looking at your Festival Co-ordinator with applause still ringing in your ears and the smiles beaming on the children’s faces and say ‘Yes – of course we’ll do it again!’ So, here we are: two classes; two completely different plays and only one hall….

Where do I start? That was the first question my fellow director had.  Together, was my immediate response, which is how we came to be stood on that first morning with 60 children in a rather warm school hall. We may have inadvertently given the impression that Year 6 was all about games, but at the end of that session the excitement was obvious. Simple things: the 1,2,3 game, ba-naaaar-na (you just have to go with it!), flock of birds. They weren’t just Year 6 anymore, they were actors and this was our rehearsal space.  Minds full of questions to be noted down and referred to later, we headed back to class. We don’t have all the answers yet, but at least we have a starting point.

SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

Learn more about us