My First Experience of a School Workshop – Connor’s Blog

Before our Without Walls event last month, members of the Youth Board worked with artist Sian Watson Taylor in primary schools across the region to create artwork that expresses what creativity looks like without barriers. Here, Youth Board member Connor reflects on his first school workshop experience.

I had helped run workshops before but I had never worked in a school in this capacity. This was the first workshop in our series to build up to the Without Walls exhibition.

As soon as I walked into the classroom roars of “wow, he is so tall!” echoed around the room and from that moment I knew I was in for a crazy day.

We were completing a discover Arts Award by creating split-pin puppets with the students. Part of the Arts Award is a Q+A and I could never have prepared for this. From fielding questions such as what is your favourite food to where did you get your hair from, I could tell that both parties were having a great time.

Throughout the day there had been a group of students whom were very expressive in their disappointment of me supporting Liverpool FC but had struggled to engage with the creative tasks which had been set. Once we reached the time to for the students to make split-pin puppets of themselves this all changed.

It was still slow at first, the group not really being able to engage with the task but then came THE moment. I was asked if they could make puppets of animals rather than themselves and as soon as I said yes, they exploded into action. Within moments sausages dogs and alligators with movable jaws were in their infancy of creation. By the end of the day each and every person in that class had created a puppet that was special and unique to them. What inspired me so much about this particular group was seeing the transformation which creativity was able to bring around in such a short window and how happy they were with how things had turned out.

It was such a special thing to be able to be a part of and knowing the work that not only I had put in but seeing what it meant to each and every student in that room was the moment I knew we were building towards something unlike anything else in Without Walls.