Early education and pedagogical approach
Magic Adventure represents a consolidation of Theatre of Adventure’s inventive, creative and interactive work. Charlotte Arculus has over 30 years experience in working with very young children and the amazing cast also bring similar knowledge and breadth of experience. There is strong pedagogical underpinning and rationale to all the elements of Magic Adventure which combine methods of playfulness and complicité drawn from contemporary clowning, physical theatre, jazz improvisation, music therapy. These art forms, not commonly associated with early childhood, complement the child-led interaction with the physical landscape, combining exploratory Play with interactive Playfulness co-created between children, adults and the world. This is the special strength of the Magic Adventure cast – they are highly skilled in co-creating with children and working in many modes - movement, gesture, facial expression, voice play, sound play, object play and funniness
The environment strongly enables development in the three Prime areas of the EYFS. Often practitioners are surprised by the levels of engagement of so called less-able children. Residencies are normally combined with staff CPD sessions before and after.
Feedback from professionals who attended Magic Adventure
“Being able to see the children in a different environment – enabling a better understanding of ‘whole’ child
Increased expectations of children e.g. success can be in many different forms
Used experience to inform planning and improve planning enabling us to deliver the four EYFS themes more deeply
Confidence in terms of performance through enjoyment and ‘team working’ with children at this level
I keep making links to ‘how it was done’ during day to day practice, which is making me reflect and so improve how I do things.”
“The whole adventure was a surprise and one which I will always remember. Our usually shy children (girls especially) were very confident – lovely to see.”
“This project has made me feel a lot more confident about music and performing and helped me gain more of a sense of fun!
So this will reflect on how I teach in the future.
The music CD will be invaluable and will give me further musical expertise”
“I have noticed that more of the children are singing and making up songs. Some of the children who normally wouldn't sit down to music time are joining in with a lot more focus. More children are requesting the parachute or musical instruments out.
The sound shelf had enhanced the children’s learning and some of the children are writing simple words e.g. cat, dog”
"Thanks again for inviting me to the performance yesterday, I was really moved by it. So much so that I fear the interview I gave after the performance didn't do my experience justice, and having time to digest it on the way home I wanted to say a bit more about it (please!):
You've managed to create a meaningful, beautiful and thoughtful piece of art that is genuinely inclusive and very clearly a collaboration with the families you've worked with - their voice is ever present throughout and every detail seams to have a purpose. Just brilliant.
MK and MA share a similar vision in creating an environment where self expression and exploration can thrive, and is available to anyone, regardless of their needs. The child is simply guided (not forced) through a series of perfectly crafted activities and environments where learning just happens but having fun comes first.
it is also remarkable how in harmony you are as a group of performers, it really puts the participants at ease. Your relationship woth the participants is also so in tune, you connect and communicate with every individual with seemingly little effort.
At MK we aim to create an environment where young, often vulnerable children can feel welcome, comfortable and supported so that they have the confidence to be themselves and to explore, this can often take a number of weeks as our engagement with them - although long-term - is infrequent. At Magic Adventure that environment happens instantly, the children clearly felt immediately familiar with teh space and exploration was organic.
Another issue we often face in our work is that when a parent or carer is anxious or apprehensive with the activity it can often create a barrier for the child's participation, you have designed such an intelligent space that simply by putting up low-hanging bunting or creating pockets of space, you have eased the adult into the child's world, by manipulating their physical space and engaging them in the child's world.
I think the most impressive part of the whole instillation is that whilst looking like a normal show (it's not normal but you know what I mean...) every single detail has been so carefully designed, planned and crafted to meet the needs and expectations of the particpant whilst maintaining the integrity of the art. And that is a very rare, very profound thing."
Oliver Payne - Musical Keys