The Tiger Came To Tea Project
In 2015, Blackpool Grand Theatre in partnership with the Blackpool Family learning team ran a five week The Tiger Came To Tea Project at Revoe, Mereside, Boundary, Haweside, Devonshire Rd, Holy Family, Stanley and Layton Schools were involved in the event; as well as at Central, Bispham and Palatine Libraries.
The event was based on The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Each week a learning workshop for parents (of Year 1 and 2 children) was held to encourage their child’s learning in English, maths and language skills. The course gave the parents ideas of how a book could be used to support their child’s learning. Each session lasted two hours and involved a parent workshop with the tutor for one hour, followed by an hour where the parent was joined by their child to work on joint fun activities.
The event covered ; storytelling skills and introduction to the book, using a storybook to help maths skills and problem solving, phonics and photography skills (the photography session was delivered by Jill Reidy and Claire Griffiths), healthy eating and exercise, theatre reviews, questioning techniques and features of non-fiction.
The parents were given a voucher which they could exchange for 2 free tickets for any performance of the show at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre.
After the theatre performance, we surveyed 56 families about the experience.
• 15 families had never been to the theatre before
• 100% families would like to go to the theatre again
• Of those surveyed, 50 talked about the story before the performance and all families talked about it afterwards
Comments received about the theatre performance included:
• So enjoyable. Watching your child’s face as they watch the live action is priceless. Such a wonderful thing to do as a family.
• Myself and my daughter really enjoyed the show. It was funny and my daughter loved joining in the dancing
• Enjoyed doing something together as a family especially when you have been learning about it
• Really enjoyed the theatre experience and the interactive elements of the show
• It was fun and the kids enjoyed it, something different to what we’d normally do
• Children really enjoy the show and join in. We talked about the show and had lunch in a cafe just like in the show
• It was a brilliant experience. My son was enthralled by “The Tiger Who Came to Tea”. I wish I had started going years ago
Comments received about the course included:
• I really enjoyed it. My daughter enjoyed it too and was so excited to join in with the activities and it’s a lovely way to spend time with your child learning with no distractions.
• Doing this course has helped my confidence and my child’s. He has come out of his shell so much and wants to read more books.
• This course helped me to understand the teaching methods.
• My son has come on in leaps and bounds – his biggest thing he learnt was the food groups.
• I learnt how a story can help with maths and how important problem solving is.
• I learnt how playing helps children to understand what they are reading. S shows more interest particular with reading as we now often play out the story.
• I can now work with my child and have a better understanding of how they work at school.
• My child has learnt how to count money and to take photos properly.
• Excellent ways of helping them learn whilst being fun as well.
• My child has become more enthusiastic when reading and tends to listen more when actions and sounds are involved.
Pre-Show Creative Family Workshop
Following on from this great project, the Grand Theatre then hosted a Pre-Show Creative Family Workshop with local artists, Sarah Jane Lockwood and Ashlee Saraya on 17 October 2015.
This workshop used The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr, as motivation for creative exploration of the themes presented in the book/show. Young people and parents were invited to participate in movement games, tasks and play to question ideas found within the story, thereby discovering the story through physical activities, rather than just listening to the story.
The Tiger Came To Tea Project involved three sections: A seated warm up: Children were introduced to thematic movement ideas and rhythm whilst being encouraged to explore their own physicality. Standing movement exploration: Children and parents worked together to explore self-expression and develop motor skills. Dancers played with different travelling skills related to the physicality of tigers. Young people responded to a variety of musical stimulus and played with characterisation/dramatic movement. Grown-ups danced with their young people to promote a total-family approach to the workshop and support the introduction basic contact skills in a safe and controlled way. And finally, Creative exploration: Children explored the story of the book/stage show through participation in a structured improvisation dance. The improvisation matched the basic structure of the story.
“Thank you so much. We’ve all really enjoyed the workshop – Such a fun way to learn about the show.”
“Weekly workshops would be great!”
“Both my boys loved it. Thank you.”
“Great fun for everyone – including adults!”
“Very good – we hope to do something again in the near future.”
“Great opportunity for parents and children to play together.”
Download the Tea Project Mag – Workshops booklet