Quest 2018 Ymgais
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” - Albert Einstein
At every session - The Fellowship Oath
Bang our drum,
Raise our swords.
This is our Quest,
To be the best!
Partly to inspire a growth mind-set, as well as just having a little fun, the entire group (adults and students) stand together in a circle and chant this oath. We stamp our feet to the rhythm of the ‘drum’ and symbolically raise swords to the centre of the circle - in a ritual of togetherness.
At every session - The Round Table
The Round Table is a way for the group to document their feelings and reflections about the project. Each student has a ‘place’ on the Round Table (where they have drawn their personal heraldic symbol) and adds to it at various points during the sessions.
Above: The Round Table
Session 1: Quest
Aim: In this introductory session, the Quest team sets out to learn about the group and introduces them to the idea that stories aren’t always from books, in the hope of calming a ‘fear’ of reading. Also, the group will be introduced to King Arthur and the ideas behind Quest journeys.
Session 2: Quest
Aim: This session aims introduce the group to modern storytelling techniques through digital technology (with a later demonstration of traditional story telling techniques in a live performance at the Arthurian Centre). Also, through creative grouping games, storytelling groups are formed to invent new Quest stories. These groups are The Kings, The Spears, The Swords, The Shields and The Grails. These groups will remain the same for the rest of the project.
Session 3: Quest at Arthurian Centre
Aim: Aim: The first part of this session is about inspiring the pupils to aim higher by opening new doors and unexpected paths for them to explore: the treasures (rare books and manuscripts) and the locations of Bangor University Library, Archives and the Centre for Arthurian Studies. Pupils learned about how medieval manuscript books are made and they had reflected on how genealogical designs in these relate to the stories and the family/personal crests/shields they have designed in previous sessions.
The second half of this session is dedicated to reflecting, along with Raluca Radulescu and Kate Stuart, on how stories are written and grow, and how they imitate life – or viceversa. This part of the day is inspired by a viewing of the documentary ‘Sword in the Stone’ (National Geographic TV Channel ‘Ancient X-Files’ series, season 2), produced with Prof. Radulescu, focusing on the mystery of an Italian Arthurian story and its links back to the original Arthurian legends.
Session 4: Quest
Aim: The first half of this session is about reflection. The group reflect on their visit to Bangor and add their thoughts to The Round Table with words or drawings. Some of the group reflect that there are focusing issues.
“Sometimes, people are silly and don’t listen.” – Anon
“I feel like, sometimes, people don’t listen or pay attention.” – Anon
“I think people don’t think about taking part enough.” – Anon
Gillian Brownson reacts with a universal sign when the group need to galvanise for an activity. Also, the group take part in a light-hearted listening exercise using Art. The second half of the session asks the storytelling groups (Kings, Spears, Swords, Grails, Shields) to build original story ideas using brainstorming techniques, video monologues and Internet picture research, as well as one member of the group’s beautiful original Art work.
Above: Original Art Work by Ruby, inspiring The King’s story of ’The dragon’s Cave.’
Session 5: Quest
Aim: To galvanise the group after being apart for a 3 week break and to exercise their imaginations before exploring narrative structures. In the second part of the session, the storytelling groups begin to focus on producing their digital story as Kate Stewart introduces the Story Map platform.
Session 6: Quest at the Arthurian Centre
Aim: The introduce the group to traditional storytelling techniques with a performance of ‘The Noble Tale of the Sangrail Of Sir Galahad’ and to explore the legend through a ‘Quest’ quiz in the grounds of Bangor University. The second part of the day delved into the Galahad Tale with some freeze frame exercises while also challenging the group with some medieval singing.
Above: Gillian Brownson performs ’The Noble Tale of the Sangrail, Of Galahad’s Quest.”
Above: Freeze Frames in the court yard
Above: Quest Quiz
Above: Raluca Radulescu introduces pupils to the treasures of the Arthurian Centre
Above: Storyboarding and digital storytelling
Session 7: Quest
Aim: Aim: After a storyboarding exercise, this intensive writing and editing session challenged the group to focus on their story within the digital platform, with a whole group sharing at the end of the day, in order to prepare for their sharing project at Pontio.
“Quest has been an exciting opportunity for our students. They have worked with a story-telling artist, a digital media expert and a professor of medieval Literature. This blend of expertise and creativity is exciting: it has engaged and galvanised the group and they are exploring their stories in lots of interesting [and unexpected ways]. I had the pleasure of accompanying them on their visit to Bangor University. The received a very warm welcome and I could sense a raising in their expectations. The visit to the Arthurian centre was fantastic for them. To have so many books shown to them and brought out of the archive for them by the University's Librarian gave them a great sense of worth and I felt communicated to them the importance of story. I look forward to the second half of the project.” - Richard Burrows, Literacy Co-ordinator, Ysgol Aberconwy
Feelings from the students: In a private reflections document, the pupils were asked to tell the Quest Team about their feelings on the project. Some chose not to give their name.
“It’s a good idea to take part!” - Thomas
“I have enjoyed it, I like to communicate with everyone.” – Anon
“I really enjoy it and think I’m gaining stuff from it.” – Eve
“I love it, I like making ideas.” – Anon
“I like to talk.” – Anon
“It’s fun and interesting.” – Becca
“I love it, I like doing the Quest work and it’s fun.” – Anon
Creative Learning in the Current Education Environment
The importance of working creatively in schools is slowly being embedded across all subjects (not just traditional Arts subjects.) Learning professionals and strategists are beginning to acknowledge that challenging pupils creatively not only inspires reflection, growth mind sets and raises aspirations, but also develops pupils for a world of work that has changed dramatically and is led largely by the Creative Industries, where development and problem solving requires creative thinking.
The following links offer some research:
Gillian Brownson works on Venue Cymru’s ‘Young Creatives’ programme. Once a month, young people gather together to explore words. Come and join us here:
The Quest Team hope that the group may want to develop their stories further and will be keeping in touch with the pupils as digital storytelling competitions come up, where they can enter their work: http://openingup.wonderboxpublishing.com