Year 5 and 6 students joined artist Adam James to develop collective identities, borrowing techniques from Nordic live action role play (larp).
Participating groups used movement, mapping and materials to negotiate group identities, reflecting on experiences of belonging and not belonging and thinking about how this relates to the transition to secondary school. The Studio: Here Is the Place can be read as a rehearsal for a more democratic form of school and society.
Research shows that the majority of children in the UK will have some concerns about the transition from primary to secondary school, and that one in five will significantly struggle; this can have an impact on academic performance, affect their self-esteem and emotional wellbeing. The Studio: Here is the Place supported primary schools to prepare pupils for the potentially challenging transition to secondary school.
The Studio: Here is the Place built out from Adam James’ 2016 Moving Up Commission, a collaboration with children and teachers at Gateway Academy in North Westminster. Through Moving Up, we aim to support children in their transition to secondary school by creating a temporary space where they can develop tools to work together and support one another.
The resulting resource, Here Is The Place is designed to support teaching staff working with Year 5 and Year 6 students preparing for the transition from primary to secondary schools. It contains a poster and leaflet designed as a group activity to encourage staff and children to work together to think about this transition through movement, mapping and making. It invites children to think about difference, acceptance, trust and empathy through play.
The Studio: Here is the Place was free and open to groups visiting from state-funded schools from the Greater London area.