On Tuesday 4th February, Rockwood’s school hall was transformed into a theatrical space as year 9 students took part in an interactive drama provided by The Playhouse’s Tapestry programme.
Through the unfolding of the drama, students witnessed the dangers of grooming and extremism as they discovered how extremist ideas can be formed, and the consequences leading from them. The drama intentionally created several key prompts to discussions surrounding these issues that encouraged the students to ask questions about extremism – no matter how uncomfortable, complex or controversial the matter was. The most crucial – and unique – aspect of Tapestry was the creation of a space where students felt safe and comfortable to talk about their feelings and concerns with experts on the topic, so that they experienced a thorough exploration of the dangers of extremism.
The safe environment provided by Tapestry, a new and innovative way for year 9s to explore this topic, correlated greatly with Rockwood’s CORE values. “Collaboration” was required for discussion between students and between experts, the “Opportunity” allowed students a chance for their voice to be heard, “Respect” was required from all of our students when discussing such sensitive topics with one another, in order to create a safe environment, and “Excellence” is reflected in the pupils’ high competence and conduct when approaching these new areas of discussion. “We were very impressed with the high level of behaviour and focus from the students at Rockwood,” states an expert from Tapestry.
One student said, “this was a great opportunity for me to discuss my feelings on a topic I feel is often misrepresented in the media. This is so important to me, because these things can impact our lives on a daily basis. I was worried about taking part at first, but everyone was very understanding and I feel a lot better now that I understand the dangers. My confidence has definitely improved thanks to The Playhouse’s Tapestry programme.”