News from Polka Creative Learning

September 9, 2020

Hello and welcome back to a new school year!

Following many challenging months of lockdown, home-schooling and social distancing, I am sure there will be some relief to know you now have all your students back with you.  However, this transition period will not be easy, and with that in mind, we are getting in touch to let you know how Polka can support your children, your staff and school this term.

By offering a safe platform for exploring creative and expressive possibilities, drama can help children to better understand their feelings and the emotional challenges that they may be facing. We know many children will be struggling with their thoughts and feelings during this time: anxiety, isolation, loneliness or insecurity about the future. Taking part in creative activities, either independently or with their peers, will support children’s mental health and well-being which is so needed during this period of adjustment.

Polly Simmonds
Head of Creative Learning

Polka School Workshops

Polka’s experienced team of practitioners, storytellers and puppeteers have been delivering a range of School Workshops for many years, whether it be a drama and poetry workshop to celebrate International Literacy Day, a storytelling session commemorating Black History Month or a puppet-making session to mark Roald Dahl Day.

Inspired by Professor Barry Carpenter’s Recovery Curriculum, Polka has created a new programme of workshops; focusing specifically on mental health & wellbeing for Reception through to Year 6. These workshops sensitively explore the many questions, concerns and worries that children may be facing in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.  During the sessions, the children will creatively explore ways in which they can embrace their emotions, share and process their thoughts and feelings, and become more resilient to changes to their world.  We will use drama exercises chosen to help the children re-establish their patterns of communication and friendship as they re-engage with their peers in a fun and age-appropriate way.

Each workshop is delivered to one “bubble” or class at a time and can last for 1 hour, or up to a full day. The workshops can be delivered either in person or live-on-screen via Zoom. A Teacher Resource Pack will also be provided with follow up activities and tasks for the children to do during lesson time.

Polka After-School Clubs

With schools not able to run their normal extra-curricular activities on-site, Polka now offers a unique programme of digital After School Clubs in Primary Schools across London and Surrey, offering a great enrichment opportunity for pupils with curious minds. These live sessions will be shown digitally through Zoom – a free-to-use online platform. A Polka Drama Club is the perfect opportunity for your child to have fun with their friends after the school day in a safe and friendly online environment.

Delivered by one of Polka’s experienced workshop leaders, the 45-minute sessions will focus on using imaginative play, movement, games and stories to develop communication, build confidence and encourage self-expression. All our practitioners are DBS checked, have received Child Protection training and we have a robust Zoom Safeguarding Policy and Consent Form system in place.

Polka Inset Training

Our Inset training sessions for teachers are focussed on how to bring drama and the creative arts into the classroom and will explore ways in which teachers can incorporate a host of multi-sensory drama techniques when engaging their pupils. Each participant will receive a resource pack to support the training.

For more information on any of our schools projects or workshops please contact Heidi Pointet:

Future Polka Update

Despite the delays that Covid-19 has caused to our schedule, we are pressing ahead with our building work and the theatre is now on track to reopen next spring. We’ll be announcing more details of this later in the year.

Not being able to open for another winter season is of course devastating for us all, but we know that when we do reopen it will be with all the learning from this period to make sure we can keep our visitors safe and well in our shiny new building. We can’t wait to welcome you back, but in the meantime, we’re able to come to you with our range of in-school activities. For now, here’s a picture of our famous clock getting a fresh coat of paint before the scaffolding comes down!