Changing the conversation about health

Blog: How arts and creativity can help young people deal with difficult transitions

This week, Professor Chris Drinkwater, Executive Lead for Arts and Creativity at the North East & North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network, wrote a blog for theatre company Damn Cheek on the benefits of drama for helping children to cope with change.

In the article, Professor Drinkwater explains his work on Transitions, a project in the North East region that introduces primary school children to creative drama for helping to manage uncertainty.

Creative drama can help children and young people deal with unsettling changes in their lives, writes Professor Chris Drinkwater for theatre group Damn Cheek’s website (Image: Pixabay/spotoflight)

He says while focus on academic subjects is important, there should also be a strong emphasis on the social and emotional wellbeing of pupils in their learning, particularly as they transition to secondary school.

The blog references a recent paper from the Education Policy Institute on social and emotional learning which outlines why projects like Transitions need to be more common for children of primary school age.

He explains: “All of us at some time or another have worried about transitions: a new job, moving to another area or a new house. There is the tingle of excitement edged with dread. Have I made the right choice? Will things live up to my expectations?

“How we manage these transitions and how resilient we are is dependent on how, as children, we learn to cope with the inevitable transitions of growing up: going to school for the first time, or moving from a small local primary school to a much bigger and often distant secondary school.

“There needs to be much more of this kind of project, and in the long term STEM needs to become STEAM, with the arts and creativity as an equal partner.”

To read the blog in full, click here or visit the website

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