Beatriz and Sophia

by Wendy on February 6, 2014

Heart dissectionBeatriz and Sophia go to a school wedged between a cluster of housing estates and an array of shops in an affluent area of South Westminster. You’ll hardly notice the school, small and tugged away, but its gate opens into a warm and friendly environment where each child really matters.

In their school, 61.5% children are eligible for free school meals and over 80% children don’t speak English as their first language. The school takes such care to support children with special educational needs in their class, and has won numerous awards for their exceptional work to enrich different aspects of the school life for all their students.

Just over a year ago, Beatriz and Sophia’s class came to a BEANii Victorian drama workshop at the Old Operating Theatre Museum. Subsequently, Sophia and Beatriz represented their school to take part in the Great BEANii Dickens adventure, a community project supported by the Wellcome Trust. The project involved a programme of Saturday creative learning workshops for local children to explore things that affected the prevalence of consumption during the Victorian times, relative to coronary heart disease now. The workshops led to the performance of a theatre show at the Southwest Fest, co-created with participated children, to families and communities in South Westminster.

Mr. SqueersMaud Ragonnaud, as part of her MSc nutrition dissertation project at King’s College London, evaluated the children for their experience of the programme and this is what she wrote:

‘The two key ways in which children identified a better learning experience was practical learning such as nutrition/science games and being able to relate their learning to everyday life…. During BEANii they had various educators to educate them and interact with them, the children reported this helped increase their knowledge in science.’ 

In her recorded interview with 15 of the participated children, one child said, “At BEANii you can connect science to real-life”. Others commented on the understanding they gained at BEANii such as, “how you live and your body works” and “how the world and everything works”

SlidesThis year, with funding support provided by a charitable organisation, we are now able to offer the 25 hour BEANii Dickens programme to the whole of Beatriz and Sophia’s class, IN THEIR SCHOOL! We are very excited about the positive difference that BEANii Dickens will make to the learning, self-esteem and well-being of all the children in their class.
This is the feedback that we’ve received from Father Roper, their class teacher so far, ‘I was really surprised (and pleased) with the number of quieter children who got involved, especially when dissecting the hearts.’’
We are looking forward to the show that the class will create and perform to their school pupils, teachers and parents, which we hope to write more about soon…
In the meantime, we are very thankful to Freyja, Carolyn, Rozel, Josh and Cathlin for their commitment and the sacrifices they make for the children in Beatriz and Sophia’s class. Carolyn, a 2nd year nutrition student at King’s, travels over an hour from Hampshire to be there for the class every week!


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