Drama, poetry and storytelling in schools
Terry set up Team Players Theatre Company in 2000 with funding assistance from Northern Arts, now Arts Council England North.
Its original aim was to help schools in their teaching of the three core SATs subjects – Maths, Science and English. A portfolio of shows, written by Terry and wife Sue - a Primary School teacher - was extensively toured to great acclaim.
These interactive offerings highlighted areas of the curriculum that could be taught in a different and amusing way.
The portfolio of shows gradually extended to over 40 shows covering non-curriculum subjects like French, SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning), internet safety and, of course, the annual pantomime. (Oh yes, it did!)
Some feedback from our final tour - on internet safety. Super Cyber Safe . . .
Everything was great! Fantastic actors/actress, audience participation/quiz enjoyed by all. Thank you, a very informative show, enjoyed by all adults and children - Cullercoats Primary School, North Tyneside
There should be more of this in schools to help educate and keep children informed on how to stay safe on the internet. - North Ormesby Academy, Middlesbrough
Thanks for a great show. The children loved it and got a valuable lesson - South Street Primary School, Gateshead
A really fun and lively performance getting across an important message. One of the best I've seen. - St. Joseph's RC Primary School, Loftus
The children enjoyed the shows. Feedback showed that the teachers also found value in their messages and were clearly sufficiently engaged in their delivery, to book for the next tour. (No matter how much the children enjoy a show, they are not allowed to book the next one themselves!)
Children are the most discerning audience. They get bored very quickly with no pretence that they are interested. Terry scaled that learning curve very quickly. The lesson he took is that his shows had to be pacey, interesting and engaging. A principle that should also apply to adult audiences.
Terry hung up his touring boots in 2015 to pursue other interests, but still visits schools with storytelling and poetry workshops. The latter are based on his book Scribbles and Giggles – silly verse for children.