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WHALE SONG

Whalesong is a picture book and supporting schools workshop programme, new for 2024. 


It explores the story of Dolphin and Whale:

Everybody knows that Whale's Mum has died but nobody wants to talk about it. How will Dolphin support her best friend Whale to speak the unspeakable and find his song?


This in school, 1 hour workshop, takes place in an immersive underwater world set, with original music. The workshops use art drama and storytelling to explore difficult feelings in a dynamic, safe and enjoyable way. 

This package includes pre-training for teachers and staff, and another for parents and carers ahead of the sessions.


All children who take part in the workshop will be each be left with a copy of the Whale Song book.

Made for Year 3 and Year 4 

For more school booking enquires contact Ruby@theherdtheatre.co.uk 

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WHALE SONG RESOURCES

 If you're looking for support for yourself or a child, or just wanting to get more information on the subject, we've collated some Whale Song resources and resources from charities specialising in bereavement below.

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PROJECT BACKGROUND

Research has shown, children who participate in dedicated grief education programmes are more able to discuss grief and are less anxious about death.
 

1 in 29 children are grieving the loss of a parent or sibling in the UK, at any one time.That’s approximately one per class room.


Our session is a proactive introduction to grief education, that allows pupils to learn about the topics outside of the context of a traumatic event.


Linking to PHSE on the curriculum, it will help normalise the feelings of grief; help bereaved children understand, express and manage their emotions; and prepare other pupils to support their friends and classmates.


The content of the workshop, picture book and training, has been developed with Stacey Hart a Child Bereavement Therapist with 18 years experience of working with bereaved children.

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WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SCHOOL WORKSHOP 

​This 1 hour workshop, is delivered by 2 facilitators and includes

  1. A mindfulness breathing exercise.

  2. An immersive underwater set, that creates a safe space for exploration, outside of the everyday. 

  3. A drama exercise to develop emotional literacy.

  4. A collaborative staging of the story, to aid comprehension (includes a 1.5m light-up, whale puppet)

  5. A scientific explanation of what death is. 

  6. Discussions on helping someone in your class who is experiencing bereavement.

  7. A toolkit to takeaway on how to look after yourself when you have big feelings. 

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ACCESSIBILITY

 

We would like the workshop to be as accessible as possible to every child. Here’s the ways we have tried to remove barriers for children with an SEND need and for those who may have English as an Additional language. If there is any other requirements a child/children in your class may have, do let us know and we will accommodate as best we can.

  • Illustrations and Icons are used alongside printed text to aid reading and comprehension.

  • Physical exploration of the story alongside spoken English. 

  • We’ll be using some sound and light elements in the day, and the levels will be appropriate.

  • Working on a flat stage for any wheelchair users, no levels or stairs to engage with

  • A comfy corner, with a privacy screen, if a child needs to take a break from the session or becomes overwhelmed.  

CREATIVES

PICTURE BOOK 

WRITER LUA BAIRSTOW 

ILLUSTRATOR  AMY BAIRSTOW

EDITORS RUBY THOMPSON + SAM CASELEY

CONSULTANT THERAPIST STACEY HART

PUBLISHERS KINGSTON PRESS, HULL LIBRARIES 

WORKSHOP 

CO-CREATORS LUA BAIRSTOW, AMY BAIRSTOW, SAM CASELEY, YSABELLE WOMBWELL, RUBY THOMPSON 

DESIGNER AMY BAIRSTOW

SOUND DESIGNER YSABELLE WOMBWELL 

VOICE OF WHALE MASON MUNTHALI-ARMSTRONG 

PRODUCERS RUBY THOMPSON + SAM CASELEY 

FACILITATORS  ELIZABETH OYEWOLE, JESSICA MORLEY, MATLIDA HARPER

CONSULTANT THERAPIST STACEY HART

DESIGN ASSISTANTS NATALIE YOUNG + KATIE LEE PRICE

CO-PRODUCERS + HULL SCHOOLS LIBRARY SERVICE LIASON  AMY JEFFREY + MICHELLE ALFORD

WHALE SONG is delivered in partnership with

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WHALE SONG is kindly supported by

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