Creativity and Children

 

Sue Casson's facility with words and a catchy tune lead to early commissions from BBC Radio Schools.

 

During the 1990s she made the move to TV and wrote for several Children's BBC educational shows for younger viewers. Credits include Melvin & Maureen's Music-a-grams, Millie's Models, Bodger & Badger and Superbods, where she tackled scientific subjects with a light touch.

 

She has also written songs for Simon Rae's  stage shows for children.

Between 2004 and 2010, Sue Casson ran a unique project at her local 'outstanding' OFSTED rated primary school in Kent. Supported by The Royal Opera House 'Write an Opera' initiative, the aim was to encourage children of all primary ages to create and perform their own work.

'It was a project to which I felt  I could make a unique contribution. With my music and lyric writing skills, and a passionate interest in developing and encouraging the imagination that is natural to children, here was an opportunity to use the lessons learnt in the classroom as a springboard for a creative cross-curricular journey that developed literacy, musical and presentation skills in an enjoyable way.'

The project was a great success, and won educational plaudits countywide. By the time it came to a close (lead by the children who had been in the youngest class when it all began) there was a catalogue of songs from 9 diverse summer shows and nativities to assemble into a final revue. But more, it had bred an enviable culture of creative confidence within the school, wiith each child able to make their own original contribution.

In the year of the Bejing Olympics, Blackmore and Casson expanded the project to bring together 5 schools from Kent in an ambitious collective creative presentation as part of the Sevenoaks Festival. Each school explored Olympic themes in their own very individual  finale with a specially written Olympic anthem. The show's title - Pass it On, celebrated the inter-school collaboration and sharing.

ChildrensBBC Orangery 1 copy Olympicorangery2 pass it on archers passit on rings a web Pass it On Menges

Casson worked closely alongside teachers in the classroom to create an open forum for creative ideas, lines of poetry and musical snatches, which she then wove into coherent songs or scenes over which the whole class felt ownership.

 

Tom Blackmore took on the role of structuring these into a coherent piece, and directing the resulting show. As the project developed, the school expanded from 4 to 8 individual classes, each given the chance to shine creatively in their chosen way.

- best of english - a gospel christmas - book magic - mission incredible - let's celebrate - pass it on -

- the now and then of christmas - henry! - Romeo & Juliet - pass it on - best of english - book magic -

Star CD Pass it On Menges Pass it On Menges Pass it On Menges Pass it On Menges pass it on singers web

'imagination is more important than knowledge'

Albert Einstein

It truly was inspirational! Very well done!

Margaret Pearson, head teacher St John's School Sevenoaks