BLOG: The House That Jackson Built interview
I always knew that time flies, but I couldn’t have ever imagined how true this was until I came to Half Moon to do my work experience! It’s terrifying how quickly time flies by.
If you’re ever experiencing a monotonous, dull, repetitive life, just visit Half Moon! It is here you will create the most memorable memories in your life. You can even come here to volunteer.
It was one of the most memorable weeks of my life so please do read, my short, but incredible journey.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog…
I woke up in the morning like I do every day, but today, the 11th February 2020, I woke up with a different thought in my head. I was so excited, however, and a bit nervous at the same time. I arrived 20 minutes early. When I arrived, I met with Androulla, Beccy, Elysia and all the other members of staff.
I came to find out a lot about Half Moon Theatre. I used to think that it was just a theatre, but now I know they do a lot more than that. I learnt that Half Moon helps children and parents solve problems and understand things through drama (For example: “Dramatic Maths”). For this project, I was asked to do some experimenting with measuring tape, protractors and measuring cylinders to make them more interesting and accessible to young people with special educational needs. This meant I had to look at making some changes to these materials, such as making the measuring lines easier to read and the numbers on them clearer.
During my break, I had my lunch in the Green Room and suddenly noticed the view outside the windows. Just to let you know, photography is my favourite thing ever; It’s kind of my passion. I always love to capture the clouds in the sky. From the Green Room, the view was absolutely stunning. Without
thinking twice, I took a picture with my phone.
As I sat down back at my desk, a group of students from Mayflower Primary School came to visit as part of their World of Work Week. They were here to find out more about working and what that was like at Half Moon. Beccy led the session and I was part of the group listening in. The children were really interested, they were asking lots of questions like “When was the building built?” and “What does Half Moon do?”. In October, I was part of Careers in Theatre with Half Moon, and Beccy asked if I could share my experience of that day with them.
By the end of the session, it was already it was 3 o’clock! I then was tasked with completing some more research for Dramatic Maths and then I was then asked to join in with the Youth Theatre a group, Eclipse. This group was full of marvellously talented young kids and without a doubt all of them were super talented and smart. I was surprised and impressed by their confidence. I learnt that at the end of the term they’ll do a performance about the 1990’s. This is all because Half Moon Young People’s Theatre is celebrating their 30th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Overall, I would say my first day at Half Moon was extremely fun, amazing and above all, epic.
Time for my blog!! I arrived 15 minutes early today. I was really excited for this day because I started at a later time so that I could stay to work until 8:30pm. This is quite unusual for me, as I have never gone home that late.
In the first hour, I completed a big chart of evaluation results for Elysia. After that, it was already time for me to meet and join in with another Youth Theatre group called Equinox. Today, I felt I was more prepared and ready to join in. We started with some funny warm ups. After that, Androulla gave me a camera and asked me to take some pictures of the group in action. As I have mentioned, photography is my favourite thing to do so I was really happy to do this!
The group were lovely of young people but what I liked most about them was that they were super energetic. The tutors started a group discussion with them and they were asked to give ideas for what they would like to do for the end of the term performance linking with the 1990’s. They all came up with beautiful, creative ideas. For example: a young girl said “We should create a performance about Half Moon Theatre.” As soon as the session finished, it was already 6 o’clock and it was time for my break, I went to the Green Room, and some of the staff members were there. I felt a bit shy but all of them are very friendly. They all talked to me so I really enjoyed my break.
I was later asked to join a Youth Theatre group called Solar, which is a specialist group for disabled teenagers. I was really looking forward to meeting everyone because I’m 16 and also a teenager.
I never imagined this would be one of the most memorable evenings of my life. They were a fantastic group. Some of them were really interested in talking to me and they were so friendly. Despite being new to them, they didn’t let me feel like an outsider. We were all creative together. I also took some photographs during the session. Once again, the day went by so quickly!
I was 15 minutes early today! First thing, Blog. After finishing, it was explained that the young people in the Youth Theatres vote for the best leader out of the tutors and the winner receives the Jack Petchey Leader Award. I was asked to create a document with all the reasons the young people listed as to why they had chosen the person they had. The young people gave really positive and cute reasons. However, sometimes it was bit of a task to read the younger one’s handwriting! It was really fun to know how these young people feel about their teachers and especially how happy they are in their sessions. They also said they’re learning so much. I soon realised what an amazing opportunity Youth Theatres are for young people’s personal development and communication.
I went back to my school to have lunch with my friends and as it was the last day of school before half term, I said goodbye to everyone. When I got back, I went to the Green Room to make a cup of tea! You might be thinking that’s a normal thing to do, however, something funny happened. As I had never used a kettle before, I was feeling really shy! What should I do? Luckily, the Administrative Director Jackie and the Director/CEO Chris were also in the Green Room. Jackie showed me how to use a kettle. Thank you Jackie and Chris for helping me, it was so kind of you both.
Half Moon toured schools with a Road Safety workshop for year 6 children recently so I was asked to type up the evaluation forms that the teachers had written. Completing this particular task made me feel really professional.
I was then asked to join a workshop alongside some students from Queen Mary University of London. I was a bit nervous because they were all older than me, and I was thinking what if I do something wrong? However, all of them were lovely, and I didn’t need to worry at all.
The workshop was led by the amazing Beccy, and I learnt a lot about fundraising. I learnt how to make a project and that you can you raise money as a profession. I will definitely remember this workshop. I think it will be helpful in the future. I came back into the office after this to carry on with my work and BOOM – again the day was over.
I arrived and prepared myself for another busy day. What I didn’t realise was that I would be going on not one, but two outings! First things first, I wrote my blog, but before I finished I went out with Beccy and Chris. They explained that we were going to a local primary school to see a performance for reception children that was created in collaboration with Half Moon. I was really excited to meet them.
When we arrived, I saw the school we were visiting just happened to be near where my auntie used to live. When the children came in I was so happy as they were so cute! They watched the show and at the end they were asking some really adorable questions. When one of the actor’s Daryl asked them what would you like to see more in this performance, one of them said “ohhh!! Ohh!! Maybe, you can bring some dinosaurs.” AND we all laughed a lot.
One thing I’ve noticed in the UK in the year since I came here, from secondary school (particularly from year 8 or 9) whenever you are part of a workshop or something similar and you are asked if you have any questions, hardly anyone asks anything. However, in primary school, young people have a lot of questions and sometimes it hard to stop them from asking so many. I have been really wondering about what the reason for this could be.
We got back to the office and for one hour, I continued with writing my blog and finishing some work. Then Androulla asked me if I want to go with her to visit Harry Gosling Primary School for their Careers Day, which is 15 minutes away from Half Moon. The school was really cool and they offered us snacks. I learnt that there are 79 primary schools in Tower Hamlets and that Half Moon amazingly works with most of them. As I mentioned, Half Moon recently delivered a project about Road Safety and Androulla let me know that this involved 39 of the schools in Tower Hamlets and that 2, 010 students took part.
In Harry Gosling, we did a workshop with two groups of year 6 students. As these young people are going to be in secondary school next year, I learnt a lot about their thoughts on moving schools. These exact thoughts will help Androulla to plan her ongoing project around transitions, which works with year 6’s going into secondary school. By the time we got back to Half Moon, it was already 3:25pm and again the day was over.
I’m really sad to say that it is my last day today. As the saying goes, save the best for last, and it was most definitely the best and busiest day. In the morning, I was missing Beccy, Androulla and Elysia as they don’t work on Saturdays. But I’m happy that Sam was there for me. I was a part of 3 brilliant Youth Theatre groups; Comets, Sunbeams and Moonbeams. I had a very precious time with them. The kids were really adorable, they worked with me as if they had known me a very long time. In between, I had my mini lunch break.
In the afternoon, I had the opportunity to be an Usher and watch the show as well. I have never been an Usher before, but it turned out to be really fun. The actors had done a really fabulous job. The audience really enjoyed watching the show.
It’s time to say goodbye. I have no clue where the time went. I will really miss Half Moon.
It was an extraordinary week with lots of different experiences. A week that I will always remember. I want to say THANK YOU to all the Half Moon staff members for being so supportive. THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Half Moon Theatre. I’m really upset, but I am smiling by remembering all the lovely memories I made here. THANK YOU!!
Nusaba came to us from New City College (Tower Hamlets), 10th – 14th February 2020
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