DAD4DADs 6WAYS2WELLBEING Teachers’ induction day

Schools and arts award

On Saturday 20 September DAD delivered a  teachers’ induction day to introduce the DAD4DADs 6Ways2Wellbeing project, that their students and schools will be participating in. It was a chance for the teachers and the project team – featured in yellow T-shirts printed with the 6 ways 2 wellbeing wheel on the back – to make deeper connections with each other and explore the emotional impact of the project.

The day started with tea, coffee and biscuits and completion of WEMWBS forms, which aim to measure changes in participants’ sense of wellbeing resulting from the project. We then got stuck into the agenda, starting with an introduction to DAD and the project by Joanna Jones.

Sarah Bottle, Community Development Librarian, Coast, presented the Six Ways to Wellbeing and specifically in relation to libraries. This was followed by a presentation by Natalie Prior, Counsellor MBACP (Accred), who will be supporting the workshop days in the schools, on how these 6 ways are integrated into the project.  She drew everyone’s attention to how all participants in the induction day were naturally connecting, learning, caring for the planet, being active, giving and taking notice – which are the 6 ways to wellbeing.

Musician Richard Bundy and spoken word poet Leah Thorn introduced themselves ‘on-screen’ in film clips made by Ewan Golder and Dominic Pillai, who together filmed the day’s activities. Jasmin Vardimon Company dancer Luke Burrough and visual artist Greg Stobbs then introduced their work and ran a short observation and drawing activity which invited us all to respond emotionally to the character presented in movement by Luke.

After that it was back to our seats. As Arts Award supporters, Jasmin Vardimon Company and DAD offer opportunities to Arts Award candidates. Lauren Baldock, Education Manager at  Jasmin Vardimon Company who are partnering DAD on this project, talked about how teachers could deliver Arts Award by taking part in the project. Several lucky Arts Award students will be receiving free tickets to attend the Jasmin Vardimon production of PARK at the Marlow in Canterbury with their biological fathers, stepfathers  and/or significant male figure. The project acknowledged there may be a lack of a male role model or that fathers of students may have died or moved away but are still very much with them.

After a short break we were treated to a two-hour introduction to systemics by systemics practitioner Jane James. The session  provided some very useful insights and perspectives on the subject of fathers to support situations the project will raise.

“Great to see so many teachers embracing new ways of working and such a diverse and excellent group of artists and practitioners working together to bring this project to life” (Lauren Baldock)

“an amazing start to what is set to be an incredible project… Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of it” (Natalie Prior)

‘The DAD4DADs project requires sensitivity and awareness from everyone involved in order for creativity to flourish and the wellbeing goals to be met. The teachers, artists and project workers showed themselves to be more than up to this challenge: such important work for students to be engaged with.’ (Jane James)

“just wanted to say thanks for todays introduction session. That systemics workshop was a really mind opening experience. great work as usual from DAD.” (Practitioner)

“The morning provided me with some really useful insights into how a subject of this complexity needs to be approached. It was reassuring to discover a support structure would be in place. Looking forward to it a lot.” (Luke Burrough)

“A super interesting day. Glad to be involved in this exciting project” (Teacher)

We ended with very welcome and delicious pizzas from Il Rustico for lunch.