Art and Creative Writing Courses

Update February 2020

I have run regular Art and Creative Writing courses in Wimbledon since 2015. These were every week until 2019 when they became intensive weekend and holiday courses instead due to my MA Sculpture at Slade. The intensive courses focused on the structure of a puppet show (see detailed course content below).

For the Spring Term I am taking a break from these to focus on my MA – I do apologise for those who were waiting for the February courses, it was an exceptionally busy month and I did not update this website as soon as I would have liked to.

However, the courses will return! Along with other courses that I am currently developing:

  • painting (painting from the imagination, colour-mixing, painting techniques such as dry brush / mono-printing / underpainting / glazes)
  • sculpture (emphasising process over product and using traditional materials e.g. clay as well as everyday materials e.g. recycling)
  • script-writing (individual and group writing experiences)
  • puppet-making (sock puppets and more traditional puppets)
  • story-writing (using sensory games / picture books / story-telling games to firstly inspire and then structure writing)
  • set-design and making props (see above for sculpture)
  • performance (acting games, decision-making as actors, individual as well as group performance)

Do email me if you would like me to keep you updated with courses I am running at katherine.smith@gmail.com.


Puppet show intensive course content

– designing puppets as the characters for the story (I will provide materials to inspire students such as books / film clips / games etc.)

– designing a setting for these characters using art / games and stimulating the senses imagining smell / sound / texture, etc.

– coming up with a plot for a story involving all the puppets in their settings again using art / games / story-boarding / reading a book together, etc.

– writing a play script together involving all the puppets and including stage directions. The writing will consist of dialogue / description / action and will focus on the feelings of the characters and how these are shown through action / speech.

– making props for the play to be used by the puppets and for the stage

– performing the play using the puppets, props, etc. This will be filmed.


The benefits of this process

Shared writing leading to performance is a fantastic way to improve writing and at the same time collaborate in an exciting process as artists and writers. Students develop puppets of characters they care about early on, make a set for these characters, and then come up with a story including all the characters. When brainstorming and writing the script, they question every aspect of plot that is decided to make sure it’s right for all the characters. The teacher is there as facilitator – questioning, helping reach alternative solutions when there are disagreements. Students usually take on different roles in the group: one is concerned with detail / that everything makes sense; one is excited about plot; one cares about the reactions of the characters in stage directions, etc. This is an invaluable way to help children think about character, plot, setting and develop detailed and interesting writing.

For more information, see My Teaching Methods; Workshops in Schools and About Me.


“Our son’s English composition ability improved dramatically with Katherine.” Parent, Raynes Park


Registration 

Please fill in and email the following form to katherine.smith@gmail.com:
Intensive Puppet Weekend Registration Form

The 10 hour weekend courses are £200. Full payment is required in advance to secure the place. Please also note my Cancellation Policy at the bottom of this page. 


Classroom behaviour policy

In order to ensure a safe and happy environment, conducive to learning and creativity, I encourage positive behaviour. Children are made aware of the boundaries in my classes during their first session and reminded regularly. Please see my classroom behaviour policy


Cancellation Policy

This policy applies to all cancellations for any reason. 

If the class is over-subscribed (i.e. there is a waiting list from which I can directly fill your place), and you are cancelling your child’s place with at least 14 full days’ notice of cancellation before the day your child is due to attend, I will be able to give you a full cash refund. This is the only circumstance in which I can give a cash refund. If this is not possible, I will be able to give a credit note in the following circumstances: 

To give a 100% credit note*, I need at least 14 full days’ notice of cancellation before the day your child is due to attend. 

To give a 50% credit note*, I need at least 7 to 13 full days’ notice of cancellation before the day your child is due to attend. 

If you cancel your course without giving at least 7 full days’ notice of cancellation before the day your child is due to attend, you will not receive any credit.

*Please note that credit notes will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue.