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Molly in the Docks

Multi-sensory storytelling performance at the Museum of London Docklands for young people with SEND

A collaboration the Museum of London. Funded by The Goldsmiths Company.




















The story, developed with the schools is set in the Warehouse Number One gallery. Molly is a young factory worker who accidently falls asleep whilst working and ends up asking the foreman for better working conditions (with help from the young people). The story was inspired by real events in 1914 when women from Morton’s factory on the Isle of Dogs went on strike asking for better pay and were noted singing and dancing in the streets. The performance included live music, puppets and many sensory and participatory elements.

The project included:

A teachers focus group to share ideas and decide theme and area of the museum to work in

Workshops in schools to explore the theme and techniques

Professional performance in the museums for the young people and special schools

Alison and Catherine are fantastic at what they do and we want them back at our school, you’re amazing people and what they do for the children is second to none. Couldn’t ask for a better workshop - I’ve never seen one before in my school so thank you.

The skills that the children develop over the course of the workshops - anticipation, turn taking - working with new people that they’ve never seen before - when you build that up each week - they become familiar with you - they feel the story using the multi-sensory props, they love the songs, they love the rhythm and beats - rather than a normal story being read to them, they’re part of the story which makes the experience ten times better.

When you talk to us afterwards - you get a better understanding of what the children need or what worked well, what didn’t, what can we do better next time - and that’s what you build on and why the children get so much out of it.

You need the time and space in the classroom to work on those skills, but when you come to the actual museum the children can be immersed in the whole sensory experience - touching the walls, smelling the smells that they smelled in the workshop - it is second to none - they need to be part of it rather than just sitting in the classroom. They can really feel it - it brings the history to life - experience it, be a part of it rather than hearing about it.

My guys got so much out of it. Their memory skills - they remembered!

A particular child in my class who is normally really quiet, likes to watch rather than participate - he was screaming, he was shouting - all the positive experiences - he was actively participating rather than just observing - he wanted to be engaged in the whole session - he was totally immersed in the whole experience.

Your team - you’re amazing. And your props team - I want that snake! It brings the story to life - in a multi-sensory way.

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