The Something is Missing Team decided to communicate our historical findings to the community of Govan by running workshops with local primary schools and community groups. By doing this we wished to gather responses to our findings, but also to gather thoughts about Govan in general, living in Govan, and thoughts about Govan’s future. We hoped that, by taking part in these workshops, we would learn a lot as a team, but that the participants would also have some new thoughts and ideas.
On the 1st November we ran an afternoon workshop with St. Saviour’s Primary School in Govan. We also ran a similar workshop on the 14th November with Riverside Primary School which followed the same format. Both workshops were with Primary Level 4 children (aged 8-9 years). We were welcomed to the school by the teacher of the class we were going to lead. We had assigned roles within the workshop, so when the children entered the space, we quickly introduced ourselves and began the warm-up. The children were always very happy and responsive, and were very energetic.
After the warm-up, we sat the children down and quickly outlined a few historical points about Govan. We showed them an old map of Govan and pointed to the outline of Doomster Hill. We explained the importance of this hill and its supposed purpose in the medieval times of Govan. We then went on to explain about the important ship-building in Govan in more recent, modern history.
After this, we got the children up on their feet and led them through some theatre exercises. We began by asking the children to walk around the room and freeze in individual poses. The idea was that the children would initially pose in a ‘helpless’/sad situation and then would afterwards pose in a solution to that situation. For example, we asked them to pose as if they were very hungry; then we asked them to pose as if they had just been given a pie and were really full and happy. Following this, the children posed in their own idea of what a sad situation was, Some poses performed were losing a toy, or having homework to do, or fighting with their family. We asked them to think about what the solution could be to these poses, and the children came up with solution poses: finding the toy, doing the homework, or making up with the family member. We explained to the children about finding solutions in real life, and suggested that this could be easy or difficult.
Next, we did some group scenes with the children. We led them through a medieval scene, a ship-building scene and finally a modern-day scene in the location of Govan. We followed the same format as before, getting the children to decide upon a sad situation for each scene and then coming up with a solution. The group scenes were fun and the children came up with a wide range of ideas and had loads of suggestions. One solution to two lords rebelling in medieval times was that the king should chop off their heads!
Finally, we asked the children to draw and write on colourful card hands we had cut out previous to the workshop. We asked them to write about what they liked about Govan or what they would like in Govan’s future. Lots of shop names were mentioned as favourites, as well as going to the park. At Riverside Primary, there was a storm of responses from the boys suggesting “No girls allowed in Govan” and the girls responded with “No boys allowed”. It was suggested that Govan should have a swimming pool that was free for everyone, and a theme park and a zoo with lots of animals.
We were very impressed with how attentive the children were, as well as having high-energy throughout the entire workshop. We felt that we had shared with them about the history of Govan. The children had also considered solutions to problems, both as individuals but also in groups and in relation to the locality of Govan. We were happy to get so many responses from the children on the colourful hands, which we will be displaying to the public at our Celebration Evening at the Brechin’s pub in Govan on the 12th December from 7pm along with a screening of our film and music performances.
Many thanks to Riverside and St. Saviour’s Primary School for allowing us to hold these workshops.