Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
Theatre Led Learning
We don’t just offer students a drama class or prep for drama examinations, we go a step further to offer students with language enrichment and personality development, integrated in a comprehensive curriculum.” Amanda
Website - www.sesquipedalian.lk Facebook- sesquipedalian7 https://www.facebook. com/sesquipedalian7/ Instagram -sesquipedalian_ learning
Traditional methods of teaching may become a thing of the past. With the expansion of the education industry from classroom based learning to more innovative and creative learning methods, the simple teach and listen concept is being far outdone by the multitude of innovative teaching methods that are accessible to our children today!
Headed by Amanda Paiva, an entrepreneur and former speech and drama teacher at Colombo International School, Sesquipedalian, an institute that focuses on theatre led learning offers an enrichment programme that guides students towards developing their academic, leadership, cognitive and social skills through theatre strategies and language arts.
I was intrigued to find out what these lessons entailed and instead of just talking to Amanda about what she did I entered one of the classes and experienced one of the sessions for myself!
If I had to describe the entire class in a single word, I would say it was FUN! There were about 10 kids between the ages of 8 and 9 and they had a ball of time during the class. They were constantly in conversation with Amanda and were really engrossed in each activity.
I didn’t even take part in the activities but I barely felt the hour go by. The session was super interesting, educational and engaging and I loved how engaged the kids were. It didn’t even feel like an online class!
Aside from Amanda who is the main facilitator, there are two other very experienced teachers, namely Hilarine Fernando and Wendy Devraj who take on the responsibility of molding these young minds. From the age of 5-15. Students can progress through the programme at their own pace, with interactive lessons, engaging academic content and performance based activities at every stage.
The different stages are as follows
• Launch – ages 5-7
• Ignite – ages 8-9
• Propel- ages 10 -11
• Ascend – ages 12+
When asked how Sesquipedalian is different from traditional speech and drama classes Amanda replied “we don’t just offer students a drama class or prep for drama examinations, we go a step further to offer students with language enrichment and personality development, integrated in a comprehensive curriculum.”
The Sesquipedalian Language, Arts and Personality Development curriculum is a first of its kind based on a combination of techniques outlined in the ELA Education Framework and Character First Education Leadership Programme. Furthermore students are guided to achieve three theatre-led pillars of high performance- Interpretation to develop an analytical mind to develop communication, Improvisation to develop creativity and adaptability and Leadership to develop self-image, self-discipline and confidence. “We have identified these areas as vital components to ensure students are ready to take on the challenges that await them in the 21st century,” said Amanda.
Speaking about the inspiration behind this project Amanda elaborated that she felt the current curriculum offered at mainstream schools does not equip a student with the skills necessary to take on the challenges they will face in academic and work life.
“It is understood that the formative years of a child’s life (0-8) are vital as it is a period of rapid cognitive, social and emotional development of a child. At Sesquipedalian we have designed a programme that enables students to grasp essential soft skills during this developmental stage and progressively acquire the expertise required to become a high performer” she explained.
Currently, due to the situation in the country they offer only online lessons along with the opportunity to train for internationally acclaimed digital public speaking or drama qualifications.
However with engaging sessions that motivate and encourage students to speak out and be active within each session the Sesquipedalian is the perfect opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and creativity! If you want to find out more about theatre led learning you can schedule a free trial class throughout this term.