Our Work > Magpie
The Magic of Puppetry in Education
Welcome to our Magic of Puppetry in Education (Magpie) pages. This page details the products and services we have available for schools and educational groups. This branch of our work aims to bring many different forms of puppetry into schools, help teachers discuss and address different issues and inspire creativity in young people. We specialise in shadow puppetry accompanied by live music, a style we have termed MiST (Music in Shadow Theatre) but we also offer gigante, table-top, glove and hand puppetry workshops.
Creative learning is beneficial to children in many ways and can help address key themes of the National Curriculum in a direct or indirect way. We take a flexible approach in developing our workshops for each establishment and we will endeavour to meet your specific requirements. Each of our projects can be tailored to suit different Key Stages, age groups, class sizes, the time available and your agendas, syllabus or topics.
Development of our workshops was supported
by the University of Derby Community Fund
in a 2017 project.
Below a video we made in 2011 to promote ourselves to schools and explain the work we do.
Our workshops are competitively priced. Costs vary depending upon material and travel costs. We promote re-use and recycling of materials for all of our puppet-making workshops and ask participants to help source making materials which also helps reduce the costs of the workshops.
Below is further information regarding individual products and specific projects. For more information, to ask a question or to discuss your ideas please do not hesitate in contacting us through the website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also see our Director Marcus Clarke’s Puppetry Arts and Education web page for details of the workshops he offers. Please mention us if you contact Marcus.
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
For those aged 8-11, we offer a range of shadow puppet theatre workshops. Shadow puppetry is an accessible artform requiring only basic skills such as drawing, cutting and sticking and provides additional opportunities for creative experimentation, music, creating soundscapes and vocal acting.
"Thank you Funny Wonders. We had a fabulous day!"
Hollinsclough Primary School
Key Stages 3-4
For those aged 11-18, we offer a range of workshops for a range of subjects. Below is a brief summary: please contact us for more detailed information. Although they have been split into different subjects, there is cross-over and workshops can be tailor-made to requirements to suit any combination.
Workshops can be delivered over one or two days or throughout a term, depending upon availability and the timeline of the project. They involve students working in small groups and culminate in a performance. A separate introduction prior to the workshop day may be appropriate if combined with a coursework-related or group research project.
Shadow puppet workshops are used for more action-driven, visual topics; glove puppet workshops for more speech-driven, conversational topics; and other 3D puppets (gigante, rod, marionette, animatronic etc) for more technical, skill-development workshops.
If facilities are available, live performances can be exchanged with film-production workshops, recording their shows (puppetry, narration/dialogue, music/sound effects) in separate parts and editing them together. This can be achieved with smart phones/video cameras and basic editing software. Whilst extending the process and the length of the workshop it adds another layer to the experience, their skill development and incorporates more current technologies.