PUPILS at Ringland Primary School were let loose with power tools as part of a creative arts project designed to improve their communication skills.

The project, funded by the Arts Council of Wales, saw the children building their own wooden puppet theatre from scratch to perform stories with puppets which they had created themselves.

The term-long project was aided by artists and creative agents Tom Maloney and Rhys Thomas, who worked with the children to create a project that would help to develop their communication skills.

Mr Maloney said: “It has been a fabulous project where everyone has worked together so well.

“The pupils have embraced it all and gained so much.

South Wales Argus:

Bernie McDonagh and Bryce Gbakama learn how to use a sewing machine with Rhys Thomas of Practical Training Ltd at Ringland Primary School. christinsleyphotography.co.uk

“These are the kind of projects that can inspire the children.

“They were really on board with the project and it was really important to us that their voice was listened to.”

Mr Thomas said: “The idea was to help with their communication skills through creating and telling stories.

“The children sewed their own puppets to use.


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“One pupil made a theatre out of a cereal box for their finger puppets, and from there the pupils wanted to make a full-sized puppet theatre to be able to tell their stories.

“They have been using handsaws, sewing machines and drills."

Teacher Amy Isidoro said that she was proud of the children’s efforts.

“The way that the children were using saws and drills – you forgot that they were just four or five years old,” she said.

South Wales Argus:

Puppets and stage made by pupils at Ringland Primary L-R Gracie-Mai Steed, Regan Rees, Bernie McDonagh and Evie Bird. christinsleyphotography.co.uk

“They have been incredible. They’ve made me so proud

“They can take pride in knowing that this was all their idea and they have made it in to a reality.”

The school reported that the project also led to a boost in attendance, with a 100 per cent attendance being recorded for almost every session.