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Why learning about the mind is a 'no brainer' for children acting out their thoughts

PUBLISHED: 14:50 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:50 12 July 2019

Drama sessions at the UEL teaching school pupils about the workings of the brain. Picture: UEL

Drama sessions at the UEL teaching school pupils about the workings of the brain. Picture: UEL

UEL

Schoolchildren from Poplar and Bow have been spending the day in drama sessions with actors learning about the workings of the mind and the brain.

Yongsters working with M-Set educational theatre company on how the mind functions. Picture: UELYongsters working with M-Set educational theatre company on how the mind functions. Picture: UEL

They are at University of East London's Stratford campus working with M-Set educational theatre company and UEL students in role-play to learn about brain activity and mental health.

The programme challenges misconceptions and shows how conditions such as autism and cerebral palsy affect the human brain.

"The pupils played with elastic materials to show the gaps between neurons in the brain," UEL drama student Josh Foster explained.

Schools' programme for pupils challenging misconceptions about mental health. Picture: UELSchools' programme for pupils challenging misconceptions about mental health. Picture: UEL

"It's made me think that I would like to teach children with special needs once I graduate."

The youngsters have also been showing their project work in school over the past few months.

Twelve London schools have been taking part, including Mayflower Primary and Lansbury Lawrence Primary in Poplar, Phoenix Primary in Bow, Marner Primary and Phoenix Satellite in Bromley-by-Bow and George Green's Secondary in Cubitt Town on the Isle of Dogs.

East London pupils learning about the brain and how it affects emotions. Picture: UELEast London pupils learning about the brain and how it affects emotions. Picture: UEL

M-Set's artistic director Paula Manning said: "The pupils have been keeping journals about their emotions and the steps they take to look after their mental health, like nutrition, exercise, keeping relationships, sleeping well and doing something creative."

The project included making a short film as a learning tool, which involved the children working with GPs and university neuroscientists.

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