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Woodrow First School, UK


Our Rolling Role project involved classes from across the school.

We created the fictional town of Merryfields, and decided what would we need in the town, to meet the different curriculum aims.


From this, we looked for possible links between the classes. The Reception teachers wanted to focus on an elderly lady and we decided she could be the thread between us all. It put a human interest and concern at the heart of the work.


The point of change was: renovating a derelict needle-making factory to become a residential care home. Millicent is planning to move to the new home. We created “responsible teams,” all with a different part to play in the story, such as: Transporters; Helping Hands; The Renovators, etc.

Iona Towler Evans helped us to create a coherent narrative about Millicent, her life and family, and to establish key questions for each class to explore through drama.

In the entrance to the school building, we started to create a room in Millicent’s house.


We used this room to publish the material which classes produced, and which was then rolled on to other classes to take on and work with.


We also created the town, with non-negotiable buildings and places. (Images show the model of the town which was set up in the school library, for all to see.)


Below are the planning charts for work involving two Year 4 classes (the “Renovators”) and the Reception class (the “Helping Hands” charity).

The first of these videos is a recording of a session for London Drama and National Drama. In it, Richard Kieran discusses Mantle of the Expert at Woodrow School, and introduces the "Merryfields" project.

In the second, Lisa Hinton and Iona Towler Evans analyse a session from a Rolling Role project at the school, and the ways it demonstrated key elements of Dorothy Heathcote's work.


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POINT OF CHANGE: Renovating a derelict factory to become a residential care home in the fictional town of Merryfields 


DOMAINS: Science and Arts

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DOMAIN: History

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Here's an example of how the work rolled between classes.


The Renovators (Year 4) sent information to the Transporters (Nursery) about a heavy machine in the former needleworks building, which they urgently need moving.

The Transporters were not happy about moving it because of the dangerous floor, so the Renovators built a support structure underneath the rotting floor with sheets of aluminium holding it up.

They also heard some ideas from the Transporters about building a bridge over the hole and using a trolley or sledge to get the machine down all of the stairs and to the storage warehouse.

They met via Teams to see if they were all happy for the move to go ahead…


Children from Woodrow First School, with members of the Erasmus Plus project team

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