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The Ark and Dove: Michele O’Brien NHLF funded work in schools

The Ark and Dove project has been completed at four primary schools on the Isle:

• Barton in Newport

• St Francis’ in Ventnor

• St Helen’s and

• St. Mary’s in Ryde

re-telling the story of how a company of 140 people left Cowes on board the two ships in 1633. Some were fleeing for their life, all wanted to make a new life on the Potomac River in America an area we now know as Maryland.


Actors Michele O’Brien and Colin Phillimore facilitated the engagement of over a hundred Year 5 students over the four-week project and the Isle of Wight Heritage unit provided costumes and artefacts for them to explore.


Excellent dramatic presentations to students and parents at their respective schools meant that an additional 400 people got to hear about the gripping story. Students written work was animated in sound montages and art work added to the drama through puppetry.




Audience members were able to ask questions after each presentation too.


One teacher said: “It was a wonderful experience for the children, some even surprising themselves as to how they overcome their 'shyness' when performing. You both helped to make it as inclusive as possible, so all children felt they had something to give. On returning to the classroom the children were very excited about what they had just done. There was also a great sense of pride”.


There will be a short film made of the project which is funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the project will continue online through a Surveymonkey questionnaire for Year 5 students.


On 25 and 26 February 2020 Michele will bring her one woman show: The Ark and Dove to the IOW Children’s Story Festival.


You can take part and keep involved in the project through the Surveymonkey:

And The Ark and Dove Facebook page:

Further information:


Michele O’Brien: michele.ob@ntlworld.com Tel: 07977 969080

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