Promoting social and personal wellbeing in 5 – 7 year olds through the ‘Speech Bubbles’ drama project

A report by Dr Jonathan Barnes, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for The Arts and Health Canterbury Christ Church University, providing background to a research paper published in the Royal Society for Public Health Journal (Barnes, 2012). The RSPH paper examines the wellbeing impacts of a drama based intervention designed to support young children with speech and communication difficulties. It analyses two terms’ work of the Speech Bubble’s project in two London primary schools, seeking to describe and discover what underlies the apparent educational successes of the programme designed by the London Bubble Theatre company. This report focuses upon the mental and social health policy behind the programme and more fully describes its wider benefits. The focus on wellbeing arises from increasing evidence that those with unaddressed language, speech and communication problems go on to have complex health and social needs in later life.

Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England