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Becoming Brave
Assembly & Workshops

I help children between ages 4-8 explore their feelings of courage and fear while normalising loss honestly and sensitively through a dynamic assembly and engaging drama workshop to accompany my book, Guardian reviewed true story ‘Becoming Brave’. 

 

‘Becoming Brave’ is a children’s picture book about love, grief and believing in yourself. It was published by Little Tiger in August 2023 and follows my story and relationship with my late husband, critically acclaimed jazz musician Abram Wilson.

Read on to find out more...

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What Others Are Saying

We were privileged to have Jennie Cashman Wilson deliver an assembly and workshop for our Year 3 children on the important theme of bravery. Jennie captivated the children with her heartfelt story about the loss of her husband, turning a challenging subject into a valuable lesson on courage and resilience. Her compassionate approach and ability to normalise the conversation around grief with such openness and sensitivity was truly remarkable and made a profound impact on everyone present.

- Laura Woolf, KS2 Teacher, Bedford Modern Junior School  

Offer & Outcomes

What am I offering? 

  • A sensitive and engaging assembly and workshop for children ages 4-8 that combines storytelling, drama activities, and emotional intelligence development to help your children navigate loss, build resilience, and enhance their overall wellbeing.

What will the outcomes for your children be?

  • Normalise conversations around loss, bereavement, and challenging emotions in an honest, sensitive, and age-appropriate way.

  • Foster a deeper understanding of your children’s emotions of fear, courage, and loss using their bodies and imagination.

  • A better understanding of how to develop coping mechanisms to navigate life's challenges now and in the future.

  • Development of emotional intelligence.

  • Supported to achieve more academically by addressing their emotional wellbeing.

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How will I do this? 

 
  • Dynamic 20-30 minute assembly featuring storytelling from my Guardian-reviewed book 'Becoming Brave', a true story about love, loss, and believing in yourself, followed by a Q&A.

  • Interactive and playful drama workshop for each class, exploring feelings of courage, fear and loss through the body, role-playing, and imaginary journeys.

  • Unique story circle sessions for Years 1-3 where children collectively create their own 'Becoming Brave' stories, safely exploring their feelings around loss through fiction.

Sign me up!

Schedule a meeting to discuss your school's existing pastoral offerings and how this programme can complement and enhance them.

What Others Are Saying

"Vinehall Pre-Prep enjoyed an inspirational morning with author and illustrator Jennie Cashman Wilson this week, in the lead up to Mental Health Wellbeing Week 2024.

 

Jennie Cashman Wilson is an engaging and compassionate individual, who has the ability to make a meaningful connection with children. Her workshops enabled our children to explore and identify with a range of emotions and begin to understand that feelings and emotions are complex and have different facets to them-that we can be brave and scared or happy and sad at the same time. She will have undoubtedly opened the way for important conversations about themes that we find it easier to shy away from, such as love, bereavement, and grief.

The themes of resilience, courage, and hope are beautifully woven into the fabric of the story and exemplified by Jennie herself. With stunning illustrations and compelling text, the children listened spellbound to Jennie as she read “Becoming Brave.” One of the children, who rarely speaks in a large group, found the courage to ask, “Is this actually true?”, and another commented on the “magic” of the book.

 

I would highly recommend Jennie, not only as an author but also as a relatable adult able to connect and engage with children as they learn that it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."

- Nicky Whittaker, Head of Vinehall Pre Prep

We were privileged to have Jennie Cashman Wilson deliver an assembly and workshop for our Year 3 children on the important theme of bravery. Jennie captivated the children with her heartfelt story about the loss of her husband, turning a challenging subject into a valuable lesson on courage and resilience. Her compassionate approach and ability to normalise the conversation around grief with such openness and sensitivity was truly remarkable and made a profound impact on everyone present.

 

Jennie’s story telling was both poignant and engaging, holding the attention of our students while gently guiding them through the complexities of loss and the emotions that accompany it. She created a safe and open environment, encouraging the children to express their feelings and ask questions. This not only helped demystify the concept of grief but also empowered the children to face their own fears and challenges with bravery.

 

The workshop that followed was equally impactful. Jennie skilfully facilitated activities that allowed the children to explore their feelings and develop their emotional resilience. Her warmth, empathy, and understanding made a lasting impression on both the students and the staff, and provided us with an invaluable insight into the importance of addressing emotions and incorporating play in our educational approach.

 

I saw children from my class react in a way that I have not seen throughout this whole academic year. It was inspiring to see how Jennie demonstrated the importance of how play can be a powerful tool for children to process their feelings and build resilience. The hands-on experience underscored the importance of integrating emotional learning with playful activities in our curriculum.

 

For me, it became clear that play is not just a means of entertainment but a crucial component in helping children navigate their emotional landscapes. I am incredibly grateful that we had the opportunity for Jennie to share her wisdom and experience with the children and for her contribution to our school’s managing emotions program. Her visit was a transformative experience, providing our Year 3 students with invaluable tools to navigate their emotions and face life’s difficulties with courage. Thank you, Jennie, for your inspiring presence and for teaching children the true meaning of bravery.

- Laura Woolf, KS2 Teacher, Bedford Modern Junior School  

"We loved meeting Jennie. Her assembly for Year 2 was a really strong element of the day. The story is lovely and really encouraged the children to ask in-depth questions. Jennie was very open with her answers, which were pitched at exactly the right level. She dealt with a difficult subject in a sensitive way and helped normalise it for the children. She was really natural with them! The children really enjoyed all elements of the workshop and had a lovely time; they are still talking about the book a week later...helping the children really open up about their feelings." 

- Tracey Marquand, Head of Year 2, Pilgrims Pre Prep  

"My Year 1 children really enjoyed the story and showed great interest in the themes. I think they were fascinated by the fact that it was a true story and were keen to ask many questions. Jennie answered all questions well, in a way that was pitched perfectly for the age group. She dealt with questions honestly but sensitively. The drama workshop sessions were lively and engaging. Children were given opportunities to consider and act out what it is to be brave through a series of freeze frame actions.  They were also able to look at the concept of loss. For me it was lovely to see how my whole class were actively engaged, particularly one child who is generally rather shy and resistant to take (sic) part." 

- Graham Orr, Head of PHSE and Year 1 Class Teacher, Pilgrims Pre Prep

“I really enjoyed attending Jennie's sessions with my Reception class yesterday! Jennie shared the book with the whole of Reception initially and the children were struck by the vibrant illustrations as well as the serious subject matter. Several children asked why the little girl's friend 'vanished' and this provided a great springboard for sensitive discussion.

 

When we then began exploring the book as part of a drama workshop with just my class, Jennie was able to engage every child by demonstrating exciting movements, poses and sounds for them to copy and then use as inspiration for their own creativity. All children literally became braver during the activity and those who were shy to join in with the drama gradually found confidence here.

 

Overall, I thought that the presentation was brilliant and we all thoroughly enjoyed it (I was extremely moved by the whole experience). Indeed, it prompted one of the children in my class to make a disclosure about something in his personal life that he had not previously been comfortable discussing at school at all.

 

Thank you Jennie for a fabulous afternoon, focussed on exploring and accepting feelings!”

- Becca Phillips, Reception Class Teacher, Pilgrim Pre-Prep

Who's This For? 

Teachers / schools working with Reception – Year 3 seeking to strengthen their pastoral offerings and enhance their PSHE curriculum who: 

  • Want me to come in and deliver an Assembly & Workshops for Reception - Year 3 (4 - 8 year olds)

  • Have budget to go towards the Assembly & Workshops. Please contact me to discuss fees.

  • Can provide a hall and screen to deliver the Assembly & Workshops.

Who's This NOT For? 

 

Teachers / schools who: 

  • Don't have a budget in this current academic year or the next to put towards this. ​

If this is you then please download the FREE lesson plans using the link below. 

Why me? 

 
  • I have a track record of addressing the sensitive topic of loss and facilitating emotional expression through drama and storytelling as a workshop leader and storyteller for primary school children

  • While CEO of the Abram Wilson charity, a music education charity I founded after my husband Abram passed away in 2012, I reached over 10,000 children and young people through inspiring music education programmes which I co-designed with my team and partnering schools.  

  • My Asembly & Workshop complement the 'Shield of Resilience', ‘Emotion Wheel’ and 'Managing Emotions' curricula, reinforcing the importance of emotional intelligence, mental health, emotional wellbeing and a growth mindset.

Sign me up!

Schedule a meeting to discuss your school's existing pastoral offerings and how this programme can complement and enhance them.

By incorporating this assembly and workshop into your school's offerings, you'll create a safe and playful space for children to understand and communicate their curiosity and feelings around loss, supporting them in preparing to navigate life's challenges as they grow up, and ultimately helping them to improve their overall wellbeing and academic success.

Many of the children who participated have shown a marked increase in their confidence in class, and their willingness to speak their mind. We have found that many of the participants have a higher opinion of themselves, and are more resistant to adversity in their day-to-day experiences…Confidence…has been the most notable; some of our children were very reluctant to speak in class or to actively make new friends, and the workshops have helped many of them to find their voice and enjoy speaking in front of others.

Alex Lee

Former Vice Principal, Mossbourne Parkside Academy, London

 
 
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