With reference to the article "Once more with feeling" in the TES Special Needs Extra (November 1), I would like to point out that the voluntary Sesame sessions that Victoria Neumark took part in are not "informally used to pick up children with problems".
The particular function of the Sesame session experienced by Ms Neumark is to give the children an opportunity to have fun being creative using drama and movement, and to learn to work as a group. These sessions often lead to one-off workshop performances and we sometimes use the method in whole-day drama sessions built around themes in the English curriculum. This has no explicit therapeutic objective, though such creative activity is useful in helping children to grow emotionally and cognitively.
That these experiences are therapeutic for the children involved is without doubt, but in a different sense to that in which Sesame can be used with people who are mentally ill. What links the two is the sense in which the participants are able to experience their inner selves.
We are also very fortunate to be able to provide Sesame sessions that do have a therapeutic objective. In this regard we can use Sesame to help children who are experiencing difficulties, to understand. and deal with their frustrations, develop confidence, improve concentration and relationships. Children who go through a difficult patch are to be found in all schools and Sesame can be one element of the raft of support that a school can put in place to keep them afloat.
PATRICK ATKINSON Headmaster Lochinver House School Little Heath Hertfordshire