Unlocking Potential uses drama to bring class topics to life, using live experiences led by professional drama facilitators to support pupils to engage with the topic in an emotional and empathetic way.
The project is designed to build confidence, social skills and aspirations of children living in deprived areas of the North East, and in doing so help build their attainment in literacy – particularly writing and language skills.
In Ashington, Northumberland in 2016, we saw our test group of 25 children move from 2/3 achieving below the expected level in literacy to 100% achieving at above expectations.
This project helps children to understand how the topics they study in school relate to real life and real people. The drama activities elicit real emotional responses from the children in a safe and supported environment. By doing so, they are supported to better understand their emotions and the emotions of others, both of which are key to building emotional resilience. By presenting their original writing to them as a professionally-produced piece of theatre, this project also shows children that their ideas, their voices and their writing can have an impact and importance outside of a school setting.
Watch an abidged film of 2017's play, Open the Door, HERE.
It has been developed in collaboration with Northumberland Church of England Academy in South East Northumberland and with support from Northern Powergrid Fund.
Watch a film about 2016's project HERE.
Watch this short film made by the school to find out more about 2016's project.
The Future Ready programme uses a theatre production as a vehicle to develop confidence, aspirations and social and emotional skills of young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to prepare them for the transition from education into adult life.
It has been developed from two years in partnership with Collingwood School and Media Arts College in Morpeth, Northumberland.
Leaving school can be challenging for all young people, but for those with SEND, it can be particularly daunting. We aim for this work to not only support them in their own development, but also help their families and teachers in being optimistic and courageous about their futures.
In 2017-18 we are changing the format of this project to create a touring theatre production. Young actors will visit other SEN settings, universities and community settings in the North-East region as part of a programme of activity including teacher / practitioner CPD and peer-led workshops for young people.
The Confidence Project
The Confidence Project is a two-year, cross-sector initiative designed to build confidence, resilience and leadership skills in students and early career employees through a programme of creative activities, skills workshops and community events.
By pairing educational institutions with employers, this project helps students make the transition from secondary education into whatever they choose to do after.