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Community - Schools and Learning

Community - Schools and Learning

Royal Opera House Bridge Project

Hertford Theatre Education and Well-Being in Schools Report

September 2021

In 2020 Hertford Theatre were grateful to be awarded funding from the Royal Opera House Bridge, the regional organisation that works with schools, arts and heritage organisations, libraries and councils across Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North Kent, connecting children and young people with great art and culture.

The award enabled us to engage a consultant to work with us and our associate artist, to connect with primary, secondary and SEN schools; listening to and responding to the needs of teachers and their pupils.
We engaged schools in two surveys and a series of one-to-one meetings, the detail of which can be found in the appendix to the report.

The report has recognised that there are three key priorities for schools that we intend to address over the next three years.

•             Impact of the Pandemic on Pupils’ Mental Health and Wellbeing

•             Lack of budget, time, status and provision for arts subjects in schools

•             Lack of confidence in arts teaching

In response, we plan to develop networks and alliances of teachers, pupils and external organisations to enable us to listen further and to animate the report in such a way that it allows stakeholders to comment and suggest how we might progress.

We hope to turn those alliances into partnerships that enable us to raise the funds and develop the resources to build a programme of action research (a process whereby we are constantly learning and evolving) to develop models for the future that can benefit the whole of East Herts.

Our aim is always to listen first.

In pulling this report together, we have heard from teachers and external organisations as to how, over the next three years, we might move forward and respond to the three key priorities.

For example, in serving schools to support the recovery from the Pandemic we could work with Public Health in Hertfordshire to develop youth networks, exploring new ways of reaching children and young people who have little knowledge or interest in mental health.

In addressing the status and provision for arts teaching in schools we could develop cross-curricula programmes and projects that focus on the heritage and history of the five towns of East Herts. 

By developing networks of schools and teachers we hope to create a mentoring system and a CPD offer to address the lack of confidence in arts teaching.

These are just some of the possible initiatives to address our three key areas.

At present our resources are limited, but this report does give us a clear direction of travel towards the long-term aim of creating a Learning and Wellbeing Department as part of Hertford Theatre’s district-wide offer.

If, having read the report and recognising the importance of the key priorities, you wish to engage further with us then do please get in touch with rhys.thomas@hertfordtheatre.com

Our Education and Well-Being in Schools Report can be viewed or downloaded here>>