Open House London
An interactive summer project that uses drama to support 11 year olds with their transition from primary to secondary school is running at Half Moon, Limehouse, for three weeks this August.
These summer schools are part of Next Steps, a borough wide scheme helping 120 students from 47 schools across Tower Hamlets.
Young people work together to explore fears, expectations and aspirations as they look ahead to their transfer from primary to secondary school. The sessions use drama techniques such as improvisation, storytelling and role-play, to engage young people in a variety of activities, sparking a wide range of discussion around prominent themes in their lives. This gives young people the opportunity to use their critical thinking skills, allowing them to think about the potential situations they might face and positive ways to deal with new experiences. Sessions also address key issues, such as online safety for young people, including online bullying.
Following a successful pilot with Tower Hamlets Youth Service in 2018, Half Moon were recommissioned to deliver Next Steps in 2019. By the end of the summer, Half Moon will have delivered 84 Next Steps sessions, with more opportunities for young people to participate once they have started secondary school in September.
Councillor Danny Hassell, Tower Hamlets Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Young People, attended one of the summer sessions at Half Moon and said about the project: “The transition from primary to secondary school is a critical one and this programme helps bridge that gap in a both an imaginative and creative way. I’m pleased that the council has been able to make funding available for this important project.”
Androulla Constantinou, Half Moon’s Creative Learning Producer, commented: “Half Moon is delighted to have been commissioned by Tower Hamlets to provide the Next Steps transitions programme for 11 year olds. The project gives participants the space to reach their full potential, feel more optimistic about their futures and become more informed and prepared for their secondary school transition, which can impact a child’s life in a multitude of ways.”
Beccy Allen, Half Moon’s Head of Creative Learning, commented: “The transition from primary to secondary school can be a very emotional time for many young people and our project allows pupils a safe space in which to share their fears and explore their aspirations. Underneath some bravado, many young people are really quite terrified and have lots of emotions they need to explore in order to grow in confidence and feel positive about the new experiences ahead.”
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