Next Steps

Since 2018, Half Moon have delivered Next Steps, a drama-based transition programme commissioned by Tower Hamlets Youth Service (THYS) for young people transitioning from primary school to secondary school.

Half Moon engages with schools and external agencies throughout the borough to refer to the programme young people who were deemed at risk of disengagement and vulnerable through their transition.

Age 11-12 is a time where change and transitioning can impact a young person’s life in a multitude of ways. The programme aims to address these challenges head-on and give participating young people a safe space to explore their worries through creative practices.

The programme offers young people free after-school sessions in the second half of their summer term of Year 6, a week-long summer school and after-school sessions in the first half of their autumn term of Year 7. The programme also offers one-to-one tailored support towards the end of after-school sessions.


  • The sessions support the young people to prepare for their transition to secondary school and think about the situations they might face and positive ways to deal with new experiences.
  • The young people learn to better express themselves, build their confidence and develop soft skills, such as effective communication, presentation, decision-making, taking responsibility and making a commitment.
  • Participants play an active role in having the ‘power to change’ negative outcomes in a safe environment, acting as observers and critical thinkers with their peers. Themes addressed in the sessions include bullying, online safety, friendships, identity and responsibilities.

In the 2019/20 academic year, 157 young people attended from 50 primary schools across Tower Hamlets.

Since 2018, 297 young people have taken part in Next Steps.

Download Next Steps – Summary Report 2018/19

Young Person comments: 

“I enjoyed meeting new people!”

“I have met people who I will be going to secondary school with. That’s really exciting.”

“Coming to Half Moon has made me feel more prepared for secondary school.”

“I learnt about bullying and social media – I didn’t expect that.

“It made me think about the way I talk to people.”

“At school I am quiet. At Half Moon we had to work in pairs, and in groups, so I had the chance to talk to other people, and I learnt I had lots to say.’’

“I understand how secondary school is going to be, and that not everybody is the same. It made me happier…I know how I can be more calm and make better decisions’’

Parent comments: 

“X talks positively about every session. He really enjoys it and I have seen it build confidence in him.”

“My child has really liked all the orientations they gave and has really enjoyed meeting all the people.”

“It’s allowed X to experience a version of what secondary school may be like socially. She has been exposed to the fact that she isn’t the only one with the same concerns of the unknown she has been talking about it and she feels she knows what to do now.”

“X has been talking about how much he is enjoying coming along, and he loves talking about his day and the things he is doing.”

“X enjoyed coming to the project, making new friends, and gained more confidence in how to deal with new challenges.”

“X has been very reflective this week!

Teacher comments: 

“We have referred pupils to the Half Moon Next Steps programme as we have seen their workshops firsthand and seen the enjoyment and confidence that children gain in them. The workshops are tailored to address the fears and worries primary pupils have about secondary school as stated by them. They are presented in familiar language to the pupils, which makes them feel understood and comfortable. I have seen children gain independence, responsibility and confidence through the Half Moon Theatre workshops.” Old Ford Primary School 

“This is such a great opportunity for year 6s to be able to express their anxieties and their hopes regarding secondary school…thank you very much for giving them then a chance to think about how they really feel and be able to express themselves in a creative way instead of a harming way.”  St Matthias Primary School

“The project has helped young people who found it difficult to speak up to express themselves with far more confidence!” John Scurr Primary School

“The project was very affirming for the young people. At a time when they were saying goodbye to friends of seven years they realised that meeting new young people could be fun and that they would be able to make new friends in secondary school. The young people from our year 6 are going to 11 different schools so this project helped them prepare for the changes.”  Marion Richardson Primary School


If you work in a school in Tower Hamlets, or you are a parent who would like to discuss this further, please contact Androulla: / 0207 709 8905

Tower Hamlets