Children and Young People

The Listening Project

Our Listening Project is now the ‘doing project’! Since 2021 we have spent time working with and listening to children, young people and their teachers exploring how we can support their learning and wellbeing by developing their creative and cognitive abilities.

We witnessed some brilliant teachers at work, including those using Philosophy for Children (P4C). This approach has led us and our partners to pilot a new approach to teaching in local schools and youth groups with our arts partners at Tangled Feet and Trestle Theatre Company.

In a collaboration with SAPERE, the charity that delivers P4C throughout the UK, and through the generous funding of East Herts Council, the Royal Opera House and most recently the Arts Council of England, we can work with local schools in East Herts. These include:

Years 5 and 6 at Benington Primary

Years 8, 9, 10 at Sele School – sponsored by the Hertfordshire Film Office

A cohort of SEND students aged 16 to 19 at Herts Regional College in Ware

Led by Stuart Mullins (Project Producer and Local Creative), with Grace Lockrobin (Director @ Sapere) and drama practitioner Gordon Poad, who until recently was Regional Director of Education for eleven schools at One School Global in Europe, the five project will pilot Dramatic Enquiry.

Evaluated by the senior researcher at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Education, Professor Karen Mpamhanga and Independent Evaluator, Rosie Stanbury, our aim is to inspire teachers and pupils to find the joy of learning together.

At a time when school absences are at an all time high, with a tsunami of children and young people seeking support with their mental health, P4C has proven to ‘benefit [s] self-esteem, self-confidence, active classroom engagement, enjoyment in learning, critical thinking, creativity, commitment, social-communication skills, social emotional attitudes and motivation to learn.’ 2021 Research Dr Nadia Siddiqui and Prof Stephen Gorard Durham University

The Listening Project will deliver a small pilot program of workshops to over 243 young people in schools and youth groups. As part of this we are developing the teaching skills of local artists such as disabled artist, Thom Jackson Wood.

The pilot projects are already under way. For example, at Sele School teachers will work across three year groups exploring the aspirations of the young people in respect to a career in the creative industries. In May they will host an inspiration session with choreographer Julia Cheng, who was nominated for an Olivier Award for her work on the West End and Broadway hit, Cabaret.

If you would like to know more about the pilot projects, contact our Project Producer and Local Creative, Stuart Mullins

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