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Start: a new programme to unlock the arts for Southampton’s children

Thu 20 October, 2016

Start: a new programme to unlock the arts for Southampton’s children

Start: a new programme to unlock the arts for Southampton’s children

Nuffield is pleased to announce that it will begin a new major education programme with children from Southampton's Primary Schools in the Autumn.

The three-year Start programme created by leading education charity, Children & the Arts and supported with investment from Artswork, the South East Bridge will complement and build on the success of Nuffield's existing education programme with local secondary schools.

With the appointment of Rupert Rowbotham in the new role of Head of Engagement in January this year, and plans underway to expand into the new city centre venue Studio 144 in 2017, Nuffield has embarked on a mission to encourage greater use of the theatre by local schools and Southampton's diverse communities.

"We are Southampton's leading producing theatre company, and want to bring in the broadest cross section of audiences to discover and enjoy our work.

Start will allow us to share the excitement and experience of live theatre more broadly, by advancing the reach of our existing education work. This will transform our relationships with those local primary schools, teachers, children and families that are part of the programme," said Rupert Rowbotham.
The plan is to work with nearly 500 Year 3 and 4 children (ages 8-9) from ten primary schools across Southampton. The schools will be confirmed over the next couple of months and the programme will begin in the Autumn term.

The three-year Start programme partners arts venues with local schools to offer children opportunities to engage in arts activities that inspire and challenge them and enhance their experience of the arts. Over the past decade Children & the Arts has worked with nearly 400,000 children and young people.

Jeremy Newton, Chief Executive of Children & the Arts, explains that Start takes learning beyond the classroom, to new and exciting environments, such as Nuffield: 
"The Start programme reaches out to the many children in the UK who are denied the opportunity to engage with the arts, whether that's due to geographical or economic reasons.  Start shows that local theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, are places that they are allowed to visit, places where they can experience and learn something new, and most of all, places that they can enjoy.

We know that Start, as well as being fun, has had a huge impact on children's confidence, communication skills and personal development of thousands of children across the UK. We are delighted to be working with Artswork and Nuffield to provide these opportunities for children in Southampton."
From the beginning, Nuffield will work with the teachers to build Start into their curriculum planning so that it's an integral part of the school year. Teachers participating in Start will be given special training, new and exciting teaching resources and provided with creative ‘CPD’ opportunities.

In the first year the children will be invited to see one of Nuffield's productions and through pre- and post-show workshops in the theatre and in class, will explore the themes of the show and reflect on the production and their experience of live theatre. Embedded within the programme will be the opportunity for the children to achieve either an Explore or Discover level arts award.

“I am thrilled for the Nuffield that we’ve been awarded this prestigious funding. Start is such a good name for it, because it really does all start from programmes like this; this year Nuffield will take nearly 500 children to see two pieces of theatre. The first of these will be to our biggest family show so far ‘The Fantastic Mr Fox’, which will be a Southampton World Premier. I am so excited for them!,” said Rupert Rowbotham.

“As a flagship producing theatre, Nuffield has the ability to not only offer children an opportunity to explore great quality arts but also life-enhancing skills and experiences. Artswork is really pleased to be supporting Nuffield to enhance their offer to children and teachers. We look forward to learning and sharing the impact for all involved over the next three years,”  Jane Bryant, Chief Executive, Artswork.

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