A project by: Improv4 Schools
Improv4 Schools: a year of confidence-building Improvisation workshops to engage, inspire and teach sustainable life skills to some of our hardest-to-reach young people.
What is Improvisation?
def. creating spontaneously or without preparation.
At its simplest, improvisation is making things up in the moment.
Used in drama, improvisation becomes live storytelling, in which the plot, dialogue and characters are created spontaneously through the collaboration of all involved. At every moment, you areauthors of your own stories.
It encourages team work, spontaneity, and helps to overcome confidence issues
What are the benefits?
Improvisation inspires values and abilities, including: participation, trust, teamwork, listening, literacy and risk-taking.
By inspiring positive change in these areas for young people, we aim to unlock their potential to become active and engaged learners in their schools.
Who will benefit?
Up to 30 students (aged 11-16) per school will be selected to take part in Improv4. We know these students need extra support due to disruptive behavior, low motivation, attentiveness or engagement in learning.
They are the least likely to engage in after-school clubs, classes or productions, yet can have themost to gain from the arts. Working in school hours will ensure they can access and benefit from this expert provision.
Working over a whole year, we hope to make a lasting impact on their lives and learning, improving their chance of entering full time education or employment when they leave school, increasing their wellbeing, and for many giving them the opportunity to develop a love of the arts for the first time.
Workshops will be run by The Point’s Drama Development Officer, Lucy Fennell alongside a lead teacher – exchanging skills and training between the schools and the local arts venue.
Teachers will benefit from extensive training in how to engage students who struggle academically, through improvisation. Showing young people that they can be successful in this way then translates across the core subjects, helping them to realise their potential.
What will happen?
Up to 30 Improvisation Workshops at each school for our students
Continuing Professional Development training for our teachers
A Celebration Event, hosted by The Point, for all schools and supporters to celebrate their students’ achievements
Who are we?
Cantell School, Southampton
We are a secondary comprehensive school in Southampton, dedicated to providing an exceptional learning experience for all students, and supporting them to become mature, self-confident and well-rounded adults.
The four cornerstones of Cantell are:
Exciting teaching and learning
A richly diverse community
Our school has a high number of students eligible for Free School Meals, and many students join the school with academic scores significantly below the national average. Despite this challenging context, in 2015 Cantell was confirmed the top school in Hampshire for student progress, and amongst the top 5% of schools across the country for ‘Value Added’.
We are passionate about ensuring every student can benefit from the exceptional provision we provide, but every year there are a small number of students who struggle to engage in school life. We are confident that Improv4 will support them to overcome their barriers, and are keen to work with other schools to make sure as many students as possible can benefit from this support.
The Point Theatre, Eastleigh
The Point Theatre’s highly skilled team run year-round activities to teach skills, raise aspirations and inspire the next generation, including: vibrant youth theatres with over 200 members, documentary film-making with young people for the Police Crime Commission, and continuous training opportunities for students, teachers and emerging artists.
The Point is committed to providing innovative arts experiences that improve the lives of young people. They are a cultural resource for the community, and work closely with young people tocombat decreasing arts provision in schools.
What is the potential impact for students, schools and the wider community?
Having observed trial workshops, the Pupil Premium Champion at Cantell is confident Improv4 can improve the attendance and confidence of younger students who are currently struggling to engage in school. Done at an early stage, there is the potential for massive gains in progress and attainment.
There is strong evidence that if we can get the hardest to reach students to engage with school life, then they will do well. Of the students who attend 97% of the time or more at Cantell, 72% go on to achieve 5 A*-C grades at GCSE – which greatly improves their life chances, and lowers the number of young people not in full time education or employment in our local community.
Yet, schools now face new challenges due to the Government cuts to Deprivation funding, resulting in a loss of funding for their most disadvantaged students. This means that many schools can only offer their students access to Improv4 if we can raise the funds together as a community.
If Improv4 is successful in showing its value and outcomes for the students, staff and schools, we can encourage more schools in our community, and across Hampshire, to engage in this innovative programme, promoting the wellbeing of disadvantaged young people.
We are excited by this opportunity to work together to raise achievement and aspirations across our local communities.
Where will the money go?
The total cost of running Improv4 for one year per school is £5,000.
That equals £5 per hour, per child involved in Improv4.
Expert improvisation workshop leaders for one year
Staff training for teachers in improvisation techniques
Independent evaluation by an education consultant
Venue for the celebration event at the end of the year for all students and teachers involved
With the support of Eastleigh Borough Council, The Point is able to cover £3,000 of this cost, paying for the time of Drama Development Officer, Lucy Fennell, to organise and run Improv4, and The Point’s theatre as a venue for the final celebration.
With your support, we can raise the remaining £2,000 needed per school, which will help to pay for: an independent evaluation of Improv4 (crucial to show the real difference Improv4 makes to young people’s lives) and teacher training workshops so they can continue to use Improvisation to engage students.
If we raise more than £6,000, we can hire an additional workshop leader to support Lucy to deliver workshops in more than 3 schools.
The more we can raise, the more we can do!
With £6,000 – we can run Improv4 in 3 local schools for 1 year.
That’s 300 people, giving £20 each!
With £12,000 – we can run Improv4 in 5 local schools for 1 year.
That’s 600 people, giving £20 each!
Improv4 offers good value for money because it also provides training for teachers, so that we can develop as a school and continue to see an impact for students not directly involved in the project. If successful, we hope to continue to offer Improv4 to our disengaged students in years to come.
How can you help us make Improv4 a reality?
Please donate! Anything you can donate – however big or small – will go towards running Improv4 with as many children in as many schools as we can.
Spread the word! If you think it’s a great idea, please help us share the news with as many people as possible, via email, social media or just by talking to them about it!
Follow Us Here:
Improv4 Page: facebook.com/Improv4Schools