Mousetrap Creative Learning
Our 7 school education programmes use theatre to enhance the curriculum and teach new personal and academic skills. Each programme brings theatre professionals into the classroom and includes a London theatre visit. Skills include song composition, literacy, business/budgeting & critical thinking.
September 2015 - July 2016
Mousetrap Theatre Projects
We have developed all our Creative Learning programmes in response to discussion with teachers who we consult with on a regular basis, in order to keep our education offering fresh, relevant and responsive to teachers’ and students' changing needs.
Teachers want to find new ways to engage students, invigorate and build on specific parts of the curriculum, and relate classroom learning to possible careers.
We offer education programmes addressing specific areas of the curriculum such as composition/songwriting, the 'business' of theatre (marketing and budgeting), critical thinking and writing and literacy. By taking theatre professionals into the classroom to share their skills and experience, we give the students insights and learning experiences that teachers cannot provide. We also run INSET days to equip teachers with skills and new methods they can employ in future.
Develop students' understanding of a subject area and how it relates to real life jobs and scenarios
Activities» Each programme includes a series of workshops or masterclasses with a theatre professional who shares their real life experiences and skills.
Success is shown by teachers feedback eg “[StageSong] helped the students understand how to write for character rather than their own voice.” Teacher, Fortismere School
Challenge students beyond their comfort zone and improve the quality of the work they produce.
Activities» Workshops explore the subject area in more depth, delve into areas less familiar to students, give them new perspectives, ideas and methods.
Success is shown by teachers feedback eg one teacher told us all his students gained A-grades in the written part of A2 Dance, which he felt was in part directly due to our project
Give students hands on experience and the confidence to apply the new skills they have learnt
Activities» The theatre professionals use real life scenarios e.g. ask students to devise a new marketing plan for a real West End show based on real budgets
» The students' work is shared through presentations, performances etc, with theatre experts giving critical feedback, advice and encouragement.
Success is measured using methods such as 'outcomes stars' where before and after the project students rate their confidence levels and understanding of particular skills.
Improve student engagement, provide an inspiring learning experience, raise students' aspirations.
Activities» By including a theatre trip to a top London show, the students are given an exciting experience to relate directly to their classroom work.
» Bringing in an outside professional gives students a role model, a wider insight into real world job opportunities, something to aim for.
Success is shown by student and teacher feedback eg “[It] was an aspirational experience as it showed the kids what they could achieve with considerable hard work.” Teacher
Teachers benefit greatly from the INSET days and from working alongside theatre professionals. The skills, techniques and insights they gain serve not only the class taking part in the project but all their future students.
The skills, aspirations and confidence students gain benefit their studies and in turn their careers eg one student said that he was amazed to discover how many different careers there are in theatre, not having previously given any thought to careers beyond acting.
1. Teachers' budgets cannot always stretch to theatre trips and education programmes - we keep our tickets prices as low as possible at £8 and programme fees subsidIsed through fundraising.
2. Teachers leave and if a new teacher is not interested in this kind of work, it can diminish our relationship with a school - we have a teachers' forum and frequently connect and communicate with teachers to keep up their interest and engagement.
We keep our donors closely connected to our work by sending reports on the particular projects they support and regular newsletters and emails reporting on the work of the charity as a whole. Where possible, we invite supporters to see the work for themselves.
Budget - Project Cost: £88,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £16,000 Play the Critic Teaches critical thinking and writing through masterclasses with professional theatre critics £12,000 PowerPlay Drama workshops to improve engagement and confidence for students in pupil referall units £14,000 StageBusiness Gives students an insider's view of the 'business' of theatre £5,000 ActOut Tailormade workshops with theatre professionals on a performance skill/style of the teachers' choice £21,000 StageSong Develops music/performing arts students' composition skills for writing songs for theatre. £6,000 DirectIt Teaching the role of a director, dramatic choices, techniques for working productively with actors £14,000 MysterySolved Literacy project for Year 6 students using the mystery genre to engage and excite them
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Grant making trusts £25,000 Guaranteed
We offer our Creative Learning Programmes London-wide, with some schools from areas in the home counties close to Greater London also participating. 5 programmes are for mainstream secondary schools, one is for primary schools and one is for pupil referall units.
Mostly students of secondary school age, predominately Key Stages 3-5. Also year 6 and PRU students. We target and give priority to schools with a higher percentage of pupils on free school meals.
Many theatres' education programmes are linked only to their own particular venue or productions. Being independent of any theatre or producer, we are in a unique position to work with theatres across London and the West End and select productions that stimulate and inspire young people. As we are not funded by any one local council, we are also free to work all over London.
We have excellent relationships with theatre industry professionals to deliver projects to the highest standard.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Head of Creative Learning. Linda is responsible for researching, devising and managing all our in depth Education Programmes.
Programme Manager (responsible for Powerplay and Mysterysolved)
“All the children who do not ordinarily achieve high standards and those with Behavioural and Learning Difficulties showed significant improvement.”