Theatre School exercise (picture taken before COVID lockdown) Image Big Bold Youth

Theatre school’s mission to provide affordable and accessible drama activities

A new term has started at the Big Bold Youth theatre school. With classes in Bedford and Newport Pagnell, its mission is to provide affordable and accessible drama activities for young people.

Theatre school director, James Smith, said that it’s not all about becoming an actor, adding that being involved can increase a child’s confidence and to build friendships. He said:

“There are a huge amount of benefits to be gained from joining a local drama class, from working as a team to conquering the fear of standing in front of an audience! Every activity we run has a drama teacher and assistant drama teacher to make sure every child gets the support they need.”

Big Bold Youth was established in 2017 as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. It has two schools in this area; the Bedford School of Performing Arts and the Newport Pagnell School of Performing Arts.

The classes are based on a framework that has been developed to make sure the students receive a balanced education. Each term sees a new project, which can include short stories, plays and devised work. The students take all the skills gained during the term and put them into practice.

A quarter of the students have a diagnosed or high suspected SEN

In aid in making the classes accessible, the activities can be customised within the framework to match the students’ own requirements. As part of its accessibility policy, Big Bold Youth believes in inclusivity with all its teaching teams have been trained in Special Educational Needs (SEN). James said:

“A recent survey showed that 25% of our students have a diagnosed or high suspected SEN, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia and cerebral palsy. Every teaching team member receives training in SEN as well as child protection to ensure that all students receive plenty of support during the classes.

“There is also ongoing training, particularly when a new student with an SEN joins the class as we know that everybody has different needs.”

SEN students at the stage school are offered 1:1 support, with Assistant Drama Teachers on hand to offer extra support to those students that require it. Depending on the type of SEN, Big Bold Youth can also make various adjustments to ensure that all students feel welcome and safe in the teaching environments.

“A recent example of where drama has helped one of our students with autism is puppetry – he finds that he is able to express himself more through a puppet and as such, we are now looking at running a puppetry workshop in the near future to help him gain further skills in this area.”

In order to give students the best support, parents should give the team a call on 01908 086 015 either before or after booking a free trial. This will help identify the needs and requirements before their first class. Alternatively, parents can email enquiries@bigboldyouth.org.uk.

For more information on how your child can enrol, please visit bigboldyouth.org.uk.

Q and A session (photo taken before the COVID lockdown) Image Big Bold Youth