The arts magazine for teachers

A new Fabian Society report, Primary Colours, reveals that two thirds (68%) of primary school teachers in England say there is less arts education now than in 2010, and half (49%) say the quality of what there is has got worse. The report presents new findings from a Fabian/YouGov survey of a representative sample of 348 primary school teachers and a Fabian survey of 53 arts providers across England. There are four key arguments for providing high quality arts education in primary schools: cognitive development, overcoming inequalities, building confidence and expanding horizons and social cohesion.

The report concludes that the government must take immediate steps to reverse this worrying decline, making eight recommendations for reform including: £150m ring-fenced funding for the arts in schools, greater emphasis on the arts in the national curriculum, free music or singing lessons for every child and a free school trip for every year to a local cultural institution. ‘This narrowing of access risks widening existing inequalities in access to the arts and limits the horizons of young people’.

Indeed, ensuring arts education is maintained has been shown to have positive effects on learning across the curriculum and in this issue we look at the work of the Lyric Hammersmith (p15), providing additional arts opportunities for young people, already proving to have a positive effect on their general education and attainment, whilst Susan Elkin puts the case for Christian education to be incorporated across the curriculum to ensure context in both the arts and literature (p22).

The Big Interview in this issue is with theatre pioneers Tim & Max, founders of Oily Cart, as they move on to new ventures (p6) and we chat to Amy Leach, associate director at Leeds Playhouse about her upcoming female-led production of Hamlet.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet are taking Beauty and the Beast on tour, with a couple of special relaxed performances for younger audiences and we look at the outstanding achievements of TheMTA at finding work in the performing arts sector for its graduates.

Until next time, keep the faith!

John

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Beyond the Cart

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Beyond the Cart  

Having ‘retired’ from running their hugely successful company, Oily Cart, Susan Elkin caught up with Tim Webb and Dave Bennett to find out what the future now holds in store.

Hamlet at Leeds Playhouse

Hamlet at Leeds Playhouse  

Susan Elkin chats to Amy Leach, associate director, about the casting of a female lead and ensuring a contemporary production.

Relaxed Ballet

Relaxed Ballet  

Birmingham Royal Ballet will be offering its second relaxed performances in early 2019 – a specially adapted production of Beauty and the Beast at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton and Birmingham Hippodrome. Here, dancer Jonathan Payn describes his involvement in the planning of this special production. Please introduce yourself for us: I’m Jonathan Payn, First Soloist […]

Nurturing Young Talent

Nurturing Young Talent  

The Lyric Hammersmith has extended its education outreach work. Susan Elkin went along to find out more.

Proudly Different

Proudly Different  

Musical Theatre Academy, long since rebranded as TheMTA, is a tiny vocational drama college whose working methods, influence and achievements are out of all proportion to its size. Susan Elkin went to find out how.

EXHIBITION: Razzle Dazzle ‘Em

EXHIBITION: Razzle Dazzle ‘Em  

Graham Hooper takes in a couple of shows looking at the art of distortion and its very practical application

Pause for thought… Christian Knowledge

Pause for thought… Christian Knowledge  

Susan Elkin puts forward the case for Christian knowledge as an intrinsic part of English lessons

TheatreCraft

TheatreCraft  

Susan Elkin visited TheatreCraft 2018, offering great advice to students looking for careers in the creative industries.

Book Review: Being a Playwright – A Career Guide for Writers

Book Review: Being a Playwright – A Career Guide for Writers  

By Chris Foxon & George Turvey Published by Nick Hern Books Iwas delighted when this how-to book landed on my desk. I’m a writer (over 100,000 words a year). I go to the theatre to review several times a week. I’ve long thought I should somehow knit the strands of my life together and write […]

THEATRE REVIEW : Macbeth – National Youth Theatre 2018 Rep Company

THEATRE REVIEW : Macbeth – National Youth Theatre 2018 Rep Company  

The National Youth Theatre Rep Company is a vocational training group of 15 or 16 actors aged 18-25 who present a West End season at the end of their quasi-course. It’s the top tier of NYT’s work. Most participants go straight on to professional work. Abridged to 90 interval-less minutes by Moira Buffini and pithily […]