Places are limited and allocated on first-come-first-served basis


Academic year 2021-22


Places are limited and allocated on first-come-first-served basis


Total cost per year is £800 + VAT (less than £3 per pupil for the whole year).
The project is heavily subsidised by Imaginate and National Theatre of Scotland (thanks to funding from Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council) - real cost of £1,360/year.

How to apply

If you are interested in taking part in Explore, please contact Anna Derricourt. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Imaginate is working with fifteen primary schools in an exciting project to spark learners’ and teachers’ interest in live performance. The project is a great introduction for schools who would like to experience theatre and dance performances, but aren’t quite sure where to start and will include the following:

  • Schools will receive an in-school production from Theatre in Schools Scotland, specially curated by Imaginate and The National Theatre of Scotland for its artistic quality and relevance to the CfE. The show will be performed in the school hall twice in the day to enable as many pupils to watch it as possible. Schools will be able to choose from a range of shows by some of Scotland’s leading performing artists and companies. These shows cover a range of subjects and age ranges, and are created with school audiences and buildings in mind.

  • Teachers from across our 15 Explore schools will take part in a CLPL led by an experienced artist-educator. This will explore skills to help learners reflect critically on live performances, developing confidence and skills. It will also connect teachers with a network of peers who are interested in developing the performing arts in their schools.

  • Finally, in May 2022, pupils will attend a performance at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. The Festival presents the world’s best theatre and dance for young audiences, reflecting many different artforms, cultures, and ways of interpreting the world. Costs of transport are included. 

This programme will enable schools to experience a broad range of theatre and dance, both within their own environments and as part of a large international festival, all at a very discounted rate. Imaginate staff will work with teachers at each stage to ensure that each school’s needs are being met. In previous years we have also been able to assist our Explore schools to link up to other opportunities offered from Scottish theatre and dance organisations. No promises but we will do what we can!

This offer is open to any state-funded primary school within Midlothian, West Lothian, East Lothian, Scottish Borders or Fife Councils, who has not participated in Edinburgh International Children’s Festival in the last 5 years.

Summary of what each school will get:

  • 2 performances of a theatre or dance prodiction from the Theatre in Schools Scotland (120 pupils max per performance)
  • CLPL for up to 12 teachers
  • Festival visit for up to 60 pupils and 6 teachers
  • Return transport costs to the Festival
  • Support from our staff

"The children were fully immersed in the experience, the drama was relevant to them on many different levels and they were able to relate to all of the characters they met as the story unfolded. Through the excellent ability of the actor to captivate, the children were able to see the perspective of each character. The children found the delivery as a single actor performance amazing and it made the story all the more engrossing. It sparked excellent discussion back in class and the children had great debate about the actions of all the adults in the story. They were also able to put themselves into the story and look at how they react and behave around emotional issues. We had a great discussion about what could have happened at critical points and what they thought might happen next.  Great for generating discussions on emotional health, how to access help and support, understanding the life experience of others, reasons behind behaviour." (Second Level)

Supported by the PLACE programme, funded by the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland.