Creative Encounters - Year 1 - Forthview Primary

The documentary team at Forthview Primary School c. Kat Gollock
The documentary team at Forthview Primary School c. Kat Gollock
Forthview are absolutely delighted for the opportunity to work with Imaginate on this project. Seeing our pupils leading the project is so important as their voices need to be heard, and having childrens rights at the core of the project will also elevates the school community's understanding of the importance of these rights.

—Gill Foster, Deputy Headteacher, Forthview Primary

Creative Encounters is an exciting partnership project between Imaginate and North Edinburgh Arts. The project takes a children’s rights-based approach to theatre and dance performance, placing children at the heart of the creative process and decision-making. 

In Year 1 (2022/23 school year), Forthview Primary School pupils were involved as key decision-makers. They commissioned an artist to create a new performance, and took part in workshops on curation, content creation, photography, journalism, speech writing, and decision-making. Children also played a central role in shaping the design and delivery of the whole Creative Encounters project. 

Throughout the 2022/23 school year, Imaginate worked closely with children at Forthview Primary School: 

  • Creative Project Facilitator Lou Brodie delivered regular workshops exploring theatre, dance, and the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
  • Pupils formed a shortlisting committee who met to review submissions from artists who wanted to work with them. 
  • Selected artists visited Forthview to pitch their ideas to the shortlisting committee. Pupils were blown away by Cynthia Cheung's idea for her performance Hat Hat Hat, and decided this was their chosen commission! Pupils then worked with Cynthia and her team to co-create the performance. Read more about Hat, Hat, Hat and the co-creation process
  • Photographer Kat Gollock delivered photography workshops with a group of pupils who captured footage of the workshops, took photos at our festival photo call and press launch, wrote a blog about their experience, and attended Family Encounters. Read their blog: This time the children are in charge! 
  • Forthview pupils took part in the photocall and press launch for the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. Children decorated protest signs which included articles from the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the signs were used to stage a protest at the school gates. The images were used as promotional photos for the Children’s Festival. 
  • The Forthview P7 captains spoke at the press launch of the Edinburgh International Children's Festival 2023. They delivered a brilliant speech about Creative Encounters and the upcoming Hat Hat Hat performances. They started a chant with the audience of “Children’s Rights!” before marching out of the room holding the protest banners that their peers had made.  
  • Pupils from Forthview Primary School joined Imaginate at Family Encounters to watch all of the performances (including Hat Hat Hat!), help gather feedback from audiences, and document the day.
Creative Encounters is a project for children to let our voices be heard. It is very fun, not just telling you something. They show you what you're doing and of course letting you get to choose if you want to do it or not and it's breaking the news and making headlines at the Pilton festival and even had its own show. They took inspiration from every one of the classes.

—Amy, P5, Forthview Pupil

When we asked about their experience of Creative Encounters, children said: 

  • “I love being a part of Creative Encounters” 
  • “I used to be really scared of talking in front of people I didn’t know and now I can do it” 
  • “I used to be really shy and not say anything … and now I can easily talk to [adults]… it’s a really big deal to me!” 
  • “It makes me feel like I’m an artist because I’m working with artists” 
  • “It’s fun because you feel like adults” 
  • “I like giving my opinion in Imaginate because I know I’ll be listened to”