As a teacher, having high quality resources available online makes such a difference when planning and assessing the work I do with my students. The language involved when discussing performances can sometimes be difficult to confidently use as someone who isn’t a trained theatre practitioner. I feel that having a resource that can be accessed by students and teachers will add to the overall experience and encourage more teachers to feel confident about incorporating theatre and dance into the classroom.

—Tanya McLaughlin (P6 teacher, Corstorphine Primary School)

We are delighted to be working with After The News/DKDO to design and build onTAP a new digital web-based resource in association with Scottish Dance Theatre and Dundee Rep.

onTAP will enable teachers across Scotland to facilitate post-show discussions with children so they can critically analyse live theatre and dance performances. This will help pupils develop critical reflection skills, enhance their confidence, and empower them to develop and articulate their own opinions. It also opens up many opportunities for cross-curricular learning, and for addressing complex or ‘difficult’ topics in a structured and inclusive way.  Many teachers take their pupils on trips to see live performances, but far fewer feel confident in using these experiences as a springboard for further and deeper classroom learning.

In order to develop the content, we have been working with:

  • a partner school to experiment and research with groups of pupils and teachers - Corstorphine Primary School.
  • an Advisory Group of teachers, theater makers and choreographers to develop the language is appropriate for different primary ages groups and for theatre and dance productions.
  • Birds of Paradise Theatre's Youth Arts Consultants to gather feedback on accessbility for the resource.

The previous Talking About Theatre resource was offered free to schools in Scotland, initially via Glow and latterly via the Imaginate website.  We provided teacher training CPD/CLPL sessions over the last ten years as well as offering it to all schools who saw a performance as part of Theatre in Schools Scotland. This supported teachers to meet Curriculum for Excellence Expressive Arts Experiences and Outcomes across all levels, encouraging pupils to develop critical thinking skills and become more able to express their own thoughts, feelings and opinions with confidence whilst valuing those of others.

Talking About Theatre was funded through Co-Create, a partnership between Learning and Teaching Scotland and the Creative Scotland National Lottery Fund.

onTAP is supported by the UK Government to enhance the Edinburgh Festivals' digital capabilities, and the PLACE programme funded by the Scottish Government (through Creative Scotland), the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.

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c. Louise King
c. Louise King