Photo Credit Tony Baker

Theatre in Education

Big School 2019 – Mon 3 – Fri 21 June

Things are changing. Last day of term is looming and Mo isn’t sure he’s ready for secondary school. He really needs someone to talk to, but Dad’s away and best friend Ash has concerns of her own. Can your Year 6 class help to prepare the friends for the future?

In June 2019, the Belgrade Theatre will be touring this popular theatre-in-education programme to primary schools in and around Coventry and Warwickshire. Created for children in Year 6, Big School combines live theatre with participatory activities designed to engage pupils in exploring their feelings about the move to secondary school, and equip them with useful strategies for dealing with issues of transition.

The programme is delivered in your school hall by experienced actor-teachers, and supported by a teacher’s pack that enables both preparatory work and extensive follow-up. Sessions cost £275 for one school or £340 for two sharing a booking (up to a maximum of 90 pupils).

Justine Themen, Belgrade Theatre Associate Director on Big School:

‘Work on transition is often about telling children what they need to expect when they make the step up to secondary school. Projects such as Big School are about giving young people the opportunity to explore the challenges that they many encounter and come up with their own ideas as to how to meet those challenges. Grown-ups can sometimes forget that children are dealing with change all the time and are often very resourceful. We need to support children to access the resourcefulness within themselves at this important time in their lives. The Big School project is an integral part of our Click Spring programme and we are very proud to have helped many thousands of local young children with the difficult transition. In an age where government education funds are being given directly to individual schools and taking into account the increased marginalization of drama within the national curriculum, the future of Big School is by no means a certain one. Because of the way in which the allocation of funding to schools has changed, supporting a dedicated TiE project of this scale is becoming increasingly difficult. The transition from primary to secondary school can be a tremendously challenging time in the life of a child and if it doesn’t go well, can have a lasting impact of a child’s achievement and well-being’.

Big School 2019 is directed by Justine Themen with support from Claire Procter (Co-director). This year’s programme of interactive drama sessions will be delivered by actor-teachers Leon Phillips and Kim Hackleman.

If you would like further information on the Big School Project or wish to book the current tour, please contact the Click Spring Team on 02476 846 741 or

Theatre In Education History

The ground-breaking Theatre in Education (TiE) movement was first pioneered by the Belgrade in 1965 as a way to use theatre and drama to create a range of learning opportunities for young people. Actor-teachers from the Belgrade’s permanent TiE Company would tour local schools where they would perform short pieces of theatre and lead workshops that allowed students to explore important issues and ideas in active and creative ways.

The TiE movement soon spread to theatres across the UK, and then to broader contexts across the globe, inspiring a wide range of participatory theatre with children and young people, encouraging and empowering children to investigate challenging situations for themselves.

In 2015, the Belgrade Theatre celebrated the 50th Anniversary of establishing its dedicated TiE Company with a year-long festival of events entitled Inspiring Curiosity. See below for more information.

INSPIRING CURIOSITY Celebrating 50 years of Theatre in Education

2015 saw the 50th Anniversary of Theatre in Education (TiE) at the Belgrade, marking 50 years since the establishment of a company dedicated to using theatrical performance and drama workshops to explore issues of cultural, social, political and moral significance as part of a free service to schools and the young people of Coventry. TiE encourages children to investigate challenging situations for themselves, to search to find the answer, rather than be given it on a plate.

To mark this significant anniversary, the Belgrade held a year of events to celebrate and promote theatre made for and with young people. Events included a two-week festival of theatre by and for young people in July, a two-day international conference exploring the relationship between theatre and learning, and a two-week festival of theatre for children and families in October.

For further information on our Inspiring Curiosity events, please visit where you will find lots of details about the exciting events and activities that were produced during this spectacular Anniversary year.