Education & attainment
Mousetrap Theatre Projects team wins funding for afterschool drama club
Students from King’s and Westminster charity, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, have won the King’s Civic Challenge award for education and attainment.
In their pitch, the group told the story of 8-year-old Amir who attends Gateway Academy Primary School on Church Street in Westminster. Amir, like 98 per cent of the school’s population, has English as a second language and he also has refugee status. Zeinab, Amir’s mother, struggles to collect him and his sister from school. She can’t afford childcare, so they must care for themselves once they get home.
‘Amir is one of 30 ethnic groups in the school, who together with others, speak 39 different first languages, so he really struggles to communicate and his confidence is very low,’ said the team in their pitch.
To help Amir, his sister and others in similar situations, the Mousetrap Theatre Projects group proposed a new weekly creative after school club that uses drama to provide a safe, fun space for pupils to explore themselves and the world around them.
Studies have shown that drama can significantly improve communications skills, confidence and academic achievement. It is therefore a powerful tool that will give Amir the skills he needs to break through the barriers he is facing.
Emily Sanctuary, Development Manager, Mousetrap Theatre Projects
The club will use a unique model developed by the team called Creative Play. An actor in role will lead the children through a different story every week. The children will dress up and enter an imaginary world in which they are free to explore issues such as bullying and prejudice in a safe environment.
They will also be introduced to live theatre by going on trips to the West End to see shows such as Wicked and The Lion King, as well as experiencing backstage tours.
The team ended their pitch saying, ‘This project will help the children to flourish, with newfound communication skills, confidence and, importantly, friends. We want to give Amir the opportunity to tell his story for the very first time.’
This idea has creativity at its core and will genuinely benefit young children while also supporting their parents and families.
Alison Duthie, Director of Programming (Culture & Strand Aldwych) and King’s Civic Challenge judge
Patrick O’Sullivan and Emily Sanctuary from Mousetrap Theatre Projects with Megan Hain (BA English) and Lorra Videv (MA Arts & Cultural Management), Faculty of Arts & Humanities; Wenxi Huang (Master of Laws LLM) and Hanzhi Meng (International Financial Law LLM), The Dickson Poon School of Law; and Moegi Takaishi (MA Education in Arts & Cultural Settings), Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy