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As well as their extensive programme of events for children, which I blogged about here, Curve Theatre in Leicester are also dedicated to offering schools a wide range of educational material that runs alongside their scheduled plays and performances.

Tim Ford, who co-ordinates the education programme at Curve has been working hard over the past twelve months to make schools and their involvement in what happens at Curve a pivotal part of the Curve’s growth as a theatre.

2013 sees the instigation of Primary and Secondary Network meetings which encourage schools from across the county and city to meet both at Curve, and in future at schools, to network with each other and key members of Curve in order to work together to provide great theatre programming that will benefit both the schools and the theatre.

Dedicated material is being sent to schools, outlining an entire season of performances and all the educational resources that are being offered alongside them, and there are plans afoot to strengthen communication links so that this material is delivered in as timely a way as possible, allowing schools to schedule theatre trips into their upcoming work for the term.

Part of Curve’s booking policy for travelling productions is that companies must often provide workshops, or educational packages to support the performance, and these are available to schools, at both primary and secondary levels.  Some of these materials are provided at no cost to the school, and there are a wealth of resources to draw on.

Tim is pioneering a project called Young Arts Enterprise in which ten local arts based businesses are being mentored by Tim and his team at Curve to help their businesses grow. Each of the ten participants in the project are available to work with schools on arts projects, and their expertise covers the entire arts spectrum. Relationships between the artists and the schools will be forged in such a way that Tim confidently expects both parties to benefit hugely from such a dynamic relationship.

As well as workshops and other educational events there are a series of after show talks which children can attend, as well as discussion groups and even public dress rehearsals, where for a reduced cost, children can see a performance being created before their eyes.

There are discounts available for school groups, as well as a certain number of free tickets for teachers accompanying children, depending on the size of the group.  There are also some performances where Curve are partnering with a local coach company and are able to offer discounts on coach travel to and from the venue.

Tim has more plans in the pipeline for the coming year, and the website will be regularly updated to reflect that as the year goes on.

He is also keen to hear from you either as an individual teacher or as a whole school, if you want to get involved with what the Curve are doing, or you have any suggestions for something you want them to do.

Contact details are available on the website, as are details of all the upcoming shows and supporting educational events.

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