Early Years & Primary Projects


STEP Out! is a drama education programme designed by Steam Industry Free Theatre in partnership with STEP to work with primary and secondary students. The climax of the programme is an ensemble performance at The Scoop at More London in June.

2011 was the eighth year for STEP Out! bringing together Grange, St George's Cathedral and Bessemer Grange Primary Schools alongside students from the Harris Academy Bermondsey. Each school received a twilight teacher INSET, four half-day in-school workshops leading up to the performance and an introductory session at the Scoop. These workshops explored the themes of Around the World in Eighty Days through drama games, character study, improvisation and storytelling. The final performance, a highly energetic, ensemble piece involving physical theatre, song, dance and percussion with imaginative costumes and large-scale props, took place on Tuesday 21st June 2010.

STEP Early Years Programme

In 2011 and 2012, following on from its 2007-2008 Early Years Programme in which three partner theatres (Oval House Theatre, Unicorn Theatre and In Toto Theatre) delivered a comprehensive programme of training and workshops in fifteen centres across the borough, STEP has been working in partnership with Half Moon Young People's Theatre to deliver a programme of workshops and performances to centres in Southwark. In 2011, Half Moon worked in partnership with 1st Place Children and Parents' Centre to deliver a programme based on numeracy and shapes. In 2012, they delivered workshops and performances to six reception classes in Rotherhithe which helped the children discover Australian animals and poetry.

In 2011, 50 children from 1st Place took part in workshops based on Half Moon's production 'Plum and Pickle'. All those children as well as groups from Michael Faraday Primary School, the Childminders' Centre and Tykes Corner then saw the production at the centre. The final element of the programme brought 13 teachers from different schools and centres across the borough together in a CPD day. In 2012, 150 children from St John's RC, St Joseph's RC, Peter Hills, Pilgrim's Way and Alfred Salter Primary Schools in Rotherhithe all took part in workshops based on Half Moon's production 'A Roo in My Suitcase'. The children saw a performance held at Alfred Salter Primary School and their teachers and others from the borough took part in a twilight CPD session.

Southwark Drama Champions

Drama Champions are teachers and teaching assistants from Southwark primary schools interested in pursuing the use of drama in the curriculum to raise standards and attainment and championing the embedding of performance arts in the curriculum. In 2007-2008 the Programme enabled 30 Primary School teachers to attend intensive INSET training run by practitioners from London Drama, Shakespeare’s Globe, Oval House, the Unicorn Theatre and Southwark Children’s Services. The Drama Champions Programme develops strong partnerships between the participating teachers and performing arts organisations, theatres, Southwark Children’s Services and STEP. The participating teachers produce Action Learning Research as part of the Programme.

This original STEP initiative is now run and financed by other key players but supported by STEP. The Programme was back for 2009-2010, with a new collaboration with schools in Croydon.

As part of the 2010 and 2011 STEP Festival there was an open-door invitation for other Southwark primary teachers to observe drama/literacy lessons delivered by Drama Champions and Nina Birch, Southwark Children's Services Senior Literacy/Drama Consultant.

Visit London Drama for more information about the 2009-2010 Programme.