Professional Placement at STEP (Part I)

I am currently in my third year studying for a degree in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at Central School of Speech and Drama. As part of my course – I have to spend a term on professional placement with a theatre or education organisation in London. I was lucky to be placed at STEP and I am now finishing my third week here.

When I began my placement, I had a limited understanding of the function of STEP. It has taken me some time to understand how such a unique partnership organisation works. To my knowledge, STEP works as a kind of agent – establishing firm links between education partners and theatre partners. The beauty of a company such as STEP lies in the flexible nature of the work we do.   We use social networking to communicate directly with young people passing on information about performances, workshops, training, funding and many more opportunities in the borough. We also work closely with some amazing theatres, schools in Southwark and experienced drama facilitators.  I am passionate about drama and theatre in education. In my opinion, incorporating work for, with and about young people is vital for theatres in order to reach out to their local community. Young people deserve the opportunity to express themselves, showcase their talents and have access to the creative industry.

This leads me to tell you a little bit about my enquiry project. Whilst on placement with STEP, I am also working on a project. In order to pass this module, I have to create a piece of work that will be useful for the organisation. The criterion for this project is very broad with examples ranging from project evaluations to a teacher’s resource pack. After discussion with my host, I have decided to create a booklet for young people exploring different ways to access the creative industry. I aim to address the questions that everyone is asking such as ‘Is university my only option?’ I am enjoying working on this project as I believe that it is genuinely important that young people are aware of the opportunities out there. 

On a day to day basis, there is quite a lot to be getting on with at the STEP office. I am learning so many invaluable skills such as networking skills and event organising. I am currently working on the fortnightly STEP e-bulletin which entails me compiling a newsletter that contains all the latest news and event for our education, theatre and strategic partners. I am also working towards organising the Youth Theatre Show Case that will take place at Southwark College on Friday 30th November. So far- my experience at STEP has been extremely positive and only cements further my desire to embark on a career in the arts in education sector. 

By Rachel Roberts, STEP placement student.