Secondary Projects

STEP Schools' Showcase

The STEP Schools' Showcase is a new STEP initiative which began in 2011 offering GCSE Drama groups the chance to come together to rehearse, workshop and perform their practical exam pieces to other groups in the lead up to their final exams.

Since 2011, STEP has worked with five secondary schools (St Thomas the Apostle College, Harris Academy Bermondsey, The Charter School, Walworth Academy and St Michaels and All Angels Academy) to bring groups together for work-in-progress performances at the Unicorn Theatre. The evening performances were attended by other young people, industry professionals and family and friends, giving the young people a boost of confidence and some practical feedback in order to improve their final performances.

This opportunity, in partnership with the Unicorn will be an annual event which STEP hopes to make available to A Level and BTEC groups as well as GCSE groups.

STEP Young Critics Programme

The STEP Young Critics Programme, funded by the Financial Times, gives groups of young people from Southwark secondary schools the chance to work with a professional journalist and learn the skills needed to be a theatre critic. The programme has worked with Andrew Dickson (The Guardian), Heather Neill (The Stage), Claire Allfree (Metro) and Michael Billington (The Guardian). As part of the programme students have had free tickets to see shows at the Unicorn Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Blue Elephant Theatre, Oval House Theatre, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, the Young Vic, Union Theatre and the Royal Court.

The Young Critics Programme is a real chance for the young people to develop their writing skills, learn to be critical observers and interact with industry professionals. The programme also provides a platform where Southwark young people can tell local theatres and performing arts companies what they think of the shows which are created with them in mind.

Michael Billington (The Guardian and STEP Patron), who delivered a masterclass session for students on the STEP Young Critics Programme 2008, said: The students have limitless curiosity.

STEP and the 14-19 Diploma in Creative and Media

Following two successful years of the STEP Work Experience Programme, STEP supported the Diploma in Creative and Media at The Charter School, St Michael and All Angels Academy, Bacon’s College and Southwark College from 2008 until 2011.
STEP worked in partnership with Southwark 14-19 Partnership, Theatre Peckham, Oval House Theatre, Unicorn Theatre and Half Moon Young People’s Theatre with support from Tate Modern, Southwark Playhouse and London Bubble Theatre Company to write and deliver units of work for young people on Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the Diploma.

A two-week performance unit was the main highlight of this work which gave groups of students studying the Diploma at Levels 1, 2 and 3 the chance to do a work experience placement at a local theatre for two weeks, creating a performance from start to finish in that time. During the two weeks the students learn skills in design, lighting, sound and marketing as well as acting in the final performance. The theatres involved in this programme were Half Moon Young People’s Theatre (providing a Level 1 course) and Theatre Peckham, Oval House Theatre and Unicorn Theatre (providing Level 2 and 3 courses).

STEP also facilitated visits to Southwark Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, Unicorn Theatre and Tate Modern as part of the Diploma.

A session of one of these placements at Half Moon Young People’s Theatre was visited by Ed Balls MP in January 2009.