Sunday, December 3, 2023

Trestle Theatre brings its mask magic to Royal Operas House Trailblazer schools

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STUDENTS from Royal Opera House Trailblazer school, Shaw Primary Academy, have been working with Trestle Theatre to kick-start their project about the Anglo-Saxons.
Classes from Years 3 to 6 took part in workshops exploring different characters from Anglo- Saxon Britain through mask and physical theatre work.

The Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer programme gives staff and students access to high quality arts and cultural workshops, visits, CPD opportunities and performances.

Year 5 teacher Kathryn Coupe, Shaw Primary Academy said: “We chose the Trestle Theatre workshop because we wanted an interactive ‘hook’ into our new topic of Anglo-Saxons which also promoted cross-curricular links between History and the arts. The children really engaged with the drama activities and created tableaus of an extremely high quality. Historical elements were cleverly woven in with the study of creating characters and using games to increase the children’s confidence. They are much more excited about our new topic than before.”

Luke Lane from Trestle Theatre also visited St Clere’s Academy, another Royal Opera House Trailblazer school, to work with the GCSE drama classes. St Clere’s chose to work with Trestle to develop their students’ skills in using mask and half mask in performance. The session informed the students understanding of Shakespeare. The students are currently studying Macbeth, and will welcome the National Theatre to their school this term to perform the play as further Thurrock Trailblazer activity.

Trestle’s Learning and Participation Manager, Emma-Rose Payne said: “We are thoroughly enjoying working on the Thurrock Trailblazer programme, as it is allowing us to link our mask pedagogies to wider and more bespoke topics across the Primary and Secondary curriculums. It is a pleasure to collaborate with and support the Trailblazer schools; it is clear they all have consciously committed to incorporating the arts into their classrooms.”

Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer is an innovative programme that boost creative learning in schools and accelerate pupils’ development. To find out more about Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer, please go to


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