Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre’s Education Network (HEN) brings creativity into the curriculum, working with schools to connect learning outcomes to opportunities at the Hippodrome. Lucy Prince, Creative Arts Director at Shireland Collegiate Academy has seen the benefit the young people at her school have had from being part of the HEN programme.


Working with the Hippodrome Education Network

Our involvement with the Hippodrome has been priceless in more ways than one. This partnership involves a wealth of opportunities to educate and provide access to all types of theatre in education. Birmingham Hippodrome allows a diverse range of projects to take place inside and outside the Academy, which allows our students to gain a better understanding of the Performing Arts industry, such as being involved in performance projects, careers days, meet and greets, work experience, live shows, curtain raisers, festivals and much more.

For the students among us who suffer with mental health issues, economic and wellbeing issues, Birmingham Hippodrome have provided a stable and exciting network which encourages positive minds through the focus of theatre, whether that be through dance, drama or live performance. We have seen first-hand how the network has encouraged confidence, self-esteem and professional opportunities.

Developing future careers

Having Ben, a HEN Learning Officer work with our GCSE Drama group and Year 7 and 8 students in curriculum time has really helped the students understand the different opportunities within the industry and how accessible theatre can actually be. I feel it has removed the stigma about jobs in the performing arts and allowed students and families to get an all-round perception of what’s included in theatre and that it’s not just about ‘performing on a stage’. Having a designated Learning Officer in our schools once a week has changed the outlook of the arts and connected the dots which were missing before. It has engaged our families and encouraged confidence when discussing opportunities in the arts, and this for us was essential.

By donating to The Big Give, you can support this unique education work to ensure many more generations of young people have access to the arts to not only develop their careers, but to develop as well rounded individuals.

Lucy Prince (Creative Arts Director) Shireland Collegiate Academy