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Norfolk Schools Opera Project

The Norfolk Schools Opera Project was established in 1997. In the past 21 years, we have worked with over 3,300 children and 350 teachers from 123 Norfolk schools.

The purpose of the project is to engage Key Stage 2 children in creative and cultural learning through the medium of opera in order to foster a long-term relationship with the arts, enhance their school attainment, and develop their aspirations. The project has a particular focus on supporting pupils facing serious socio-economic disadvantage.

Working with Norfolk Music Hub, the 2018-19 programme included an Opera Celebration Day, CPD for teachers, singing and music workshops for children, and the creation of a brand new children’s version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Featuring a fusion between classic opera and salsa, the opera was performed at the Theatre Royal in June; a shorter version featuring over 600 students/performers was then presented at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November 2019.

We are currently recruiting schools to join the project, both as performing schools and to be part of our audience.

For more information, please email or call 01603 598600

At the Playhouse

At Norwich Playhouse we have two education projects giving students access to quality experiences as audience members or performers. Both projects have been devised with Heads of English and Drama/Theatre Studies departments. Playhouse Education is committed to meeting the needs of teachers in relation to the new specifications for English and Spoken Language at GCSE and A level.

We believe that access to quality theatre experiences for students, as audience members or performers, is of measurable benefit to the English/English Literature curriculum through:

  • understanding and interpreting texts
  • empathising with characters’ feelings
  • engaging in critical and reflective thinking and, in particular
  • broadening both general knowledge and cultural literacy in preparation for reading “unseen” texts

Stage Lit

Aimed at Year 8-12 English Literature students, this project gives ways into critical and reflective thinking for exams through performing extracts from curriculum texts on stage at the Playhouse.

  • To create a series of short performance  pieces, live or on film, exclusively using English curriculum texts
  • To offer opportunities for students to work with Playhouse technicians on sound, lighting and projection choices to help analyse and decode curriculum texts
  • To create a positive and inclusive shared performance opportunity that is accessible to students’ families and friends
  • To record the evening event to share as a teaching aid for English and Drama classes


Stagelit 6 – Exploring English Literature through drama

Tue 3 Mar 7pm
Tickets: Students free/ Adults £2 on the door
Running time:  7 – 9 pm 20 minutes per performance
Age: Years 7-12

Now in its 6th year, we offer StageLit to all state-funded schools FREE!


EDUCATION EXTRA: A free StageLit Teacher Toolkit for English Literature at GCSE & A level is available from

‘StageLit was devised with Norfolk teachers to give English literature students, and particularly those requiring additional support, a way into critical and reflective thinking by performing curriculum texts at the theatre. It is evident that this approach has been extremely rewarding and successful for the schools, teachers and pupils involved and it is clear that the model has great wider potential and relevance.’

Mary Muir, Norfolk County Council Arts Officer, 2018


Aimed at GCSE/A level/KS5 BTEC and equivalent students to gain experience of working with professionals on stage, presenting their devised texts before exams.

Springboards – Drama platform

Tue 31 Mar
Tickets: £2 on the door
Running time: 7 – 9pm; 30 minutes per play
Age: GCSE+
Cost to schools: £100 + vat.

Springboards is our 30-minute Drama platform for GCSE, KS5 BTEC NVQ, Creative Media and A level students. Up to four schools will take part on the night. Technical rehearsals and final performances are fully supported by our Playhouse technicians.

“This project has definitely helped me more while approaching literature because I now understand the pieces better due to having acted them. It would be brilliant if poetry was taught using Drama more often as I believe that it makes the poems so much more accessible.”

Student, Reepham High School, StageLit 2016

Continued Theatre Trips

Our specially programmed 10.30am schools matinees are a continuation of the legacy left by three successful years of work with the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts START programme between 2008-2011.

START at Norwich Playhouse (seating 300) provided 8,400 places for students and their teachers to see 16 drama, dance and musical productions at heavily subsidised prices.

CTT aims to bring young people into the auditorium to learn about theatre as consumers and to find out how theatre can play a continuing role in their lives.

CTT aspires to:

  • Help build young people’s confidence by offering two separate visits to a theatre venue supported by introductory in-school assemblies, thus giving young people the chance to experience professionals in action, close up
  • Help young people feel comfortable in a cultural environment
  • Give young people the opportunity to develop appreciation/enjoyment of an art form (e.g. willingness to get involved in cultural activity beyond lesson time, increased independent engagement with the arts) and provide them with a wider set of recreational options and interests
  • Give young people and teachers the opportunity to use the arts as a starting point for inspirational creative and cross-curricular activities
  • Enhance the professional development of teachers