Celebrating 40 years of Northern Ballet School – 25th June 2017

Outreach Programme

As part of the NBS Diploma in Professional Dance, the Outreach Programme is an important element of the student's training. The Programme is part of the second academic year subjects within the Contextual Studies Module and is intended to provide students with transferable skills. Students keep notes on the progress of each project and give regular feedback to their tutor.

The Outreach Programme puts NBS students in direct contact with primary school children by visiting schools, with a view to developing joint arts projects. NBS students assume distinct roles within their groups, which encourage them to take responsibilities and develop their communication, organisational and leadership skills. Students are encouraged to examine their work constantly during the development of the project, indeed the process of self-reflection is fundamental to the learning outcomes, which ultimately leads to enhanced creativity in the school children.

Student collaboration
NBS students recently collaborated with GBswimstars photographer Simon Wright to produce these stunning images taken at Manchester Aquatics Centre.

Projects always have a theme upon which the dance students work intensely after much research. Both NBS students and the primary school children have the opportunity to work with orchestral musicians on the composition of a piece of music, which is then performed at the end of each project.

Previous successful Outreach Programme projects have included:

"Trains and Boats and Planes"

was a creative arts project in collaboration with the Hallé Orchestra, The Museum of Science and Industry, NBS Year Two Jazz Focus and four primary schools in Manchester culminating in a performance, at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. NBS students worked intensely on creating a choreographed dance for Year five and six children on the given theme.

"Stops Away"

involved NBS Year Two Classical Focus Students, four primary schools in Manchester, The Manchester Music Service and the Organist of The Hallé Orchestra, Daniel Moult. The theme was the Chanticleer, based on Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" and the ballet "Rooster" by Christopher Bruce. Again, the ballet students worked intensely with the primary school children on choreographed pieces, which were performed by Year five and six children at The Bridgewater Hall.

Salford Business Education Partnership

was another of our collaborators on the Outreach Programme. Two of our third year students had much success at a workshop they ran with children of St. Sebastian's R.C. Primary School, in Salford as part of the Salford East Education Action Zone.

"Vanishing Docks"

involved NBS Years Two and Three students working with children from five primary schools in Manchester. The collaboration between NBS, Manchester Music Service, Salford Museum and Living and Learning developed a project based on the history of the Manchester Docks focussing on the City's rich cultural diversity, which has been brought about by successive waves of immigration. The final outcome of this project was a performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, which consisted of dances choreographed for the school children. This required intense input from our students as in the previous projects.

Outreach Programme Feedback

NBS has received excellent feedback from all collaborating institutions that are already planning new projects for the next academic year in the hope of our renewed collaboration.

Kate Egford – Senior Development Manager at Sport England North West

"...I would like to reiterate our appreciation of the contribution that your students made to the celebrations of the Commonwealth Games 2002.

The performance staged at the launch of the Commonwealth Curriculum Pack at the Bolton Arena was quite simply stunning! The audience of some 500 young people (over the two performances) was visibly and audibly enthused and it set just the right atmosphere for them to go and take part in their own activities around the venue. The students showed great imagination and initiative in creating this atmosphere, capturing the excitement that the North West felt in being hosts to the Commonwealth Games."

Steve Pickett – Education Director, Hallé Orchestra

"...thank you for your help and support with this year's project. I think the whole project has been fantastic and much of that is due to the input of yourself and the NBS students. Vicky Morton, Headteacher at Temple said that in all her 25 years of teaching she had never had a more special and fulfilling experience. Praise indeed! The children certainly got a lot from performing at The Bridgewater Hall and I think on both occasions they did magnificently.

...thank you again for your help and support."

Nicky Grundy – EAZ Coordinator, Salford Education Partnership

"...thank you for organising for your students to visit St. Sebastian's Primary School in Salford.

Nadine Whealan and Camilla Keates were absolutely fantastic with the children-they gave them a talk, did some warm ups, showed them some movement and answered some questions.

The children thoroughly enjoyed it, and as I mentioned to the girls I think the children get so much from activities such as this. They all got really involved and picked up the movements really quickly. The children always respond well to outside organisations coming into school and I think they particularly enjoyed this session. I think this was down to how well Nadine and Camilla interacted with them.

If you are ever available to help out with other schools that would be brilliant."