Grow Education

Growtheatre Education

Growtheatre has a long and successful track record of providing high quality creative learning projects for schools, colleges and universities.

In schools, we work hard to develop bespoke projects that meet your school’s needs and are relevant to the curriculum. We work both inside and outside and provide tailored workshops, day long events, arts weeks, long term residencies.  We also provide innovative and supportive CPD sessions for teaching staff. Growtheatre’s Artistic Director, Rachel Newman, is Level 3 Forest School practitioner and the company offers Forest School provision.

Here are some examples of our work:

Arbourthorne Community Primary School

An Even Better Arbourthorne

Growtheatre has been working on a brand new and exciting initiative recently and we would like to share all the brilliant news the project has brought upon us! An Even Better Arbourthorne is a project that aims to develop and create fantastic, long-term opportunities to build a better future for the children, their families and the Arbourthorne Community! Growtheatre has been presented with the wonderful opportunity to create a partnership with Arbourthorne Community Primary School, to provide support with the running of the project. Throughout An Even Better Arbourthorne, we are setting up a range of early projects and schemes that will begin to address: Food Poverty, Fuel Poverty, Health and Nutrition, Enterprise and Local Action!

New Start Centre at Hinde House Secondary School – Bee Friendly, A School and Community Project

Growtheatre partnered with the New Start Centre at Hinde House Secondary School on a project funded by Grow Wild called Bee Friendly!

Pupils, all of whom have recently arrived in the UK,  worked alongside community partners from the Flower Estate in Wincobank: both the secondary and primary schools, Haythorne Place residential home, Wincobank Upper Chapel and Flower Estate Family Action. We worked together to create a trail of planters full of UK native wild flowers that have been especially chosen to attract bees. The project culminated in a Launch Day run by the pupils – they visited each community setting, planted up the planters and had a great time running fun stalls and celebrating all the brilliant work that young people have done to design, create, plant up these planters. Community partners were thrilled to receive them and now have a colourful and bee friendly planter on the grounds.

“What a successful project- staff and pupils were certainly buzzing (!!) on Tuesday – the launch day. Thank you so much for thinking of us; it was great how you tailored everything to the NSC pupils’ needs and the change of budget whilst still delivering an extremely valuable, coherent and exciting  learning experience.  The community aspect of the project is invaluable.  Please let us know when we can work with you again in the future.” 

Fiona McLeod, Assistant Head, SEN, EAL, New Arrival Interventions – Hinde House Secondary School

“We at Upper Wincobank Chapel are thrilled with the planter and were very impressed with the activities the young people had produced. Many thanks to the young people and adults who supported them, and to the funders for this inspiring addition to our garden.”  

Penny Rea, Community Partner

“Thanks again for hosting me yesterday – the event was a real pleasure to visit and the planters look fantastic! The pupils were great, and it was especially heartening to see how well they ran their activities at the primary school: they should be really proud of themselves.”

Ben Fisher, Grow Wild North England Engagement Manager

Manor Lodge Primary School and Wybourn Community Primary School – Telling The Bees

Telling the Bees was an interdisciplinary arts and humanities research project (Feb 2017 – Sept 2018) between Universities of York, Sheffield and Lancaster, working with Growtheatre (Sheffield),  Explore York Libraries & Archives, Wybourn Community School and Manor Lodge Primary School. Telling the Bees aimed to develop and promote understanding and new ways of thinking about bees and beekeeping through design, drama, and digital making.

Year five classes in both schools worked with the project team to create futuristic design concepts to try and solve the problems we’ll face if our approaching bee crisis happens. These problems included the use of pesticides, invading species (such as Asian hornets), lack of food due to reduced pollination and the rise in expensive honey (or no honey at all!) if bee numbers decrease. The children spent a lot of time conceptualising, building, and refining inventive models of their designs through sketching, drama, writing, junk modelling and digital 3D models, which we have 3D printed in solid prototypes.  This photo shows some 3D printed futuristic flowers and a pollen grain designed by the Manor Lodge classes – each flower has been designed to tackle some of the problems that bees face and their have been some fabulous and imaginative ideas. 

Saint Marie’s Catholic Primary School – Two Year Action Research Residency

How can drama and outdoor learning raise the confidence and communication levels of the most vulnerable children? 


With an ambition of closing the gap for all their learners, St Marie’s and Growtheatre undertook Enquiry-Based Research work and focused on some of the school’s youngest and most vulnerable children.  Year One children were selected to participate in the work and the majority of those chosen either had English as an additional language or were previously looked after.

Although the whole school priority was to increase levels of achievement in writing, it was decided that this work needed to focus on foundation skills that affect academic attainment, therefore increasing communication and confidence levels were highlighted as the target areas.

The vast majority of the children selected for this Enquiry-Based Research did not achieve age expected outcomes at the end of Reception. This intervention has been a major part of the actions put in place to narrow the gap in the children’s academic achievements in Year 1. For example 10/12 children involved successfully passed the Year 1 phonics screening, far exceeding the school’s target for this vulnerable group.

As the year progressed we took the work into FS2 and KS2. For more information please see the Saint Maries Case Study MASTER copy. Growtheatre is delighted to be invited back for another year at Saint Marie’s to develop this work further.

“We worked with RaIMG_8405chel from Growtheatre over a year long project, she was always friendly, adaptable & well organised. The children in foundation stage, KS1 & KS2 all loved using drama & working outdoors to bring their learning to life. The teachers got a lot out of working with Rachel too as she enhanced the curriculum & shared new ideas. We all looked forward to our Growtheatre sessions and have never seen our school woods so alive with creativity!”

Faye Draper, Assistant Head at Saint Marie’s Catholic Primary School

Birkdale School – Bespoke Workshops of FS2 and KS1 


Teachers at Birkdale asked Growtheatre to work with them to inspire them to take advantage of the amazing resource on their doorstep, Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. With literacy as our focus, each year group were given a story to explore.  Growtheatre devised multi sensory, outdoor workshops for the children to explore the themes in the stories through a dramatic and creative exploration of environment.  The workshops provoked classroom based learning and creative writing.

“The whole experience inspired the boys to write fantastic stories back in the classroom. The boys’ imaginations had clearly been ignited!”

Victoria Roberts, Year 2 Teacher, Birkdale School

Clifton Park Museum – Stone Age School Sessions for KS2

Stone Age CPM 2015(10)  Test 2 Stone Age CPM 2015(9)  TestStone Age CPM 2015(5)

Growtheatre was delighted to win the tender to design two Key Stage Two Stone Age sessions for Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham. We wanted to do something a little bit different to the museum’s normal school sessions – so we suggested that we worked outside with a fire.  The Museum was completely up for it and so the session was designed to be led in Clifton Park next to the museum.  The photos show Y5s of a local Primary School taking part in the Stone Age session; activities include firelighting, archery, object handling, hunting mesolithic animals and building neolithic settlements.

“I am really pleased with the session. It covers everything we asked for and more. The children are engaged through activities which encourage them to take part and have a go. This is the first time we have offered an outdoor session in the park. Rachel with her experience of delivering Forest School style sessions was able to show us how these sessions could work and to give us confidence to deliver ourselves. The activities within the session were well thought out and had clear links to the Stone Age. They were suitable for the ages and there was enough variety to keep the children interested. Rachel is an excellent deliverer. She really engages the children though practical activities and drama and role play.”

Lorna Pedley, Learning Officer, Heritage Services, Clifton Park Museum

Abbey Lane Primary School, Carterknowle Junior School and Sharrow School – Outdoor Workshops Exploring Local Heritage

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Growtheatre and the education team at the Woodland Discovery Centre in Ecclesall Woods spent a day with each school exploring the local woods and its rich heritage. Each school participated in outdoor workshops and learnt about a different period in history that has had a significant impact on the development of the woods:  Neolithic era, Anglo Saxon period and the Early Industrial Revolution. The work led to us making a film called Sheffield’s Back Garden. The film tells the story of Ecclesall Woods from Neolithic times to the modern day.