Using drama to explore child sexual exploitation themes

Our Year 8 pupils have improved their awareness of issues around child sexual exploitation through their involvement in a creative arts project that saw them perform a self-penned play in front of some of Slough’s most prominent public sector agencies.

Pupils spent around six months working with Unblurred Lines, a London-based community theatre company that aims to tackle sexual violence against women and girls. The project, led by Slough Borough Council, aimed to give young pupils a voice, increase their awareness of risks associated with child sexual exploitation and challenge perceptions.

15 Year 8 pupils worked together on their performance piece entitled ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. A borough final saw our pupils perform their piece alongside groups from neighbouring schools at Slough’s The Curve cultural venue ahead of Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day on 18 March. Eden Girls’ School and Ditton Park Academy were declared joint winners, and given the opportunity to perform their plays once more at Slough Borough Council’s Safeguarding Conference in early April.

Ms Nafees Aslam, Head of RE and PSHCE, who worked with pupils on their drama performance, said:

“The 15 girls involved in the CSE project benefited from a number of workshops with Unblurred Lines. These workshops enabled pupils to identify a range of CSE issues and the impacts of these issues on the lives of young people.

“The workshops also enabled pupils to develop their confidence and ideas in a creative manner. Pupils were encouraged to take part in a number of drama related activities. These activities focused on posture, character development, voice projection and teamwork.

“The girls then continued to develop the ideas from the workshop to come up with a script and research both local and national CSE issues. The girls demonstrated a strong commitment to both the rehearsing and the research phase of this project.
“Our girls have delivered their performance in whole school assemblies to both Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils, to ensure that all pupils are able to benefit from the knowledge they have acquired whilst completing this project.”

Pupil Maryam Asif Rana said:

“The CSE programme was a real eye-opener which helped me understand this sensitive topic. I felt the workshop we originally took part in was extremely helpful in explaining the subject. We based our script on online exploitation after reading the book ‘Web of Darkness’. Being a co-director gave me leadership skills which will be invaluable later in my life. It was also important that I met deadlines and I feel that these skills will help me in my everyday life. It also encouraged teamwork.”

Pupil Amna Shabbir added:

“Taking part in the CSE workshop for the past few months has given me knowledge and helped me develop skills. I now understand the different ways CSE can take place. The project has also shown me that it can happen to any child, and it taught me how I can take precautions before this crime takes place. The workshop has also taught me how vulnerable I can be and also who to talk to and how to deal with CSE.

“On the drama side of the workshop, it has boosted my confidence to talk and teach others about such a sensitive subject. I enjoyed taking part in the CSE workshop because it made me and many others aware of the subject.”

 

Co-artistic director of Unblurred Lines Lauren Nathan-Lane commented:

“We’re very proud of all the young people that took part in this six month youth theatre project with us. They engaged their creativity to learn about CSE and associated issues and utilised their learning to create incredibly powerful and poignant performances.”

 

 

Added By: Eden Girls' School, Slough | Date Added: 25th Apr 2018 | Posted In:

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