Northcott and Open Drama UK empower Devon teachers with Le Navet Bete-led training event

Drama and performing arts teachers from across Devon gathered at the Barnfield Theatre for a workshop aimed at exchanging ideas and enhancing learning experiences.

Educator Nige Paul began the session by encouraging the teachers to share their teaching approaches, challenges and experiences. Many participants were their school’s sole drama and performing arts teacher, and this activity provided them with a rare opportunity to connect with peers, fostering collaboration within the Devon drama community. The importance of technical training and resource sharing emerged as common points of agreement.

Exeter Northcott Theatre, Open Drama UK and Le Navet Bete teacher training workshop photo. Black curtains and pink carpet. Three teachers sat on the floor laugh together while taking a break from writing on a large, green sheet of paper.
Photo by Ralph Whitehead
Exeter Northcott Theatre, Open Drama UK and Le Navet Bete teacher training workshop photo. Black curtains. A teacher wearing a green polka-dot dress (right) watches another teacher wearing an orange jumper smiling while talking to someone off camera.
Photo by Ralph Whitehead

It’s so refreshing to work with colleagues and actually be able to experience what we’re asking our students to do every day. To be in a room, to play and create, and to form informal relationships, being able to collaborate going forwards. So many of these staff are working in one person departments. Something like this becomes a really important framework to celebrate what we do and our students’ successes as well as upskilling for next year.

Nige Paul, UAL Extended Diploma ACTING Programme Manager, Exeter College Performing Arts Academy Producer & Open Drama Devon Champion

Awarding-winning local theatre company Le Navet Bete then led the teachers through a physical theatre workshop which challenged them to step out of their comfort zones and experience drama from a student’s point of view. The workshop focused on body language and conveying emotions. Le Navet Bete introduced the teachers to a performance technique known as an ‘emotional rating scale’, which helped them to assess their energy during a performance and refine their delivery. The workshop wrapped up with the teachers using what they had learnt to stage a series of comedy scenes, including a disastrous family vacation, a failed robbery, and the challenge of childbirth.

Exeter Northcott Theatre, Open Drama UK and Le Navet Bete teacher training workshop photo. The Barnfield Theatre Clifford Room. Black curtains and pink carpet. Nick Bunt and Matt Freeman of Le Navet Bete point their arms out in unison as they direct two teachers stood beside them during a performance. Le Navet Bete and the two teachers are being watched by a small audience of teachers sitting on the floor.
Photo by Ralph Whitehead
Exeter Northcott Theatre, Open Drama UK and Le Navet Bete teacher training workshop photo. Black curtains over a table stood upright and a metal pole. Three teachers pull funny facial expressions while rehearsing a scene for a performance at the training event.
Photo by Ralph Whitehead

It’s been great to work with a group of teachers and educators, share our style of theatre to them and give them a chance to be in a room which is playful, joyous and free. It’s really important for teachers and educators to be able to connect and re-connect with their playful side, and hopefully they’ll take some of these techniques back into the classroom, where they’ll be able to pass on that knowledge and fun and playfulness to the students.

Nick Bunt, Co-Artistic Director of Le Navet Bete

The Northcott Participation team and Open Drama UK (South West) plan to hold further free training events for drama teachers in the near future, providing teachers with opportunities to learn new skills, network and share best practices.

We also offer field trips, visits and workshops for students that we can tailor to their needs and your curriculum.

If you would like to keep in the look about upcoming opportunities or learn more about how we can support your students, please contact our Interim Projects and Participation Manager Lisa Hudson.

Email Lisa

Verbatim Theatre Schools Resource

In addition to events like these, we also offer teachers a range of resources they can use in their lesson planning, such as our verbatim theatre education resource pack. The pack offers a term’s worth of pre-planned activities and materials creating by drama teachers for drama teachers, equipping students with a strong foundation in Verbatim Theatre and guide them through the process of creating their own piece of work.

Explore the Pack
Photo by South West Theatre Photography

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