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Equal Access to an Empowering Education

Into Opera has been awarded a grant by Anguish’s Educational Foundation to become a resident company in five primary schools for two years, supporting schools to put creativity and culture at the heart of the curriculum.

To thrive in this ever-changing world, we all need creativity and that needs exercising from an early age. If we are going to develop the next generation of politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs and artists who will discover, imagine and lead, then it is imperative for creativity to thrive in our schools across all subjects. But we face a problem: creativity has been increasingly squeezed out of schools and we seem to have lost sight of its importance, despite it being one of the most sought-after skills for employers.

Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Into Opera, Genevieve Raghu

Into Opera believes that all children deserve to dream big and for their curiosity to be nurtured. Into Opera helps children to discover the empowering value of their voice and imagination and we support them in understanding their emotions and moral compass. During this residency Into Opera will devise projects fuelling children's creativity and ambition, asking them to dig deep emotionally, encouraging teamwork and imaginative independent thinking.

Image 1 Credit - Ian Rees

The new Ofsted framework creates space for schools to place greater importance on creativity and culture. Schools are encouraged to design an ambitious curriculum which will “give all learners the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life”. This new framework is one which considers personal and character development of pupils, wellbeing, “resilience, confidence and independence” and to develop their “appreciation of diversity”. Into Opera will support the three selected schools in considering this new framework and practically exploring how teaching for creative thinking and culture could be embedded into the curriculum. Throughout, our research partners will carefully evaluate the benefits this brings to the learning experience of pupils. 


Into Opera participated in a competitive application and interview process to secure this grant. Chair of Anguish’s Educational Foundation, Chris Herries, said the trustees were looking for “Life changing projects… which would break negative cycles, and which would enable long-term positive change in the lives of young people.”

What will this Into Opera residency include? A bit more detail… 


  • CPD focussed on Teaching for Creativity and Cultural Capital. This will include group workshops, talks with leading academics and researchers in creativity and education, classroom observations, one to one work with individual class teachers and regular consultancy with headteachers and governors.


  • Bespoke support will be provided in developing a cultural strategy for your school along with the opportunity to revisit your curriculum to consider the role teaching for creativity could play. Advice and practical support will also be offered to schools to explore how to fundraise for projects to enhance the arts and cultural offering your school provides.


  • Into Opera will develop arts projects as part of this residency which offer the school high quality and imaginative experiences in music, composition, performance, drama, creative writing, design, dance and more. Project ideas will be developed in consultation with the school but may include in-school concerts with visiting singers and musicians, writing, producing and staging children’s operas or even developing a community opera so as to involve the whole school community. Projects may also be developed to enhance a specific area of the curriculum across any subject. These projects will seek to build confidence, emotional resilience, a greater sense of personal identity and empathy. We will craft projects which encourage social interaction, that aim to improve wellbeing, develop communication skills and increase the ambition of all involved.  


  • We will support each school in arranging trips both locally and on a national scale to ensure all children at these three schools engage with excellent live theatre (which may include opera, dance, drama, circus, classical music, jazz, musicals or puppetry).


  • Into Opera has teamed up with Durham University and the University of East Anglia. These two universities will be working together to evaluate this project and to explore its impact. Case studies will be developed of the schools involved which will contribute to wider research currently taking place in the UK around creativity, education and access to arts and culture, building on the findings of the Durham Commission.

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Inspiring a Creative Revolution in Primary Schools has been funded by Anguish’s Educational Foundation. This charity supports projects within specific geographical boundaries, therefore schools within the following areas can be considered for this project: the City of Norwich, Costessey, Hellesdon, Catton, Sprowston, Thorpe and Corpusty. (NR1, NR2, NR3, part of NR4, NR5, NR6, NR7, part of NR8, and part of NR11). Please note that if your school is just outside these areas but the majority of your catchment area is within the area of benefit, you are also welcome to apply.

This project is for primary and junior schools only.

Keep in Touch

We realise that many schools in Norfolk finding out about this project may not be geographically eligible to apply. Into Opera works across the whole of Norfolk so if you would like to explore the possibility of collaborating with us please still get in touch as we may have other projects or opportunities coming up that we could offer and we would love to hear from you.

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