Equal Access to an Empowering Education

Into Opera has been awarded a grant by Anguish’s Educational Foundation to become a resident company in three 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.

If your school would like to embed creativity and teaching for creative thinking into the heart of your school, this is your chance. If your school would like to ensure all pupils have access to a high quality cultural education, this is your chance. 


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. Case studies will be developed of the three schools involved which will contribute to wider research currently taking place in the UK around creativity, education and access to arts and culture. This is a valuable opportunity for these three schools to be part of research study of national interest, building on the findings of the Durham Commission.

How can you apply?
Send us an email to:

a)  Book places at our Information Event on Friday 13th March 2020 at the Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia 4:15-5:30pm. Each school can book up to six places and we will offer these on a first come first serve basis so we encourage schools to get in touch quickly to make their reservations.


This Information Event will include a presentation from Genevieve Raghu, the Artistic Director/CEO of Into Opera, sharing important information about this project and the application process. In addition to this, David Hynes CEO of Norwich Charitable Trusts and Chris Herries Chair of Anguish’s Educational Foundation will provide more detail about the grant awarded to Into Opera, there will be an opportunity for anyone attending to ask questions during our Q&A session. Our research partners from the UEA will also be in attendance and there will be live performances from pianist Libby Burgess and soprano Lizzie Holmes. 


We strongly recommend that all schools keen to apply for this project attend this event. We hope headteachers, governors, senior leadership and cultural leads will join us at this Information Event and we encourage schools to book for a group of staff/governors to attend. If the school goes on to submit an application then this will be an informed decision which you will have collectively been inspired to make. This is a two year commitment so we want to know your school is fully behind the journey, meeting informally at this information event is a great way for us to all initially meet.  


b)  Request an application form


c)  Ask us any immediate questions you have which you would like to ask prior to the Information Event


Emails should be sent to: 

Please make sure the subject of your email is the name of your school


Submit your application


Please send your application by email to

We advise that you submit your application after attending the Information Event. 

Closing date: 1pm on Monday 6th April 2020


Invitation to a Conversation


Schools will be shortlisted by our panel made up of Into Opera, Norwich Charitable Trusts, Festival Bridge, Norfolk County Council and our Research Partners at UEA and Durham University. If your school is shortlisted you will be notified by Friday 17th April. We will invite a maximum of twelve schools to join us for 50-minute ‘Conversations’ (informal interviews) to discuss the project with our panel. These will take place in Norwich on either 22/23/24 April. This is an opportunity for you to ask further questions and for us to find out a little more about your school, your intentions for applying and how you hope to benefit from participating. Four representatives from your school are welcome to join us for this Conversation.


Our three chosen schools will be notified by Friday 15th May 2020.



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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Registered Charity No. 1183225