SMSC Research Project - Blah Blah Blahs Theatre Company
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SMSC Research Project

Rethinking SMSC through Participatory Theatre: An Invitation for Expressions of Interest from Leeds Primary Schools


Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development (SMSC) is identified in the OFSTED evaluation schedule for assessing the overall effectiveness of a school. SMSC learning has the potential to enrich young people’s lives, by getting “to the heart of what it is to be human”. But all too often, we hear from schools that SMSC provision is marginalised, and that they would like to reflect more deeply on how to integrate this aspect of learning.


Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah recognise this as both a need and an opportunity. We are inviting primary schools in the Leeds area to join a research project to explore and test a new model of participatory theatre and digital resources as a tool for strengthening SMSC provision.


Working as part of a research cohort between November 2017 and March 2018, schools will have the opportunity to:


  • identify key challenges and difficulties in their current SMSC provision
  • explore how arts-based activities – specifically participatory theatre – could help to overcome these challenges
  • take part in a programme of support and training with the Blahs
  • access a rehearsal of the Vultures’ Song, as well as a full live performance for Years 5-6
  • develop enhanced skills, resources and confidence to deliver SMSC to its full potential.


More Details


Our research project will be based on two elements:


  • The Vultures’ Song: a new piece of participatory theatre created exclusively for the Blahs by award-winning children’s playwright Mike Kenny. Using the events of the 1947 Partition of India as a starting point, the play will enable young people to engage creatively with concepts of homeland, belonging, identity, loss, compassion and resilience.
  • Prospero: a digital learning resource based on interactive dramas developed by our partners, C&T. ¬†This will integrate the dramatic content of The Vultures’ Song with input from schools, teachers and pupils, to produce a participatory online SMSC resource for classroom and independent learning.

Read our interview with Blahs Artistic Director Deborah Pakkar-Hull or download this briefing document to find out more.

Schools/teachers interested in joining the research cohort are invited to contact Blahs Artistic Director Deborah Pakkar-Hull for an initial discussion/ further information on 0113 426 2767 or email