Funding boost for Imaginary Communities literacy scheme

A creative initiative that explores literacy attainment through drama-based learning has secured further funding.

The Huddersfield-based Imaginary Communities programme is currently funded through the Arts Council England, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and CAPE UK.

Developed in 2010, the scheme now works with 40 classes of children across ten primary and secondary schools in Yorkshire.

Representatives from the programme work alongside teachers to develop interactive drama workshops with literacy attainment monitored before and throughout the programme.

Pupils are encouraged to create imaginary worlds and develop characters for themselves, with activities that include keeping a diary while still in character to develop writing and literacy skills.

Findings suggest that the initiative works well with pupils below the national average in literacy and with those who don’t speak English as a first language.

Vicky Sawka, Imaginary Communities’ lead artist, said: “It’s rich contextualised learning; anyone can be what he or she wants to be within a devised setting.”


Picture: Vicky Sawka (left) leads a session

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