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A young girl is looking at the camera. She has a yellow smiley face covering one eye. She is covering the other eye with her hand. She is covering her mouth with her hand.

Hear My Voice

In 2017 we developed an innovative creative arts and storytelling project called Hear My Voice 

The theatre’s Participate team had many years of experience working in Nurture rooms in Glasgow delivering creative arts projects at both primary and secondary levels. Nurture rooms work with children who benefit from additional behavioural, emotional and social support. Citizens staff felt there was a natural progression to all the work that had gone before and embarked on an exciting journey to develop the creative practice of Hear My Voice 

The project focused on three key school stages – P1, P7 and S1.  

Nurture pupils from each of these stages participated in practical drama, art, storytelling and creative writing workshops delivered by professionals from the Citizens Theatre. Nurture teachers and Support for Learning staff also joined in with every aspect of the programme.  

During the first block of the project, pupils worked within their familiar small groups, comprised of pupils the same age as them. Over a matter of weeks, trust was slowly built, and the pupils enjoyed a variety of creative tasks which were carefully planned to gently encourage discussion, self-expression and social interaction. Near the end of the first block, the pupils were introduced to the idea of joining forces with pupils from within their Learning Community who were at a different stage to them.  

A classroom. A group of school children are sitting on the floor with five teachers.

The older pupils were taught facilitation skills, to prepare them for leading practical activities with the younger pupils. Eventually, all three age groups were brought together for a term of joint practical workshops. During joint workshops, pupils participated in a variety of creative activities.  

They worked in pairs, in small groups and also in larger groups, to encourage them to form new relationships. In the final term, the older pupils were taught how to use computer design software to create a commemorative book which contained highlights of what was achieved throughout the project. During this term, the pupils worked on a one-to-one basis with Citizens staff, with each pupil responsible for planning and designing two pages. The book was then professionally printed, and everyone involved in the project receives their own copy.  


Fundamental to Hear My Voice is the belief that creativity, happiness and enjoyment are key factors in improving mental health and wellbeing. All Hear My Voice activities encouraged creativity, fun and were play-based. 

A classroom. Four young boys are playing with a teacher.

Finally, the older pupils planned a fun celebratory event, which all participants, their family members and teachers were invited to. This event was the culmination of the project and took place at the end of the school year. At this event, the pupils were presented with their books, encouraged to reminisce about the fun they’d had during the project and some pupils shared their experiences by doing a presentation for invited guests.  

At the heart of the Hear My Voice project is the simple concept of bringing Nurture pupils from key transitional stages together, so they can learn from each other, build trust and unlock their creativity in a safe environment. 

A classroom. Two young boys are sitting across from each other on the floor. One boy is laughing. The other boy is pointing.

There were four key strategies that were at the heart of the Hear My Voice project:  

  • Create a safe space for pupils where they can express themselves freely, enjoy being imaginative and develop stronger relationships with their peers.
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to take on leadership and decision-making responsibilities.
  • Create opportunities for pupils of different ages to work together collaboratively, to develop trusting relationships and learn from each other.
  • Build strong relationships between primary and secondary Nurture staff and groups, within a Learning Community
Six young school pupils and one schoolteacher are standing in a classroom. They are standing on a colourful rug with different types of smiley faces and a whiteboard is in the background. The pupils are wearing school uniform. The pupils and teacher are all looking at the camera and wearing large masks with different facial expressions on them.
Three young schoolboys are standing round a yellow school desk, they are wearing white school t-shirts and purple school jumpers. They are next to a member of Citizens Theatre staff with short brown wavy hair who is wearing a black t-shirt. They are leaning over a large white sheet of paper and using colourful felt tip pens to write and draw.

Through the duration of the project, a variety of methods were used to evaluate the project. Feedback was gathered from teachers, parents and the pupils themselves, to measure the impact of the project as a whole and its impact on individual pupils. It was found that: 

  • There was a 67% increase in the lower primary pupils’ confidence at speaking in public. 
  • There was a 73% increase in the lower primary pupils’ ability to communicate how they were feeling. 
  • There was a 92% increase in the upper primary pupils’ confidence when speaking in public. 
  • There was an 89% increase in the upper primary pupils’ ability to listen to others. 
  • There was a 64% increase in the secondary pupils’ ability to interact well with younger pupils. 

What our participants said

“In all the years of doing Nurture this has been my favourite part. I have enjoyed seeing all the children grow during it and building good friendships.”

“I enjoyed every bit of the project and loved seeing the photos from the sessions.”

“This made it easier for them to transition from primary school to secondary school. It was lovely to see how their confidence and self-esteem had grown throughout the project.”

Have a look at our Flipbook

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