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Royal Holloway researchers join Young Vic’s Groundbreaking INNOVATE Programme

Royal Holloway researchers join Young Vic’s Groundbreaking INNOVATE Programme

  • Date25 March 2022

Taking Part, the creative engagement department at the Young Vic, today announces the addition of six Visiting Project Associates and the appointment of Royal Holloway researcher Dr Yvonne Robinson to INNOVATE.

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INNOVATE is a radical two-year theatre-in-education programme designed to understand how the arts can enable students to engage, learn and thrive across all of their subjects. A collaboration between Young Vic Taking Part, two partner schools, multi-disciplinary artists and an advisory panel of educational and cultural experts, INNOVATE is exploring the role that artists and arts organisations can play in teaching the curriculum.

At the start of the 2021 academic year, INNOVATE embedded three multi-disciplinary artists at each partner secondary school, South Bank University Academy and Dunraven School, where over the past six months, the artists collaborated with teachers to co-create unique learning experiences. For 2022, six Visiting Project Associates will work across both schools to support INNOVATE by delivering specialist workshops, ad hoc project support and bespoke creative opportunities.

The INNOVATE Visiting Project Associates are Anyebe Godwin, Bruno Correia, Nadège René, TD. Moyo, Vicky Moran and Vincent Shiels. This increase in artists, the variety of artistic disciplines and the ability to respond to the needs and requests of the schools will broaden INNOVATE’s impact as it is monitored by Dr Yvonne Robinson and Professor Helen Nicholson at Royal Holloway.

Dr Yvonne Robinson from the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance at Royal Holloway, said: ““I'm delighted to be joining Royal Holloway as researcher on the INNOVATE project. The Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance has a long tradition of leading innovation in arts-related research, and I’m looking forward to the opportunities for methodological innovation and policy advancement the research will bring.

“The research will support the Young Vic to know which elements of INNOVATE work most effectively and to refine practice to support further achievement of sustainable and long-term outcomes.  As a researcher on the project, I’ll be observing and getting involved in student’s lessons. I’ll also be drawing on a range of experimental and creative methods to explore student views on taking part in INNOVATE as well as interviewing teachers.

“I am excited to be generating new evidence in this area, and to contribute to the evidence-base on the role of the arts in supporting educational outcomes.”

As INNOVATE Researcher, Dr Yvonne Robinson will document, analyse and evaluate the successes, challenges and future of the flagship learning project. Their research aims to explore the programme’s impact on teaching and learning approaches as well as the ability of the arts to influence students to understand, engage with and be excited by the concepts, modules and subjects they are studying. It will also find tangible ways to share the transferable learnings to benefit as many students as possible in the future.

Professor Helen Nicholson, also from Royal Holloway’s Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, said: “I am delighted to strengthen Royal Holloway’s partnership with the Young Vic Theatre by researching their ground-breaking INNOVATE programme. We share a commitment to providing young people from different backgrounds an opportunity to learn alongside world-leading artists, working with teachers and students to deliver a high quality STEAM education fit for twenty-first century opportunities.”

INNOVATE is supported by The Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation, Newcomen Collett Foundation and the John Thaw Foundation. 

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