Maybole youngsters in the spotlight

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Pupils from Cairn, Gardenrose and St. Cuthbert’s Primary schools in Maybole recently wowed audiences, having completed a 10 week Creative Arts programme with the Gaiety Theatre.

Since February, 23 P6 pupils have taken over Maybole’s Carrick Centre on Friday afternoons to create Trapped in the TV; an entertaining show based on their own interests with comedy, sketches, digital media and films. The programme wrapped up on Friday 13th May with two performances to school peers, family members and invited guests including local Councillors such as Margaret Toner.

The programme was designed to offer pupils an alternative curriculum activity in a community setting, while still being part of the education process. The more practical approach provided a creative route for these pupils to attain key Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes.

There were additional rewards for pupils, which include achieving a 2 Star Dynamic Youth Award. Two S3 students from Carrick Academy, Elysia McConnell and Kacey Powell, also gained voluntary experience by assisting the weekly sessions. This helped them achieve a Saltire Award. In Spring 2015, a similar pilot project was run called Maybole 500 with 16 pupils from Cairn and Gardenrose Primary schools. The project resulted in a number of benefits for the young people and was successful in developing important social, educational and personal skills.

Gemma Rooney, Head Teacher at St Cuthbert’s Primary said: “It was wonderful to see the culmination of all the pupils’ hard work in their two performances in the Carrick Centre. Now all the pupils at the school want to be involved in the future!”

The project was delivered by Gaiety Act Out, the Gaiety Theatre’s community theatre outreach initiative. Over the last 18 months, they have engaged over 360 young people from excluded or disadvantaged backgrounds in creative activities.

The Gaiety’s Development Coordinator Rishaad Moudden said: “The Gaiety has a strong commitment to increasing access and participation in drama for young people. The project has been a great vehicle for developing new friendships amongst pupils from the three schools while building their resilience, self-esteem and self-worth.

“We look forward to continuing our community partnerships in the Carrick area and expanding this programme across South Ayrshire in further years.”

Trapped in the TV was a collaboration between the Gaiety Theatre, Cairn, Gardrenrose and St. Cuthbert’s Primaries, The Carrick Centre, South Ayrshire Council and Carrick Academy.