Royal Exchange Theatre

Jump the Gap - a Royal Exchange Theatre Education project

Jump the Gap is an innovative anti-bullying project to be run in Salford, one of the countrys most deprived areas. Our award-winning education department (Exchange Education) will work with year 6 pupils as they transfer from primary school to St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School, a time when pupils can often feel vulnerable and isolated.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (255424)




  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



Working with St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School, a Specialist Technology College in Salford, and local primary schools, we want to undertake an innovative pilot project, called Jump the Gap. Jump the Gap will focus strongly on the concept of bullying in schools, and address the often difficult process of transition from primary to secondary school through the use of drama-based group projects. This pilot will tackle issues familiar to children of this age that can be verbalised and challenged by increasing the children’s confidence and communication techniques. As well as looking at the issue of bullying and being bullied, we will focus on issues such as loneliness and peer pressure, whilst promoting teamwork and communication skills. With the support of LEA officers in Greater Manchester, and the brokerage of Exchange Education , it is our goal to make this project accessible to schools across Greater Manchester. We will also produce a project template that can be used by schools across the country. This 18 month project will consist of three phases; the first two before the pupils transfer schools, and the final phase after they have moved. In total, 500 pupils will come into contact with this project, with up to 75 taking leading roles. Phase One will involve us working closely with year 6 classes from each of the feeder schools. This phase of the project is primarily aimed at relationship building between each of the schools and the Theatre, and encouraging friendships between the pupils of each of the schools. Participants will be engaged in practical sessions at the Royal Exchange Theatre, and the project will give them the opportunity to see a production, meet theatre professionals and have a tour of the building. In addition, to help achieve the overall aim of this project, we will be working with one group of Year 7 students from the linked secondary school who will have been identified by the teaching staff as suitable mentors, or “Buddies”. Phase Two: Following the Phase One performance day Year 6 teachers from the participating primary schools will have been asked to identify the pupils they feel may be most vulnerable during the process of transferring from primary to secondary school. The secondary school will finalise arrangements for a link teacher who will oversee the mentor/“Buddy” scheme in school in the Autumn term. This middle phase of the project then pairs a Year 6 pupil with a Year 7 pupil, creating two parallel workshop groups. Working together the groups will develop further drama and theatre arts work, including music, theatre and design. This phase of the project will include visits to the theatre and the primary pupils will visit the secondary school. Phase Three: The final phase of the project will take place after the Year 6 pupils have transferred to the secondary school – now they are new Year 7s and their mentor “Buddies” are Year 8s. It will include a further theatre visit for them all and a follow up workshop. This will enable us to gauge how successful this project has been, and cement the friendships between the two year groups. We are seeking funding to cover workshop running costs, as well as the cost of tickets for 500 pupils to experience a theatre production, something they may never normally get the opportunity to experience.