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Open Doors for Schools

These sessions are fully funded by Arts Council England so are completely free for schools to book.

We can also recommend schools sessions and online learning materials by our colleagues at the National Civil War Centre.


Creative Practitioner Residencies in Schools – Callout

In 2024-2025, we are delighted to offer Newark and Sherwood district schools the opportunity to host an artist for longer residencies the whole school can benefit from. We are seeking flexible, innovative creatives with a track record of high-impact work in schools to take up creative curriculum residencies in a range of art forms. Your practice will link with curriculum areas including Art, Design and Technology, English, History, Music, Drama and Dance, with a focus on Early Years, Primary, Secondary schools or SEND schools in Newark and Sherwood.

Newark and Sherwood schools – CalloutA boy sits with headphones on, playing on a tablet open on a music making app.

We are offering fully funded artists residencies during 2024-2025 in your school to help deliver your School Improvement Plan and to inspire pupils and teachers.

For the full brief with information on the offer, and how to express interest, read our Callout to Schools 2024 (PDF File, 284kb).

Creative Practitioner – Callout

If you have an exciting creative practice of any kind, a passion for sharing your skills with teachers and other creatives, and you have experience of working with teachers to embed creative practice in schools, we want to hear from you.

For the full brief with information on what’s required, budget, fees and how to apply, read our Callout to Creative Practitioners (PDF File, 276kb).

The deadline for both schools and creative practitioners to express interest, is Monday 8 July 2024.

Key Stage 1

We offer a selection of sessions that you can book for Key Stage 1 students.

Play Box!


Students at Elston Primary dressed up as characters from Julia Nicholson books in a Play Box session

Delivered in your school, this session is all about learning who is who in the theatre. What do actors, directors, composers, and all those other talented people do to make theatre? The children will start with a warmup session with our Open Doors facilitator and then talk about theatre roles. They then select who will take each position, doubling up where necessary, to produce their own performance of a Julia Donaldson play. On the day there will be a big box containing all they need to stage their play: costumes, lighting, instruments, and scripts. Once they have rehearsed, it’s time to gather up an audience from across the school, some parents, or perhaps just the classroom next door and it’s curtains up for Key Stage 1 and their play in a box.

The box can be kept by you for a little while if you would like to stage the play for an assembly or school event. Alternatively, you can use our lesson plan and box without us as a loan.

For more information and bookings please email

Puppet Play


A wooden spoon puppet on a storyboard worksheet

Puppet Play is a day of creativity, fun and performance delivered in your classroom. Key Stage 1 students will learn about different types of plays, explore the world of theatre, compose their own 3 scene plays and make their own wooden spoon puppet actors. Your pupils will enjoy a morning session with an Open Doors facilitator with resources and interactive learning tools to aid learning about scripts. They will then divide into groups to write their own short 3 scene plays. After lunchtime, your pupils make their wooden spoon puppets actors and perform their plays in the Open Doors pop up theatre.

Open Doors provides all the materials needed for the day. This session can be delivered by one of our amazing team or you can use the lesson plan, resources, and creative kit in your own time in your classroom.

For more information and bookings please email

Key Stage 1 and 2

Here are the sessions avaiable for Key Stage 1 and 2.

Chorus Kids


A classroom where the young students are being taught theatre

Enjoy a day of singing, music and performance with Open Doors all delivered in the comfort of your school or classroom. Pupils are lead through a day of ensemble singing by one of our brilliant Open Doors learning facilitators. Starting with physical, facial, and vocal warmups, your pupils will then be taught two songs to perform later in the day. Perhaps you have a school play, assembly, or concert you are preparing for? We can run Chorus Kids with the songs you need your pupils to learn and perform.  

For more information and bookings please email

Arts Awards Club – Key Stage 1, 2 and 3

Selection of art materials

Get your young people creating, learning, and achieving with Open Doors Arts Award Club. Available for participants aged 5 and above, Trinity College London Arts Awards are a great tool to motivate and learn creative thinking and skills.

Arts Award Discover sees participants identifying art forms, trying their hand at making and creating, and sharing their experience with others.

Arts Award Explore is a recognised qualification (entry level 3) and sees participants trying a range of creative arts, developing a deeper understanding of an artist or arts organisation (local, national, or international), and sharing their inspiration and learning in their own arts log.

Open Doors will provide a fully trained Arts Awards facilitator, all the materials, and will also pay for the Arts Awards certificates and moderation.

For more information and booking please contact