Testimonials for our work

ActREAL has worked with primary and secondary schools in Thame, Birmingham and London on issues around asylum, migration, race, identity, belonging and living together with difference. Reactions so far have been hugely positive from school staff, parents, audience members and participating students alike. Some quotes on our methods and its educational benefits can be seen below:


In schools

Secondary schools:


“I have just seen more learning this evening than there is in a whole curriculum”

– Nick Clark, Middlesex University (audience member at Capital City Academy public performance of “Undocumented Migrant Children’s Lives and Stories”). March 2015


“….maybe it was forcing him [a student participant] to look at the reality of an issue that cerebrally he could probably talk to you about all day but emotionally had no connection to. He was able to make an emotional connection to it through this project.”

– Head Drama Teacher, secondary school, inner London. August 2015


“By using the words of the migrants and role playing the experiences, the students were able to empathise and gain a profound understanding of the young migrants’ situation. The drama experience has made the plight of migrants a real and personal issue, and has encouraged the students to search for the facts and personal stories behind the news headlines.”

– Personal Development Curriculum Manager, Lord Williams’s School, Thame, Oxon. May 2015


“Ida engaged very well with the students, having a friendly and professional relationship with them. With her extensive drama experienced, she was able to share new drama techniques and approaches so that the students learned new skills and gained in confidence working with new material and performing to a range of people in different settings.”

– Personal Development Curriculum Manager, Lord Williams’s School, Thame, Oxon. May 2015


“I loved your idea of bringing your research, because I think that academic and practical work is separated. And I love that idea of bringing research and spreading it, because otherwise it can just get lost, [it’s] just for academics. And I liked the idea of opening [the research] up and using it in a new and innovative way. I think both sides are really important, especially at the moment with what is happening around [migration and refugees] in Europe, and how it is reported on the TV. I just think it’s so important that good research…[is] heard.”

– Refugee and Migrant Support Worker at Capital City Academy (Salusbury World). August 2015.


"I think [this project] makes [talking about migration] really accessible safe, and also detached for the students. It can also be challenging and the dramatic approach [helps to] talk about difficult subjects, without any hiding. I think using theatre, but also using [real stories] is very powerful. From my experience of [working] with young people, it is important [that] these are real stories rather than fiction.'

– Refugee and Migrant |Support Worker at Capital City Academy (Salusbury World). August 2015.


"It was noticeable how the group gained confidence in using their knowledge and developed their own opinion… All students improved in terms of capacity to listen and understand different points of view. The pupils became more confident in discussing theoretical concepts. The project also had significant social benefits. Feeling they had been selected to participate in a project associated with Oxford University increased pupils' self-esteem. Other subject teachers noted a general improvement in behaviour."

– Geography Teacher, Skinners Academy, June 2016


"We don't talk about current issues enough in school. If we want people to get involved and to feed the debate, there has to be more opportunities like this for young people."

– Year 11 pupil, Lord William's School, Thame, February 2017


"I am very grateful to actREAL for the unique contribution Ida and Hassan have made to the education of our young people. I am sure this experience will live long in our students' memories."

– Personal Development Curriculum Manager, Lord William's School, Thame, February 2017



Primary schools:


“The materials were excellent….The drama activities were excellent – it was really good to add some to my repertoire after 29 years of teaching! The children loved the workshop leaders because they engaged with the children on a friendly and informal level.”

– Year 6 Teacher, Water Mill Primary School. June 2015.


“Thought-provoking and fun workshops delivered in an inspirational format. Good contrast between hard-hitting facts and laugh-out-loud drama activities. Good to see less confident pupils engaged. Dynamics handled sensitively.“

– Year 6 Teacher, Water Mill Primary School. June 2015.


In academic institutions

“Working with actREAL was a fantastic experience. From the initial idea creation, to designing our activities, to executing and managing the event on the night: I felt like actREAL really brought out the key parts of our research and made them enjoyable for a wide group of people. In the end, we had over 150 people—covering all age groups—engage with the idea that the news and information we see on a daily basis is only one part of the full picture. actREAL helped us communicate this message in creative and entertaining ways!” Will Allen, Research Officer, The Migration Observatory, COMPAS


"We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways of disseminating our research findings and establishing reciprocal relationships. actREAL have been fantastic from this point of view. They have an excellent all-round knowledge of research, education, communications and theatre, and the intersections of these areas. They have proven to have the skills to work with academics, teachers, and school students, and to encourage all of us to go outside our comfort zone… In all our dealings with actREAL they have proved themselves trustworthy, reliable, creative, open to ideas and able to deliver high quality work on time and to budget.

– Professor Bridget Anderson, COMPAS Research Director and Emma Newcombe, COMPAS Head of External Relations

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