Essential Life Skills Through the Arts

Wavemaker is proud to be working as part of a larger education initiative to introduce students to a range of creative skills, to encourage continuous learning and attendance in schools, as well as to get them excited and inspired about future careers within the creative sector.

Following an initiative set up by the Department of Education to improve social mobility, opportunities and outcomes for children and young people, Stoke-on-Trent was selected as one of six areas to receive funding and support. The Opportunity Areas (OA) initiative priorities four key areas for young people in the city. These areas include improving outcomes in the Early Years Foundation stage, improving outcomes in English, maths and science, improving pupil engagement in learning at all stages, and improving the choices young people make from 16.

Wavemaker is committed to seeing these priorities come to fruition. As such, Ben McManus, our CEO, is proud to be a part of the Stoke-on-Trent OA sub board for priority area three, who are continuously discussing ways that these goals can be met. Furthermore, Wavemaker is part of the Mitchell Arts Centre’s Essential Life Skills scheme, alongside Reels in Motion and other great practitioners in the city, to introduce young people to the many transferable skills that can be found within digital, film, creative writing, art and theatre. From confidence- both personal and digital- to thinking about problems and ideas in a new way, the scheme gives students the chance to explore ideas and to get excited about tackling creative challenges.

One of the potential costume designs for the ‘lifestyle magazine’ show

One of the potential costume designs for the ‘lifestyle magazine’ show


The ELS scheme runs over a course of an academic year, across various schools across the city. Each learner will develop their knowledge and experience of each topic as part of a team, improving in communications skills, time management, and resilience as they work together, using all of the creative skills they have learnt, to create a final ‘lifestyle magazine show’- a culmination of different ideas and interests from news to comedy etc- to present at a screening for family and friends at the Mitchell Arts Centre in July 2019.

In the meantime, Ben will continue to work alongside the board to discuss the ways in which we can continue to enrich and benefit the future citizens of the city, and how we can lay the foundations for the best possible future.

Mary Fletchercommunity, learning, ELS