Thurrock Trailblazers

Trailblazer website


Thurrock Trailblazer is an innovative programme of high quality arts and cultural activities, visits to heritage sites and specialist teacher training, that boosts creative learning in schools and accelerates pupils' development. 

The BCHS Cultural Champions, Mrs Purnell and Mr Davies, are working hard in collaboration with the Royal opera House, Trailblazers and the Osborne Trust Creative and Digital Arts group to deliver new and exciting opportunities for students and high quality training for staff.

During 2020-21 we hope to be involved in the following projects, in whichever way we are permitted with the restrictions due to COVID-19.

  • Superheroes inclusive dance project  Across three targeted sessions students will identify and explore their superpowers through creative movement and build a movement phrase, along with school staff, to create a short movement piece.
  • Focal point gallery – Y9 Focal Point Gallery’s learning programme aims to engage people of all ages in current debates around contemporary art, and looks to extend and develop new audiences. We consider the philosophies and working methods of the artists in our exhibition programme as the starting point for inspiration, aspiration and discussion in the community.
  • Gateway Academy – ceramics techniques workshop – Y7 Students will create their own versions of ‘wonky buildings’ - firstly sketching their ideas and then forming them in clay – learning about the ceramic techniques of cutting, slabbing and building. During the practical process students will stop periodically to discuss their own and others work, in order to enhance oracy and critical thinking skills.
  • Music for change – African experience Students will learn Gum Boot dancing, which originates from South African miners using the rhythmic dance to communicate, and is now one of the most expressive South African dance genres.
  • Breakin’ convention – hip hop workshop Our workshop facilitators are all active artists in the Hip Hop scene. They use their skills to enrich the curriculum as well as develop young people’s skills in a genre they are connected to.
  • Complete Comedy Co. practical introduction to Commedia Dell ‘Arte Using Commedia dell‘arte to tell local stories, students will meet the stock characters including Harlequin and Peirrot and discover their relationship to each other. They will work with their masks and costumes and learn how the troupes operated.
  • National Theatre – New Views The online course, written by playwright Jemma Kennedy, is accessible to everyone, but participating schools and colleges have the unique benefit of in-school workshops with professional writers, tickets to National Theatre productions or NT Live broadcasts, CPD for teachers, support from the National Theatre Learning Department and entry into the New Views playwriting programme.
  • Royal Opera House – create and sing – Hansel and Gretel Take your class on an adventure as you follow Hansel and Gretel into the woods and explore Humperdinck’s operatic adaptation of this magical fairytale, before working together to stage your own mini-version of the opera. The central aim of our Create and Sing programme is to empower teachers to explore dramatic singing with their children in a healthy and engaging way. We know one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of children’s singing is to connect it to storytelling, character and emotion. Create and Sing Hansel and Gretel is full of imaginative and effective ways to do exactly that.
  • Royal Opera House – create and sing – The magic flute Join Tamino, Pamina and Papageno on their quest for truth and love in a strange world where the forces of darkness and light are in bitter battle. The resource includes creative drama and vocal warm-ups designed to introduce your class to the characters of the opera, and find ways to physically and vocally portray them. The scheme of work and accompanying digital resources guide you through learning fun to sing music from the opera and also creative writing tasks where your class write the script, tying all the songs together.
  • Royal Opera House – create and dance – Everybody dance! Everybody Dance! is a fun and inclusive way to creatively engage with ballet and get moving. No matter what your age, experience or ability, you and your students are invited to become honorary members of The Royal Ballet’s corps de ballet. This Create and Dance scheme of work is designed to support the creation and performance of a mass-movement choreography – exploring ways of working with large groups of students and maintaining engagement throughout.
  • STEAM day – rocket launching (Cross Trust project) After a school assembly comes a one hour rocket making activity where students get to make and fire their own paper air rockets, using nothing more than a puff of air from a bike pump. Lastly – if site, weather and risk assessments allow – we end the day by launching a dynamite-powered rocket for the school community, firing to about 500 feet with a parachute recovery system.


Thurrock Trailblazer is an innovative programme of high quality arts and cultural activities, visits to heritage sites and specialist teacher training, that boosts creative learning in schools and accelerates pupils' development. 

During 2019-20 we are engaged in the following projects: 

  • Taking Year 7 to see a ballet at Thameside Theatre in collaboration with the Royal Opera House and New English Ballet Theatre. Students will experience a live dance performance by a professional ballet company and be able to identify the nuances of this specific form of dance. Students will be able to observe the differing ways of approaching choreography and how body language can tell a story. 
  • Taking students in History to Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury. Students will be able to understand what life was like at the fort in various time periods from the Victorian era to World War 2. They will also know how and why the fort was constructed and discuss 2D and 3D shapes and mathematical language.  
  • Taking students in History to Hampton Court Palace. Students will explore the Tudor palace and investigate various aspects of its history and significance. 
  • Engaging in the V and A Museum Innovate project with a cohort of gifted and talented students. 
  • Entering teams in the “Kids Lit Quiz” at Thurrock library. This activity improves teamwork and strengthens the brain in building connections.  
  • Staff CPD on using film in English and Media Studies. This staff training is delivered by “into Film” and helps teachers develop a wide range of skills that are transferable between film and literary texts. It encourages deep and creative learning opportunities such as critical thinking, analytical skills and contextualisation that are essential across the curriculum.  
  • Song Creation and Production workshops “Bang and Smash”. These small group workshops will help students recognise how elements of music are put together and how to arrange and compose music. It also develops team work and resiliance by allowing students to try new things in a safe, supportive environment.  
  • Video games workshops for GCSE computing students.  These develop programming techniques such as behaviours, variables, events and actions. They allow students to create and build interactive experiences, custom games levels and how to fix programming bugs. 
  • Visits to the National Theatre for our GCSE Drama students will allow them to develop skills in areas such as performance, puppetry, design or sound and lighting. They will explore a wide range of jobs in professional theatre and visit this major cultural venue.  
  • A day of Chinese Culture for Year 7 where they will gain knowledge and awareness of Chinese Culture and heritage and about Chinese New Year. They will develop listening and co-ordination skills, improve dexterity and fine motor skills plus have the opportunity to develop creative expression. 
  • Visits to Colchester’s First Site Gallery. Students will have the opportunity work with an artist, be exposed to a cultural venue and current art exhibitions. They will also explore art terminology and discover new art materials and techniques, as well as exploring art terminology, creative thinking and expression of ideas. 

Across the Trust we are collaborating with the primary and secondary schools on a number of projects including: 

  • Taking students to see “Rachel” a play about the Holocaust and participate in workshops  surrounding the themes raised. 
  • I-Create workshops where dance performances are created and developed for performance. 
  • “The Flying Dutchman” CPD for music specialists. 
  • “Everybody Sing” which involves students creating a performance together. 
  • The Gamelan focussing on the arts, crafts and music of Indonesia. 
  • Learning to Look which involves working with an artist at First Site Gallery in Colchester and exploring art techniques and contemporary exhibitions.  


Page Downloads Date  
Autumn Newsletter 31st Jan 2020 Download
Summer Newsletter 19 31st Jan 2020 Download
Spring Newsletter 2019 3 31st Jan 2020 Download
Autumn Mosaic Newsletter 2018 31st Jan 2020 Download
Summer Newsletter 1 31st Jan 2020 Download
A proud partner in the Osborne Co-operative Academy Trust