“A really useful, informative session which our pupils thoroughly enjoyed. It gave them the opportunity to explore alcohol issues in a non-threatening environment, allowing them to make informed decisions in their own lives.”
Teacher, Fairfield High School
Out of It is a two hour drama workshop for students between the ages of 12 and 16 which was created with a rural context and mind and which has toured Herefordshire schools on three previous occasions. Originally designed as a follow up workshop to Bottling It Up, Out of It has now been re-devised as a ‘stand alone’ activity and is supported by its own bespoke resource pack and staff training session.
The workshop begins with students meeting the character of Steve, a 17 year old whose drinking has got out of control, and his girlfriend Julie who at 15 is already developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
Through a mixture of compelling role play and participatory drama, a variety of scenarios involving alcohol are explored. These situations, involving the characters of Steve and Julie, include a party ruined by excessive drinking and the hard hitting aftermath of an alleged sexual assault whilst under the influence of alcohol.
These performed scenarios serve as a stimulus for the students to participate through drama and within the workshop opportunities are provided for them to:
- fill in the detail of each fictional event
- explore the potential consequences of the character’s actions
- question and give advice to the characters
- practice strategies to counter the risks associated with drinking.
By participating in this way it is the students that set the agenda for how to make healthy choices concerning alcohol.
During its last tour, Out of It was also supported by a training session for teachers. This teacher workshop looked at the issues raised in the pupils’ workshop and provided a range of practical drama strategies and conventions to support ongoing alcohol awareness work in schools. This interactive and stimulating session was supported by resource materials outlining the activities explored in the workshop. The session was led by a drama practitioner from The Play House.
Out of It was also supported in Herefordshire by the creation of a bespoke website at www.bottletop.info/outofit which was accessible to both teachers and students. It includes a range of alcohol awareness activities, information and advice as well as the opportunity to record directly experiences of participating in the workshop.
Out of It was devised specifically for Herefordshire. It would be appropriate for other rural locations, but would need some re-devising for urban situations.