The Open Chat - Gender (KS3-5)
60-minute high quality, detailed & flexible workshops or assemblies.
Performed to students in small or large groups.
May suit carousel days or one-off visits. Available throughout the year.
How do the sessions run?
Our workshops are performed by 3 professional actors.
We start by breaking down what we are covering in the sessions: we explore the definitions, clarify facts and any laws surrounding the topic, and invite the students to answer questions and get involved.
The students are then shown scenes with characters in everyday, relatable situations.
We use elements of Augusto Boal's 'Forum Theatre: following scenes which see young characters with conflicting objectives, we freeze the action and split the audience into groups; the students are invited to advise the characters about what to do next. This is designed to allow students to articulate opinions and feelings in a safe, objective environment.
What We Cover
Identity and the right to Identify, regardless or sex or gender, and exploring the spectrum of gender.
Our Gender Workshop explores topics covered in the PSHE Suggested Programme of Study, Core Theme 1 (Health and Well-being), Core Theme 2 (Relationships) and 3 (Wider World.)
We take a focused look at the myths and facts surrounding sexual assignement vs. gender, gender stereotypes, Transgender, the law, rights and protected characteristics of all genders, and discrimination.
The students are invited to offer advice to a series of characters: one non-binary character who is being bullied because of their gender identity, and their friend who is trying to help; and 2 friends who have conflicting opinions about gender roles and stereotypes.
We conclude by outlining help and resources available.
We're more than happy to tailor the workshop upon request to focus on any issues you feel are particularly relevant to your students.
Included with the workshop
Teachers further work pack
Why is it so important to discuss Gender with young people?
The understanding of gender as a spectrum has shifted over recent years and a more diverse form of gender identity is now recognised. The vocabulary of gender identity has also changed and expanded, along with laws, rights and help available. However, with change comes resistance, fear and discrimination from a lack of understanding.
A Stonewall survey showed 8 out of 10 trans young people have self-harmed and almost half have attempted to take their own lives.
The same survey show 9% received death threats at school but only 29% of bullied LGBT pupils said teachers intervened when they witnessed the bullying.
4 out of 10 are never taught about LGBT issues at school.
We must have this conversation with our young people, and UpFront Theatre Company's workshop provides a positive, open and safe platform to start to the conversation, ask questions and encourage students to see that talking about gender and gender variance is ok.