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Selby High School

Selby High School

You Only Live Once 2015

An Invisible Man…

On Tuesday 10th February Selby High School played host to YOLO (You Only Live Once), a play commissioned by North Yorkshire County Council, as part of their theatre in education project, which explores the choices that young people face with regard to risk taking behaviours and some of the pressures that they may feel to do, or indeed, not do a particular thing.  All our Year 10 students watched a play that was performed by theatre company, An Invisible Man and this was followed by a workshop session, in which they could examine some of their own attitudes and feelings towards many of the thought provoking themes raised in the performance, including those relating to drugs, alcohol and sexting. 

Theatre in Education is one of the most effective ways of engaging the emotions and the imagination of the learner. The aim is to draw the audience into the world of the fictional characters, form judgements about them and safely explore issues and concerns which may be of central importance to their own lives, through this concern for the lives of fictional characters. 

One of the big drivers in hosting this event was that young people often do not see taking a risk as the issue, instead they focus on the consequences of it and how much trouble they may well get into with their family members or at school for example.  In addition, many do not have the emotional connection to the risk they are taking.  For instance, one of the themes raised in the play is about the dangers posed from online gaming and the potential risks that can arise from this.  Crucially, and rather worryingly, many young people unfortunately remain unaware of who they are actually talking to, beyond that of their immediate circle of friends when participating in online gaming. 

We always say to students before we begin that the contract between the audience and the performers is straightforward, the more attentive and engaged they are, the better the performance the company can give, which only serves to increase the quality of the experience for all involved. Your students took that challenge head on and were attentive and supportive throughout the shows and equally engaged, with great maturity and good humour, in the subsequent workshop where we all, as a group, maturely discussed and debated some "tricky" topics.”  

Stephen Burke, Director, An Invisible Man    

It was fantastic to see our students so enthralled, from the very moment the performance began, all the way through to the very end of the workshop, they truly could not have represented the school in a more impeccable fashion.  It was a real pleasure to see them getting so much out of this important part of their PSHEE and Citizenship education.

A huge thank you to our visitors from An Invisible Man for their outstanding performance and being able to provide our students with this opportunity.  We are very much looking forward to giving them a warm welcome again at Selby High School in the future.          

Dr Paul O’Gorman

Curriculum Area Leader - PSHEE & C