Our immersive experiences for schools are designed to inspire and engage the imagination, inviting pupils and teachers on an adventure with a lasting impact.
We work with schools nationally and internationally, prioritising those that are most in need. From teacher-led adventures for a single class to installation based experiences for the whole school, we offer a range of projects with learning outcomes devised for primary school students. We also run creative workshops for secondary schools, in-person and online. We’ve found that the awe and wonder of a unique experience motivates young people in their learning, encouraging them to express themselves through oracy and literacy.
Schools can experience our work through a project, or through a long-term creative engagement programme like Immersive Learning Journeys (ILJ) and the Immersive Learning Collective (ILC). We work with leading academic researchers in immersive education to research and understand the impact of our work, and we offer professional development opportunities for teachers through our teacher-led projects.
We firmly believe that creativity should be at the heart of the curriculum. Our work deepens engagement and encourages excitement for school and learning.
To find out more about individual projects please visit the projects page and for more opportunities to get involved sign up to our mailing list.
What is immersive learning?
Peter Higgin, Artistic Director:
“Since 2008, we have been using immersive theatre techniques in educational settings and have seen the profound impact it can have on school communities. Our approach aims to give real purpose to learning, developing positivity and engagement while harnessing children’s imaginations and opening up a world of possibility. We work with teachers to understand, define, and proliferate this practice in schools through our long term programmes.
Our immersive pedagogy places learners as active agents within a fictional or fictionalised real world and casts them as characters in a story, with their actions and work integral to the progression of the narrative. We believe that learning is enhanced when it is embedded within a narrative, and that immersive pedagogy transforms the learning environment in a way that reinforces the reality of the fictional world and the learners’ place within it.”
A headteacher who has experienced our work:
“Immersive play is an opportunity for a learner to enter a realm whereby they can explore or play with or manipulate or critique or analyse or interpret or challenge their views of their worlds and their relationships within a place where the real can’t stop that experience […] if you make it fantasy […] It’s like any good narrative. We escape into the story. We travel on that narrative journey, try out things, and come out having learnt something about ourselves and the world.”
Dr Angela Colvert, Deputy Director for Innovation at University of Sheffield and research fellow at the University of Roehampton:
“Since 2015, I have been researching Punchdrunk Enrichment’s immersive learning practice in schools. My research shows that the pedagogical power of immersive learning lies in the way that the affective aspects (a sense of purpose, urgency, community and place as possibility) inform the pedagogical effects experienced by teachers, children and artists (such as shaping stories together and tackling challenges).
Immersive learning brings together cognitive, emotional, and physical ways of knowing, feeling and being. It is playful, exploratory, and shaped by the needs and interests of those who take part in the experience. Those who participate in Punchdrunk Enrichment projects often describe a sense of intensity and excitement that drives their engagement and commitment to the learning experience. It is this sense of adventure and agency, as well as the sense of magic, that makes immersive learning so affective – and effective.”
A Year 4 pupil after experiencing The Lost Lending Library:
“It helped me with my imagination, to think of things that are beyond what I thought was real. It inspired me to believe. It inspired me to make myself a bit free-spirited, because if that can happen, then anything can happen, so you need to be free-spirited and not ‘lock yourself up’, so you can achieve your goals […] don’t expect the least, expect the most you can get.”
Punchdrunk Enrichment have a number of Teacher-Led Adventures for schools, including an early years project, as well as projects for both KS1 and KS2. For each project, you receive all props, an easy-to-follow narrative and a detailed teacher pack to guide you through the day-by-day delivery of the project.
Led by the teacher in a classroom, A Small Tale, The Vanishing Land and A Curious Quest offer intensely absorbing and immersive narratives which support the delivery of curriculum objectives. The projects aim to inspire and develop imaginative teaching practices for literacy by placing the teacher at the centre of the creativity.
Our teacher-led projects celebrate the role of the teacher in the classroom: giving the tools and training to transform their school into a place of wonder.
National and International Hubs
Through relationships with these trusted partners, we bring our creative approach into primary schools, boosting the skills of children and developing the horizons of teachers in the process.
If you’d like to hear more about being a partner and are an arts organisation or venue working with primary schools, please contact us at [email protected].