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Royal Albert Hall Provides a Backstage Pass to Help Children Develop Functional Skills - A free online resource for UK teachers supports classroom Maths, English and ICT through entertainment

17 December, 2009

Royal Albert Hall Provides a Backstage Pass
to Help Children Develop Functional Skills
~A free online resource for UK teachers supports classroom
Maths, English and ICT through entertainment~
London, [xx] November 2009: The Royal Albert Hall, one of the world’s leading cultural institutions
and a registered charity, has launched a free interactive resource to support UK teachers work inside
and outside the classroom to develop children’s functional skills
Many of us have experienced that feeling at school, sitting in a lesson and thinking ‘when would I ever
need this in the real world?’ When students think about their future careers it is hard for some to see
where skills such as trigonometry would fit. January 2010 will see the Royal Albert Hall release
Showtime, a free e-learning resource for schools, which helps place functional skills into context by
showing how English, Maths and ICT work behind the scenes at one of the world’s most famous
cultural and entertainment venues.
The programme is led by the Royal Albert Hall’s Learning & Participation Department which runs one
of the most wide-ranging school programmes in the UK. Designed in alignment with the National
Curriculum Key Stages 3 and 4, where the Functional Skills agenda is a priority, Showtime will enable
the department to ‘virtually’ step into classrooms across the UK and demonstrate how the Royal
Albert Hall staff, in a variety of roles, use elements of the English, Maths and ICT curriculum in every
working day.
Each Showtime unit introduces a member of the Hall’s staff and explains the jobs they actually do.
Units contain recorded sessions with Royal Albert Hall staff where they talk to the pupils directly,
telling them briefly what they do and setting tasks relevant to their work that need to be
accomplished with help from pupils. From learning about the importance of grammar and
punctuation in the marketing department, to using maths equations to solve lighting problems, the
visually attractive resources use real people, in real work environments, setting real problems.
The Royal Albert Hall is a national treasure. It is a registered charity and receives no public subsidy. Its
purpose is to maintain the Grade 1 listed building and to promote the advancement of the Arts and
Sciences. It has an unrivalled history of performances by the world’s greatest artists and musicians
and, with over 350 performances by artists from around the world each year, provides an
inspirational backdrop for students and teachers alike. Through the resource, pupils learn about the
Hall’s history and activities, absorbing information about one of our great cultural icons through an
engaging programme of information and activities.
Alastair Tallon, Head of the Royal Albert Hall’s Learning & Participation Department said, “Showtime is
the most ambitious and innovative education initiative the Hall has ever undertaken. The Royal
Albert Hall was built to fulfill Prince Albert’s vision of a ‘Central Hall’ that would be used to promote
understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences. The age of technology has enabled us to be
unconstrained by our South Kensington postcode and we can now reach any secondary school in the
country. After all, everyone, no matter where they live should be able to know more about what we
do, how we do it and how topics learned in school are used by everyone who works in the Hall.”
Showtime can be downloaded for free via the Royal Albert Hall website. The package includes videoclips,
tasks, teachers’ notes and help functions and shows how different tasks address different parts
of the curriculum areas and the functional skills agenda. Using a combination of different
technologies Showtime can be executed onto a variety of media including interactive whiteboards,
monitor screens and projectors.
Although officially launched in January 2010, schools will be given an exclusive preview in December
2009 and it can be reached via the Learning & Participation pages at
Showtime has been funded by the Royal Albert Hall with additional support from the Garfield Weston
For further information, images and interview opportunities please contact Peartree Publicity:
Leah Grayson 0208 906 6787 07787 951 715
Lucy George 0108 906 6787 07817 892 217
Editors’ Notes:
The Royal Albert Hall, a registered charity, is held in trust for the nation by the Corporation of the Hall
of Arts and Sciences. Its purpose is to maintain this Grade 1 listed building and to promote the
advancement of the Arts and Sciences.
The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK’s most treasured and distinctive buildings, recognisable the
world over. Unlike many of its competitors, it operates without any public subsidy. Since its opening
in 1871, it has an unparalleled history of exceptional performances by the world’s leading artists from
every kind of performance genre. This shared experience of the best of live performance is now
enjoyed by well over a million people each year at the Hall and by many millions more around the
world through broadcasts, recordings and new media channels.
Royal Albert Hall Learning & Participation aims to spark imagination, inspire creativity and open doors
to new experiences and audiences. It works with over 30,000 participants each year, including
children, students, teachers, home educators, families and other groups, creating a range of
opportunities for them to engage with the Royal Albert Hall. It does this without receiving any central
or local government funding and is reliant on both the Hall’s own funding and that of trusts,
foundations, companies and individuals who have kindly offered their support.
Each year, Learning & Participation organises a range of projects, school matinees, performances and
tours that involve people of all ages and sections of society. Since the department’s launch in 2003,
these have covered topics as diverse as dance, music, history, citizenship, science, film and media,
literacy, maths, art and design, and fashion and textiles. It is wholly committed to engaging with
groups who might not otherwise have the opportunity to come to the Hall.

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