How we are keeping our students safe on the return of our face to face classes. (And what we have learned during this precious time!)
We were very excited recently to see the UK Government’s publication of industry guidelines for Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19).
Due to the nature of our work, the performing arts as a multi-faceted industry has been especially affected by the lockdown. Performing arts spaces, schools, teaching and methodology have been severely compromised leading to disruption of our sector, and sadly, to closures right across the industry. The cancellation of many planned events, resulted in financial losses, job instability and the shaking of hope for the future of many people in our field.
As an organisation, we wanted to buttress some of the fallout for our students, and additionally our staff, by continuing to offer the quality instruction that our students are accustomed to receiving from us. In the face of shrinking morale and confidence in our field, we felt it was important to ‘keep the show going’.
To ensure the safety of our students and staff, we followed Government guidelines and ceased all face to face teaching. During the strict stages of the lockdown, we made a decisive move to online teaching, where instructors taught alternative content. The studio’s director and senior teaching staff, created a different curriculum centering on casting, casting typology, the acting industry, characterisation, self taping and screen acting. While we knew this would be successful, we were delighted to see the extent of the progress our students had made in their character building skills. Indeed, we and our students are grateful that we have been able to use this time positively to road test new ideas and fine tune our methods, and we feel now, that our courses will be even more effective in creating tomorrow’s powerful character actors.
Following the easing of lockdown procedures, and the publication of the Performing arts safety guidelines, we now feel confident in resuming our face to face classes.
To ensure that we we do so safely, we have brought in the following control procedures:
Personal hygiene practices by staff member
Staff members wash their hands at the beginning of and after classes. Contractors and visitors will be instructed to wash their hands on entrance.
Maintenance of social distancing
Where possible 2m social distancing should be implemented. Where this is not possible 1m+ will be implemented.
Maintenance of existing property equipment (TV / Camera equipment / Furnishings)
All surfaces frequently touched by students and staff members are cleaned with appropriate antiviral cleaning chemicals.
Availability of Antiviral Spray in each room
For the safety of students and staff, we have made available an antiviral spray and paper towels, which can be easily used by students and staff at all times.
Inside the studios, students will follow classes with at least one empty seat separating them, to ensure that there is social distancing at the minimum distance of 1m.
Hand sanitising stations
Each studio is equipped with has a hand sanitiser pump. Upon entry to the premises, students and visitors are invited to use either one of these stations or to proceed straight to the bathroom to sanitise their hands before completing any task including following lessons.
Minimising class sizes
We have set reduced maximum size number in accordance with the space required to allow that acceptable levels of social distancing are maintained.
Each of our studios opens to the outside through a window (Studio 2) and a door (Studio 3). Teachers will keep these open during class to ensure air flows through the rooms.
Use of Masks
Students are able to use masks during class when they are not working.
Use of Clear Screens during class exercises involving 2 people
We have installed clear screens as a further precautionary measure so that our students can feel safer working in pairs. The screens function as a physical barrier to droplets reducing risk while also ensuring actors are still working effectively off each other. This is of particular importance during the Meisner Technique exercises.
We will continuously review and revise our Covid-19 in line with UK government guidelines. To make ensure you are up to date with our Covid Policies, please refer to our Covid-19 update page where we post regular updates as regards the current ongoing Covid pandemic.
We look forward to welcoming you back to our classes!