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Course notes

Denise Hyland, an English and drama teacher at Eaglesfield school in Greenwich, London, finds inspiration

Course Sources of Inspiration: teacher development week.

Provider The Royal National Theatre (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk).

Venue National Theatre, South Bank, London, February 19-22, 2003.

Cost pound;235, paid with sponsorship from Greenwich Education Business Partnership.

How did you find out about it?

Greenwich Education Business Partnership sent a copy of the programme and invited me to apply for sponsorship.

Why go?

The information comes round every year, but my children have been too young to leave at half-term. Now they're teenagers, I decided this was the year to do it.

What did it promise?

"An opportunity to participate in practical workshops. An insight into the artistic and strategic aspects of the contemporary theatre industry."

Did it deliver?

It was all-embracing; everything from financing a big theatre to meeting directors. But the practical drama sessions were the real buzz.

Highs and lows Apart from bumping into the actor Martin Clunes in the corridor, the best bit was having a chance to discover my own creativity and develop fresh ideas. But the days were long and exhausting - we stayed until after the evening performance and then had to trek home on cold February nights.

Message, mantra or motto You have to develop trust to be experimental and take risks.

Best advice To keep a sense of fun but still to transmit the idea that children need to take what they're doing in drama seriously.

Has it made a difference?

I went straight back to school and wrote up some schemes of work. The course gave me a whole new toolkit to put in my pocket and allowed me to impress the Ofsted inspectors.

Coming your way?

The NT runs a programme of professional training for teachers. Contact the education department (020 7452 3388) or check the website for details.

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