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About Consilium

Consilium Academies is a multi-academy Trust working across the North of England. It has nine academy schools located in Yorkshire, the North West, and the North East. Consilium is dedicated to enriching lives and inspiring ambitions for both students and colleagues.

Thornhill Academy Students Take Centre Stage for Careers Week ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Thornhill Academy, part of Consilium Academies, is partnering with the Sunderland Empire Theatre to broaden students’ horizons and offer new and exciting opportunities this Careers Week 4-9 March.


Funded by Arts Council England, ‘Work In Theatre’ is a nationwide careers programme to improve access to theatre careers for young people and emerging artists across the UK. As part of the programme, Sunderland Empire Theatre will be delivering 30 hours of intensive insight into a wide range of careers within the theatre industry and hands-on work experience for Thornhill students.


Learners will also get to participate in Disney's Insight Day, where they will find out more about the touring production of Aladdin. This exclusive event will include a backstage tour, interactive demonstrations, and a chance to watch the performance, followed by a Q&A session afterwards, providing invaluable exposure to the inner workings of theatre.


Reflecting on the impact of these initiatives, Melissa O'Neill, a dedicated Drama Teacher at Thornhill Academy, remarked: "Opportunities like this are so important for students. It allows them the chance to talk with industry professionals and explore career pathways they have never considered. Half of the students participating haven’t seen a live show before, so there’s an added layer of excitement and anticipation."


Kayden, a Year 9 student, shared: "I have really enjoyed looking around the theatre today and learning about its history."


Similarly, Sara, also from Year 9, expressed her excitement: "I am really looking forward to seeing Aladdin and getting to see backstage! I want to see how things work; I find it really interesting!"


Sue Hamilton, Headteacher at Thornhill Academy, said: “We’re so fortunate to have such a fantastic theatre on our doorstep and we’re keen to develop our partnership. Earlier this year, Thornhill students from Year 7 took part in the ‘Speak Up’ project, launched by the National Theatre, collaborating with graphic designers, musicians, performing arts companies, and animation artists.


“It’s opportunities like these that ignite our students’ curiosity and open their minds to new possibilities.”