Our puppetry and emotional resilience programme harnesses the subversive power of puppetry to raise levels of attainment and self-confidence among Scottish nursery, primary one and primary two school pupils. It helps to improve and enhance communication, confidence and problem-solving abilities, particularly among those children who lack effective conversational and interpersonal skills.

In this programme, experienced professional puppeteers instruct nursery and primary one class-teachers how to bring to life and manipulate bespoke hand-puppets made specifically for each participant. When each teacher feels confident and ready, their puppet joins their class and is utilised as a powerful catalyst to stimulate discussion, interaction and problem-solving – either with all the children, in small groups or individual settings – whatever is most appropriate for the educational needs and objectives of the pupils.


The puppets are a powerful tool of engagement with pupils in full class or one-to-one settings. Their immediacy and lack of agenda often inspire children to share profound and hitherto hidden thoughts and feelings about challenging domestic situations.  The puppet listens and, with the teacher channelling support and advice through it, children begin to develop better understanding of their circumstances and, in time, greater emotional resilience.

With generous sponsorship from Baillie Gifford, we will be working over the next few years with primary school clusters in geographically diverse and socially deprived parts of Scotland to develop the programme further. During this period we are also working through a research partnership with the University of Glasgow’s School of Education to evidence the impact of this work and its potential benefit to a wide range of vulnerable groups.

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