Relaxing is definitely not something I am good at! When in BYT mode, I cannot help but give 100% energy and drive in every moment – the children make me! No matter how tired or worried I’ve been, when I walk into a BYT workshop or a BYT team briefing and see every single person dig deep to find their best selves, well I just have to do the same! However holidays are a great time to slow down and reflect on the year that has past. 2016/17 has without question been the best year yet at Bright Young Things, full of joyful memories and remarkable moments for the entire Bright Young Things family. From new venues, to new team members, a new theme, to show week and theatre visits – yes it has truly been a feast of the senses. Oh and I should probably mention that I got married in the middle of it! What a year!
However, my personal highlights are rather more individual and all centre around the one theme: hearing feedback on the overwhelming stories of progress and growth. I have lost count how many times I have found myself in floods of tears, reading an email, message or card from a parent sharing a development or milestone. Its affect runs deep because it grounds me and reminds me why we do what we do. The shows and workshops are so much fun, so dynamic and the most visible demonstration of our ethos but hearing how a child has taken the BYT ‘Hidden Vegetables’ and used it to take a giant step forward in another aspect of their life, well that is what success looks like for us.
Another highlight for me this year was my sister Aisling joining BYT. We are incredibly close sisters and I have always felt my family’s support and admiration for what I have achieved at BYT. Equally, I have always looked on with awe at Aisling’s incredible strides forward in her professional life and as a caring, creative mummy. To now stand as two sisters, side by side at the helm of BYT with such unwavering belief in the power of confidence, communication and creativity for all young people, and such commitment to continue to develop Bright Young Things to help all our byts to present their best selves today and into the future.
We have also been incredibly privileged to attract exceptionally talented and experienced facilitators to our growing BYT Facilitator team. This now gives me more time to explore training, bring more industry professionals to BYT, advance the curriculum even further and oversee development milestones, ensuring every child can attain the personal objectives set for them.
In the year ahead, we want to develop Bright Young Things in a very specific way. We know just how important it is for parents to quantify how their child is doing and we want to be able to give you the evidence to support the impact BYT is having on your children. In line with leading experts in the fields of Education, Child Development and Well Being in UK, Europe and USA; at BYT, we do not believe that traditional examinations are the best framework to demonstrate progress in communication, emotional intelligence, creativity and the wider spectrum of soft skills, which are now commonly recognised as essential priority skills for the 21st Century. Therefore we want to frame our invaluable work and curriculum in a recognised and reputable assessment framework which recognises and rewards progress and aptitude in softer skills. We will look forward to sharing and asking you for your valued input into our plans through the coming year.
Finally, on behalf of myself, Aisling and the entire team at Bright Young Things, we want to extend our huge gratitude to you, our BYT family. We love your enthusiasm for what we do, your commitment to investing in the power of drama for your children, and the many friendships we have all developed with you. We cannot wait to welcome you back to an even more exciting year ahead. If we do not see you over the summer at camps, we cannot wait to see you all in September when we open our doors for BYT Drama 2017/18 for another year of drama, fun, friendships, creativity and soaring confidence!
Thank you for everything and have a wonderful summer.
BYT Artistic Director