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Let's Play primary programme

A group of primary school children, in the centre a young person with their hand in the air

The Let’s Play primary programme is free to state primary schools across the UK.

We have designed the programme to empower teachers to embed creative learning across the whole curriculum. Let’s Play offers teachers and pupils the opportunity to see, make and learn through theatre.

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What is Let’s Play?

Cultivate drama and creativity in your school with support from the National Theatre. The programme is divided into three key areas of work:

  • Let’s Learn: use theatre, drama and creativity to support learning across the curriculum.
  • Let’s Perform: create extraordinary performances as part of lessons, an exciting assembly or a school production.
  • Let’s Watch: watch high-quality theatre productions – both live and digitally in your classroom.

It includes industry-leading professional CPD opportunities, original play scripts tailored for primary schools and crafted content and resources designed to inspire. All of this is now completely free to UK state primary schools

Play Video

Watch this trailer to find out more.

Let’s Learn

Resources and CPD with a focus on creative learning practice across the curriculum, as well as resources to support learning about the theatre industry.

The words 'Let's Learn' in white against a yellow background with triangles

Let’s Perform 

Play scripts for children to perform, CPD, short films and toolkits to support you to create extraordinary performance in your school.

The words 'Let's Perform' in white text against a bright blue background with squares, crescents and thick jagged lines

Let’s Watch 

Opportunities to watch live and digital performances specially created for primary aged children with related resources.

The words 'Let's Watch' in white font against a red background with squiggly lines and circles

NT Primary Collection: stream the best of British theatre online directly to your classroom.

What teachers say:

The activities that were modelled throughout the day were extremely useful. It has given me a whole new toolbox of exercises and games to try with my pupils.

– Teacher, Primary CPD 2023

We loved the whole experience! The quality of the resources sent to teachers were excellent and really helped me to prepare our SEN children for what to expect.

– Teacher, The Witches school matinee and touch tour 2024

The amount of childen who told their parents that day about their wonderful experience speaks volumes. A few children asked if we could set up an after school drama club, which we will do.

– Teacher, The Witches school matinee and touch tour 2024

Targeted projects 

The Let’s Play programme also delivers projects to primary schools around the UK in partnership with regional theatres. The aim of this is to strengthen partnerships between schools and their local theatre and to allow us to reach pupils who will benefit the most from engagement in the Let’s Play programme.

We specifically target schools with high proportions of English as an additional language pupils, pupils receiving free school meals, pupils from the Global Ethnic majority or Special Educational Needs pupils. 

Building on the reach from the recent primary school’s tour of Hamlet, we will be delivering Let’s Play projects in the following areas over the next year: 

  • Knowsley (in partnership with Shakespeare North)  
  • Tameside (in partnership with Tameside Council)
  • Blackpool (in partnership with The Old Electric) 


Research is key to the development of the Let’s Play programme. We are currently undertaking two research projects looking at the impact of creative learning practice on both primary-aged pupils and teachers. 

Trainee Teachers 

We are working in partnership with Brighton University and their English specialist trainee teachers to explore the impact that training in creative practice has on trainee teachers at the very start of their career. 

Power of Play 

We are currently working with six London primary schools to build creativity across the curriculum for a new project: Power of Play.

We are focusing on Year 1 pupils (whose early years were disrupted by the pandemic) and Year 3 pupils (whose KS1 was disrupted). This year, each class teacher has received training in creative literacy and has delivered a creative literacy project in school. We have tracked the progress of the pupils and teachers to understand the full impact of the work. It is hoped that this research will continue for an additional two years to track the progress of the same children as they go through primary school and train all school teaching staff in creative literacy approaches.

Power of Play is funded by the Mercers Company.

Our funders

The Mohn Westlake Foundation supports nationwide Learning programmes for young people.

The Hearn Foundation is the Principal Funder of the Primary Schools Programme.

The Primary Schools Programme is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, Buffini Chao Foundation, The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington, Charlotte & Simon Warshaw, The Archie Sherman Charitable Trust and The Derrill Allatt Foundation.

Nationwide learning is supported by Buffini Chao Foundation and Clore Duffield Foundation, Tim & Sarah Bunting, MFPA Trust Fund for the Training of Disabled Children in the Arts, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust and The Andor Charitable Trust.

Find out more about supporting our work


Contact Us

Jane Ball
Deputy Head of Schools Engagement

Jess Moffat
Project Manager, Schools Engagement

You can contact the Let’s Play team on

Hamlet school tour photos © Harry Elletson

Hamlet and Story Seekers photos © Ellie Kurttz