Last Updated: Friday, February 26, 2021

Transform Toolkit

What is this?

Transform is a large-scale creative performance which can enable schools and communities to work collaboratively to produce high-impact theatre events.

The projects will have a strong focus on creativity, enterprise and skills for learning, life and work. These transformative experiences can support improvement and increase pupils’ health and wellbeing, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Transform can be carried out by using the range of suggested tasks provided within the toolkit and/or with support from National Theatre of Scotland.

Who is this for?

​The toolkit may be of use to educational authority workers, school managers and practitioners, learners, parents, members of the community and artists.


You can download all the documents associated with this resource in one Zip file, or view and download the individual documents in the 'Explore the resource' section of this page.

Transform Toolkit - all downloads (2.07 MB)

Explore the resource

What is Transform?

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The Transform Toolkit has been created by National Theatre of Scotland and Education Scotland to give every school and community the chance to create their own transformative experience.

Transform can be carried out by using the range of suggested tasks provided in the toolkit and/or with support from National Theatre of Scotland.

Read the following guide for a fast-track overview about how to create your own Transform.

PDF file: Transform - quick guide (1.2 MB)

The project has a strong focus on creativity, enterprise and skills for learning, life and work stemming from the production aspects involved. Examples of creative activities/performances that have grown out of Transform include: flashmobs, visual and digital installations, live art, movie sets, festivals, game shows and soundscapes.

The toolkit may be of use to educational authority workers, school managers and practitioners, learners, parents, members of the community and artists.

PDF file: History of Transform (187 KB)


Why Transform?

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Transform can be used to inform planning across subjects as part of the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence.

Reasons to Transform:

  • Each Transform is unique.
  • It encourages a personal approach and allows a chance for participants to have ownership over the project.
  • It encourages creativity through offering exercises that you can use and tailor to suit the needs of your Transform.

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  • Transform demonstrates a holistic approach to engaging individuals, communities, local authorities, artists, teachers, audiences, government, private sector and voluntary organisations in a common purpose that is celebratory, aspirational, ambitious, cohesive, innovative and ultimately inspirational in supporting learning through creative enterprise.
  • An independent evaluation conducted by Ekos (Economic and Social Development) identified that Transform also delivered on three out of 15 of the government’s national outcomes:
    • Outcome 3: We are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation;
    • Outcome 4: Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens; and
    • Outcome 5: Our pupils have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.

The Ekos report gives an in-depth analysis of 10 of the Transforms and shows the positive impact of these Transforms.

PDF file: Transform - Ekos report (650 KB)

Why is creativity important?

Creativity is increasingly recognised as an essential higher order skill for learning, life and work. It has an important role to play in learning, teaching and enabling Scotland's people to develop. There is evidence to suggest from studies that there are:

'...increased levels of pupil motivation, engagement, enthusiasm, enjoyment, concentration, attention and focus associated with creativity initiatives.'
Creative Environments for Learning in Schools – a systematic review of literature

Essentially, your Transform will be your creation. For more information about the importance of creativity, visit the 'Approaches to learning' section of this website and see the supporting materials available.

Educational relevance

Head teachers who have been through this process have found it to be a hugely worthwhile and enlightening experience, both for the young people and the staff.

  • Transform could be delivered as part of Curriculum for Excellence through which learners are enabled to become confident individuals, successful learners, effective contributors and responsible citizens. There are many aspects of Transform that will require learners to contribute, work as part of a team, be respectful of others, learn and develop skills, and develop their confidence.
  • Transform may encourage established partnerships within schools to be further strengthened such as school/community links, parent/teacher relationships and transition between primary and secondary schools; and secondary schools and further education.
  • Transform can be used as a tool for communities to strengthen their partnerships with schools.
  • Transform could be delivered as part of a whole school interdisciplinary project or as an interdisciplinary project within specific curricular areas.
  • The exploration of a whole school theme or topic may contribute to your Transform.
  • The project will deliver the arts to communities and widen the arts’ audience whilst addressing a range of experiences and outcomes.

Building the Curriculum 4

This project can develop learners’ skills for learning, life and work as laid out in Building the Curriculum 4, 2009 (Btc4). Transform provides an opportunity to highlight and strengthen the skills of all learners. A wide variety of skills will be developed throughout the project and it would be worthwhile to focus dialogue around the individual strengths of the participants.

How to reflect on the skills developed

There are a range of ways to approach this dialogue, and you may create an activity using the language and skills of Btc4 and ask those involved in the project to identify the skills they feel they will be developing.

Use the list of skills as laid out in Building the Curriculum 4 skills summary to help you with this activity and discussion.

PDF file: BtC4 skills summary (204 KB)

You may choose an area of skills that you will be developing (for example, employability skills) and you may choose to enhance skills that are most relevant to the group/s you are working with, or to the task you are undertaking.

Pause for reflection

It would be good to pause at relevant points throughout the project to reflect and identify the skills. This could take place through dialogue which would help make the skills being developed more explicit to all.


Learners may be able to gain recognition of their Transform achievements through obtaining SQA qualifications. You may also recognise learners’ work for Transform as part of their achievements for an award such as a leadership award or Duke of Edinburgh's Award, DOE award link.

Learning for the project may relate to some or all the curriculum areas, and your Transform could be created with specific learning outcomes or levels in mind.

The experiences and outcomes listed below are Level 4 outcomes. However, you may decide to focus on other relevant levels and curricular areas.

Experiences and outcomes explored

Expressive arts > Participation in performances and presentations > EXA 4-01a
I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for different audiences

Health and wellbeing > Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing > Social wellbeing > HWB 4-13a
Through contributing my views, time and talents, I play a part in bringing about positive change in my school and wider community.

Social studies > People in society, economy and business > SOC 4-22b
I can identify internal and external factors influencing planning and decision making and can assess how these decisions contribute to the success or failure of businesses.


Who can Transform?

Anyone can Transform including learners of all ages and stages, including adult learners.

Setting up your Transform Team

Your Transform Team can be made up of any group(s) of people from your local and learning community such as:

  • community groups with adult and lifelong learners,
  • clubs,
  • libraries and learning centres,
  • early years, nursery, primary schools, secondary schools,
  • further education colleges and universities,
  • parent councils,
  • local businesses.


The initiators of your Transform will be called the ‘leaders’ or ‘lead champions’. They could be leaders of a community group, school managers or practitioners, teacher groups/networks, local authority workers or other groups that decide to champion your Transform.

It is important that there is someone, perhaps the lead champion, who oversees the Transform project. This person/group of people will need time to undertake this and may need to be removed from the role of ‘creating’ the content for the production.

Toolkit tasks will be used by the champions of Transform and they may pick and choose elements for others to use.

Be inclusive

One of the aims of the project is to bring people together. When working in any educational setting, both formal and informal, many learners have additional support needs. They may require physical, mental, emotional and/or learning support.

Your Transform champion should ensure there is someone who has the know how to support learners and is aware of how to meet those needs. Please note that many tasks may require physical activity or writing.


How to Transform

This Toolkit is written by National Theatre of Scotland and Education Scotland, and is designed to be used by anyone wishing to create a Transform project.

Educational establishments are free to decide how they would take a Transform forward and who they would involve.


One secondary school might decide to use Transform as an interdisciplinary or optional project throughout S3 by aiming to meet a range of fourth level experiences and outcomes as part of their learners’ broad general education. They may then decide to expand their project to work with several primaries, colleges and community groups.
Or the project may be community led and developed mainly out of school hours in consultation with the staff and learners from educational establishments.

If you are going to create a Transform project, you may contact National Theatre of Scotland who can offer guidance in realising your ambitions for your school and community.

Recording your work

You may decide to record all of your work for use throughout the project. There are a variety of ways in which you can do this, for example filming. Please note you will need the prior permission of those you wish to film.


Transform tasks

The Transform tasks are a guide of steps you can use to help you to plan, create, implement and reflect on your Transform. Each Transform task follows a simple template.

  • Why? – provides the rationale behind why this task is important.
  • What? – this is what you want to have on completion of this task, that is, the outcomes of the task.
  • How? – offers possible approaches of how to meet the outcomes and tackle this task.

The tasks are not necessarily in sequential order and may overlap. It is recommended that you read all the tasks before beginning.

The tasks follow the various stages of making a production: initial stage, development stage, rehearsal stage, production stage and reflection stage. You will be able to see what stage each task covers.

Using the tasks

The tasks are simply suggestions. As part of the creative process, the steering group, practitioners and champions leading the group may want to create their own tasks or creative exercises to gain responses from participants.

Hints/tips - The tasks will offer hints, tips, notes for advice, examples and links, and key areas for consideration.

Video and support materials - Various tasks will have materials you can download and/or exercises you can use to help create your Transform. There are many video examples of previous Transforms for inspiration and clarity.

Further support

Creating your own Transform project? Please contact National Theatre of Scotland, who can visit and offer guidance in realising your ambitions for your school and community.

National Theatre of Scotland
Civic House,
26 Civic Street,
G4 9RH

Tel: 0141 221 0970

Additional information about Transform is available on the National Theatre of Scotland website.

Frequently asked questions

Download the FAQs sheet to responses to some questions that you may find to be helpful.

PDF file: Transform FAQs (256 KB)

Download video transcripts

Word file: What is Transform? - transcript

Word file: Why Transform? - transcript

Word file: Multimedia Dumfries - transcript