Pilot project for KS2 and KS3 pupils in Brent supported by John Lyon’s charity. 

In early 2023, we launched a pilot project, MAITRI, in 2 primary and 1 secondary school in Brent. Funded by John Lyon’s Charity, this project aimed to support pupils as they prepare to undergo the transition from primary to secondary school by providing a platform for KS2 and KS3 pupils to work together.  

The transition from primary to secondary school can be a time of anxiety and insecurity for young people and their families. Through MAITRI, we hoped to empower younger pupils, helping them adjust to a new environment, while providing older pupils with an opportunity to develop their skills as leaders. 

MAITRI aimed to increase physical activity, as well as developing pupil confidence and teamwork, ultimately aiming to foster community cohesion and cultural understanding. 
Following 8 weekly sessions, delivered by artists Aanchal Gupta and Mira Salat, the groups co-developed a Bollywood dance piece with the help of a dhol artist. The final piece was performed by 117 pupils at St. Claudine’s Catholic School for Girls‘ annual dance show on 21 & 22 March. Other participating schools were St. Mary’s CE Primary School and The Kilburn Park School

In May, We were back at St. Claudine’s Catholic School for Girls delivering two full-day follow-up workshops for our MAITRI project. Artists Aanchal GuptaManna PrinceGeorgia Cornwell and Soulma Hosani created fun choreographies for the pupils to perform at their end of academic year celebrations.


  • Reduction of stress and anxiety leading up to and during the transition period for young people and their families. 
  • Encouragement of peer-to-peer engagement and opportunity for social interaction and bonding through a shared experience. 
  • Improving and developing teamworking, leadership and communication skills. 
  • Fostering community cohesion, stimulating cultural understanding in both the school and greater community. 
  • Supporting increased levels of engagement in physical activity.
  • Helping develop confidence, self-esteem and an enjoyment of movement and dance. 
  • Providing school staff with ideas for integrating dance, movement and creative activities into lessons. 
  • In-depth exploration of South Asian Dance with its strong characteristics of storytelling, rhythm, movement, and gesture, as well as knowledge of South Asian culture, which may not be otherwise included in the curriculum.

school children during a dance workshop
Photo: Reece Straw


To find out more about the pilot project, please contact us at


Dr. Partha Banerjea
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Artists leading the sessions

Mira Salat, Aanchal Gupta, Manna Prince, Georgia Cornwell and Soulma Hossani.

John Lyon’s Charity logo

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