Honoring Bill Kenwright

The RYTC team was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and patron Bill Kenwright CBE. 

Bill was a partner, father, grandfather, great friend and patron. He will be missed by many and this is testament to his giving nature and impact on the theatre and creative arts space. The team wanted to honour his legacy and influence with this memorial page.

The RYTC’s Artistic Director started her career in Bill Kenwright’s work family. Bill told her to go and open her own youth theatre, because ‘being creative is so important for our kids!’ His mantra… “go and do it”!! And if “it” is right – then you can’t fail.”

To name only a fraction of the awards and achievements Bill received are the notable honour of a CBE in 2002, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Theatrical Management Association in 2008, and an honourary BBC Radio 2 special episode of Friday Night in 2017 broadcast from the London Palladium itself. Bill was nominated for a London Theatre Critics’ Award for West Side Story and a Tony Award for Blood Brothers.

This multi-award winning career saw Bill’s West End productions constantly in notable venues such as the RSC, Dominion, Palladium, Apollo and many others. Ensuring his legacy as one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers.

Bill embodied the spirit of empowering young people through creative opportunities. His legacy will be felt and continued through the many groups and communities he supported with the mission of providing opportunities to local young people. Bill made his community and generations of people richer through experiences such as finding like minds, getting creative and fostering confidence in young people.

The RYTC in memory of Bill will continue to “go and do it” as his legacy will continue to empower our team, kids and encourage everyone to be creative.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s family at this difficult time and also with the many people we know he impacted for the better.

The way your classroom feels and how everyone treats each other is super important. It affects how well you learn and how much fun you have in class. When everyone is respectful and works hard, it makes the teacher happy too. Making a classroom where everyone feels like they belong, can join in, and feels proud of it starts right from the first day of school.

At the beginning of the school year, it’s like starting with a clean slate or a fresh start for both teachers and students. You can make it awesome by doing team-building games and talking about important stuff during the first week. This makes everyone feel good and sets a positive vibe for the whole year.

So, here are great ways to make your classroom a cool place during that first week of school.

1. Create a poster for your classroom to show learning goals

During the first week of school, we aim to make kids enthusiastic about their learning and participation. There are various ways to show what we want to achieve during the school year, but it can be as easy as writing down one goal for each student on a big chart. This poster will hang in the classroom and remind everyone that we all share goals and interests at school.

2. Start a fun tradition in your classroom where students give out awards to each other

During the first week of school, introduce a daily routine where one student gets to present an award to another student. This special moment of celebrating each other can boost everyone’s motivation and help create a happy and supportive classroom. Prepare awards like “Learning Enthusiast” and “Makes Our Day” and have a student choose a classmate they want to give the award to, explaining why. The student receiving the award can proudly display it on their desk the next day. It’s a fantastic way to end the school day and build a strong classroom community right from the beginning. Try to have a variety of awards so that every student gets a chance to be celebrated!

3. Create a “Class Family Photo” wall

Kids really enjoy seeing their pictures and school projects displayed in the classroom! It helps them feel like they belong and that they’re in the right place every school day. To start the year off, make a little bulletin board where you put up a photo of each student and call it the “Class Family” board.

If you want to make it even more special, let the students add a word or phrase that describes one of their best qualities to their photos. This way, the board becomes a celebration of who we are as a class.

4. Ask students how they’re feeling on the first day

It’s really important to acknowledge and understand your students’ emotions right from the beginning. You can do this by giving them a chance to express their feelings, whether it’s through an emotions chart in the classroom or a simple online form. This way, you let your students know that you care about how they’re doing because feeling good is essential for learning. Make it clear that all emotions are okay, and there’s support available whenever they need it. This helps create a safe and welcoming classroom community.

5. Develop class norms and agreements

Creating class norms and agreements is a powerful strategy for establishing a positive and respectful classroom environment. It involves the active participation of students in defining the rules and expectations that will govern their behavior and interactions throughout the school year. This helps students understand that these guidelines are not imposed on them but are, in fact, a product of their collective input and consensus. This ownership instills a sense of responsibility for upholding these norms, as students feel personally invested in maintaining a positive classroom atmosphere.

6. Establish classroom traditions

Establishing classroom traditions and celebrating various events together is a wonderful way to foster a sense of belonging and create lasting memories within your classroom community.

Classroom traditions provide students with a sense of identity and belonging. When students participate in shared experiences and rituals, they feel like they are part of a close-knit group with common values and interests.

Celebrating achievements, birthdays, and cultural holidays as a class creates a treasure trove of positive memories. These special moments become an integral part of students’ school experiences, something they will remember fondly for years to come.


Remember, building a strong classroom community is an ongoing process. It’s essential to model and reinforce positive behaviors, active listening, and empathy throughout the school year. When students feel valued and connected, they are more likely to thrive academically and socially, making your classroom a place where they can truly grow and flourish.