About

Thinking & Moving Creatively

The drama classes get every child involved, thinking and moving creatively from the very beginning.

Creative Drama

Our speech section develops vocal skills with good, clear, articulated speech to which people will want to listen.
Our movement section develops physical co-ordination and expression. 

The main part of each lesson is creative drama. The students work on either a different improvisation or mini script each week, developing characterisation, creativity, communication, confidence and focus 
– all with the emphasis on having fun.

Our highly enthusiastic teachers undertake ongoing, intensive training so they can deliver our exclusive curriculum to the high standards we expect. This adds to the degree-level qualifications that all staff possess so that every child is fully involved and motivated throughout every lesson.


FREE Trial Session

At Helen O’Grady York, we are passionate about nurturing and developing these important life skills in children of all ages and abilities through our lively and engaging sessions designed to stimulate the imagination. Our drama classes for children cover the areas of York (Earswick, Foxwood, Heslington and Clifton Moor), Selby, Garforth, Tadcaster, Harrogate, Thirsk, Pickering and Driffield.
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First Class Comes FREE!
Do you want to make sure your child enjoys the classes before joining? Claim your free class today.
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Aimed at Children Aged 5 - 18
Our classes are perfect for children of all ages with different levels of skills and abilities.
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Caryn Walton Binns

Caryn Walton-Binns

Caryn took over Helen O’Grady York in September 2014, after teaching there with previous Principal, Lindsay Goakes, for seven years. Caryn started attending drama classes herself at the age of 10 and, in her 6th form, received awards for Best Actress and for her contribution to the drama club for lower school pupils.

She gained a BA (Hons) in English – Language and Literature – at the University of Durham, taking specific courses in Modern Drama and Ancient Greek Classical Drama. She also has LAMDA qualifications up to Grade VI. Her career began in London, in children’s book publishing. She later moved back to the north of England to start a family, during which time she volunteered at school, playgroup and eventually ran the York Children’s Book Group. Caryn admits she has always worked with children whenever possible.

Caryn first encountered Helen O’Grady when daughter, Imogen, was six years old and brought home a familiar Academy yellow letter from school. Imogen, now 19, is currently studying Law at University, but helps out with classes and productions in the holidays. Husband, Jon, previously a schoolteacher with 20 years’ service, also teaches with the Academy.

Jon Walton Binns

Jon Walton-Binns

Jon has been married to Caryn for almost 20 years. He has a B.A. (Hons) degree in Geography from Lancaster University, a postgraduate diploma in Cartography and a PGCE. He has over 20 years’ experience as a primary school teacher and has been making children laugh as they learn since the day he stepped into a classroom! 

His own school acting experience included Sweeney Todd’s wife and Marley’s ghost! When Jon and Caryn took the decision to buy the Yorkshire branch of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy from the previous Principal, Jon chose to swap the school classroom for the drama studio!

His huge energy, enthusiasm and sense of humour have made him extremely popular with his classes! ‘She loved the class and she loved Jon’ was the comment from the mother of one student who recently came for a free trial lesson and enrolled the following week!


Jenny Walters

Jenny Walters

Jenny has a B.A. (Hons) degree in Performance Theatre from York St John University. Whilst still at school, Jenny attended drama school on Saturdays and has numerous acting credits to her name, including Rizzo in Grease and Audrey in The Little Shop of Horrors. 

After finishing her degree Jenny worked as a professional actress including as an extra on Hollyoaks and a variety of roles in the York Dungeons! Jenny has experience teaching drama to a wide age range of children from nursery age through to late teens and has been teaching with the Academy for 3 years. 

She is a dedicated and committed teacher and has built up a great rapport with the children she teaches. ‘Tom thoroughly enjoyed his first trial session tonight and would like to join up. He was very excited to tell me all about it when I got home’ was the comment from the parent of a student who came for a free trial lesson to one of Jenny’s classes.
First Class Comes FREE!
Do you want to make sure your child enjoys the classes before joining? Claim your free class today.
BOOK NOW

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Our classes are perfect for children of all ages with different levels of skills and abilities.

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By Caryn Walton-Binns 19 Jan, 2018
Rushed off my feet today so dashing this off in 2 seconds before setting off to teach my fabulous Driffield classes. Been speaking to and emailing so many lovely students' and potential students' parents today - makes my day special communicating with people.
By Caryn Walton-Binns 18 Jan, 2018
Let me share with you the funny thing which happened yesterday. I arrived to teach my Heslington class to discover the floor covered (and I mean covered - you could barely see it) with flat pack kitchen cabinets in various states of assembly - and 2 workmen, music blaring out, putting them together. Dramatically (how else?) I gasped... but I have a class in here in 15 minutes! The lovely men, who had no idea I was due, quickly moved the lot! I didn't believe it could be done, but by the time my students started arriving the room was almost clear and we sat up the far end to do the register whilst the rest was cleared. Makes a good story and shows that even after 10 years in the job there are still some things which can take me by surprise!
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