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For Teachers
Peer pressure is a term more commonly associated with negative lifestyle choices such as smoking and use of artificial stimulants, but in terms of Rock Challenge® it is central in helping a school grow a team and encourage participation, especially within the more difficult-to-reach peer groups such as girls in key stages 2 and 3. The following stages of growth have been observed in many Rock Challenge® schools throughout the 16 years the event has existed in the UK.

Stage One
In the first year of participation schools typically use a number of techniques to enrol team members, from simply posting adverts on notice boards to advertising within dance and drama classes. In many first-time entry situations teachers will only use students from one class to make it easier to find rehearsal time.

Stage Two
Following a year involved and having attended an event - invariably enjoying the experience - young people start to talk with friends and encourage them to get involved the following year and teams typically grow, roughly doubling in size between year one and two. Teachers are now more comfortable with the process and rehearsals help relationships between students and teachers improve making for a better and more positive atmosphere in classrooms. The young people involved begin to re-define their view of teachers and are enjoying school more in general.

Stage Three
By the third or fourth year of involvement the school team is running close to capacity; relationships between students and teachers are excellent and the general atmosphere within the school is improved. The school has started to use the Rock Challenge® to help in areas in which it struggles. For example, in some schools students are not allowed to participate in Rock Challenge® unless they have 95% attendance or better; the school might then allow under-attending students to attend after-school lessons to catch up and get them to the 95% required to be involved. On average, 10 students per school involved in Rock Challenge® experience improved attendance.

Stage Four
Through increased attendance and enjoyment of school, exam results are improving. Also, through reduced anti-social behaviour and improved citizenship within participants (through mixing with other students they would not normally mix with), graduates are leaving school more socially able and active members of society. In many cases the parents of participants become involved with the schools entry through making scenery or costumes, some remaining involved even after their child has left the school.

This is an idealistic model that, in many cases, is disturbed by elements such as teachers leaving the school, finance, or even difficulty getting participant numbers for the first year of entry. However, this model has been observed in many Rock Challenge® schools. One thing that has continually been proven to make no difference in the success of the concept within the school is success in the competition itself. Whilst a team might grow more quickly following success in the competition, the end results within the school remain similar whatever the degree of success in the competition. The key to the event succeeding and growing within schools is the young people's enjoyment of participation both on the event day and throughout rehearsals; this way positive peer pressure expands participation naturally and teachers can focus on their team and school benefitting as much as possible.


(Scroll further down for a sample letter :)

Atlantic Records UK:
Electric Lighting Station, 46 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DA
Tel: 020 7938 5500

Demon Music Group:
33 Foley Street, London, W1W 7TL
Tel: 020 7612 3300
Fax: 020 7612 3301

EMI Music UK and Ireland:
EMI House, 43 Brook Green, London, W6 7EF
Tel: 020 7795 7000
Fax: 020 7605 5050

Independiente Ltd:
The Drill Hall, 3 Heathfield Terrace, Chiswick, London, W4 4JE
Tel: 020 8747 8111
Fax: 020 8747 8113

Sony Music Entertainment UK & Ireland:
9 Derry Street, London, W8 5HY
Tel: 020 7361 8000
Fax: 020 7937 0188

Universal Music (UK) Ltd:
346-366 Kensington High Street, London, W14 8NS
Tel: 020 7471 5000
Fax: 020 7471 5001

Virgin Records:
27 Wrights Lane, London, W8 5SW
Tel: 020 7795 7000
Fax: 020 7795 7001

Warner Music (UK) Ltd:
The Warner Building, 28 Kensington Church St, London, W8 4EP
Tel: 020 7368 2500
Fax: 020 7368 2770

XL Recordings:
1 Codrington Mews, London, W11 2EH
Tel: 020 8870 7511
Fax: 020 8871 7511

Capitol Records: Under EMI Music UK and Ireland
Chrysalis Records: Under EMI Music UK and Ireland
Circa: Under Virgin Records
Columbia Records: Under Sony BMG UK and Ireland
Def Jam Records: Under Mercury Records
East West Records: Under Atlantic Records UK
Interscope: Under Polydor Records
Island Records Group: Under Universal Music (UK) Ltd.
Polydor: Under Universal Music (UK) Ltd.
Sanctuary Records: Under Universal Music (UK) Ltd.


The text below is a sample letter that could be used to obtain record company permission for use of music. Please feel free to use it (on your school's headed paper) and always provide a contact name at the school.


The Rock Challenge® is an anti-drug and crime prevention initiative which takes the form of a performing arts competition for secondary schools and colleges. The event first took place in the UK in 1996 after nearly 20 years in Australia and is produced in the UK by the Be Your Best Foundation (registered charity no. 1077291). The event is designed to show young people how they can achieve a ‘natural high’ through life rather than through the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, but also has many other proven benefits such as raising self-esteem, and lowering anti-social behaviour and truancy.

An entry into the competition consists of an eight-minute dance-based production with up to 100 student performers and 35 stage and support crew per school. Each school devises the theme, choreography, stage design and lighting as well as deciding which pieces of music to use.

In 2015 our school plans to enter Rock Challenge® with a performance about (ENTER SHORT DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PIECE) ; we will be performing at (ENTER VENUE NAME) on (ENTER EVENT DATE): I am writing to you to request permission to use short excerpts from the following tracks by artists currently under your record label:
  • Artist
  • Track
The Rock Challenge® holds licences with PPL and MCPS and pays PRS through the venues, but as we would like to use these tracks to help interpret a particular theme we would like to seek this extra permission as a courtesy. If you would like to hear more about our theme and how we intend to interpret it please get in contact.

If we do not hear from you, we will presume it is acceptable to go ahead and use the tracks in question.

The Rock Challenge® will be happy to supply you with any further information you may require about the organisation; contact us on 02392 985 710.

Yours faithfully,


Join In!

  Competition Categories

Rock Challenge® is universally inclusive with secondary schools, colleges, academies, schools catering for students with special needs and independent schools from all backgrounds taking part. Young people between 11 and 18 years old can make up the team! Due to the popularity of the initiative the junior version J Rock™, for young people aged 7-11 in full-time primary school education was also introduced to the UK and in 2018 enters its 14thyear.

Liaison Teachers: please Bullet1CLICK HERE to access the o­nline forms area :)
Teacher Support
Buddy System
The Rock Challenge® UK team supports schools as much as possible. We can 'buddy' them with experienced schools to help them along the path to the event day, keep in touch through regular emails checking how the venture is coming along, and help get contacts with organisations who might be able to run workshops in the various elements involved in organising a Rock Challenge® entry.

We also let schools know about any funding opportunities that may be available to them and offer help and advice via email and the Rock Challenge® mobile phones.

What are Rock Challenge® and J Rock?

Rock Challenge® is an educational and aspirational performing arts competition for students in government and non-government secondary schools, that show young people  how they can achieve a ‘natural high’ without the use of tobacco, alcohol or other substances. It communicates health and social education messages to teenagers in a positive and supportive environment.

A school’s entry into Rock Challenge® is an original piece of work involving dance, design and drama which reflects the personalities, concerns, hopes, dreams and interests of those who create it. Each school forms a team which decides o­n a theme, selects the medley of soundtracks and designs the choreography, sets and costumes. Themes can range from the real to the surreal but must be original.

The team rehearses their choreography and staging, builds sets, manufactures costumes and raises funds for the production.

The focus of Rock Challenge® is o­n young people being the best they can be without the use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs

J Rock™ is the junior version of the event for primary and junior schools catering for young people between the ages of 7and 11 years of age!

What does an entry consist of?

A ‘dance and drama’ performance based o­n a theme of your choice and set to a soundtrack of commercially available music.

How long does it have to be?

A performance must be between 5 and 8 minutes long.

What are the limits o­n team size?

A J Rock™ team can have a minimum of 10 performers and a maximum of 100.

A Rock Challenge® team can have a minimum of 20 performers and a maximum of 100.

In both J Rock™ and Rock Challenge® you can have up to 20 students making up the stage crew and up to 16 in your support crew (hair and make-up/ lighting/ video/ co-host)

What are the age limits?

All performers and stage crew in a Rock Challenge® team must be aged 11 to 18 years and currently enrolled in the participating school or college.

All performers and stage crew in a J Rock™ team must be aged 7 to 11 years and currently enrolled in the participating school.

What are the restrictions o­n our performance?

How a school tackles putting o­n a performance is completely up to the school, although it must be within the rules and guidelines in the Production Book supplied by the Office.

So we put together our performance - then what?

On the designated event day, competing schools in the region assemble at a professional venue for a day of interaction, rehearsals and fun. In the evening, the schools perform to an audience of their peers, families and community members. The performances are judged by a panel of specialists from the performing arts industry.