Approaches and Opportunities

The projects provide A Different View towards approaches to learning, for young people and adults alike. Those involved encourage, and are encouraged to take risks, leaps of faith; promoting the belief that creativity can be a powerful process.

Airhedz 2007 gave young people the opportunity to try out a variety of circus and aerial workshops; a unique opportunity in their local area.

“The risk factor and sense of danger was good because it was strictly monitored and very contained. It enabled students to experience some of the adrenalin rush they might normally get through more dangerous, possibly criminal activities such as car crime and joy-riding or getting high on cannabis. This was an excellent substitute.” A member of staff from YPOS

 

“This was unusual, dangerous, exciting and risky – which made it very appealing to our type of students.” A member of staff from YPOS

 

Through involvement in the Generation Gap project Thames Valley Police were quite literally given a new teaching opportunity in the form of a DVD film created by the young people during the project.

“We can use this when we go into schools to get kids thinking about behaviour in their communities” (An officer from Thames Valley Police.)

Teachers were invited to training sessions which were led by the artists that would expand the creative skills base of the staff team, and thus provide the school with the tools and confidence to be able to continue supporting its students in such projects in the future.

Keen to continue this kind of partnership working with the Police and local support agencies, a group of young people involved in the project have since toured a new performance in the local area.

 

Teachers described observing the drama artists at work in Drugs Aware! as a ‘refresher course’; providing new ideas and ways of working with and engaging the young people. The project as a whole also helped ensure greater liaison between the different drugs agencies, the police and arts agencies, which will improve student support services.

Drugs Aware! has provided the young people with an opportunity to experience touring a performance around venues in their community.

Staff involved in the St Edmunds Street Dance project observed that dance is a very powerful and expressive medium that can facilitate interaction and understanding, build confidence, communication and social skills and engender respect for others, whilst improving young people’s approaches towards exercise and staying active.

Staff commented on the potential they saw in a number of the young people to become very good dancers – raw talents that may have remained hidden if the project had not taken place.

The ChESS Street Dance project and its impact on the young people was found to be so successful that ChESS have since secured future funding which will enable them to employ a local dance teacher who can facilitate this kind of work in the long term.

The Maths department at Beaconsfield were keen for a group of students to apply the skills they had learnt in their maths lessons to an art project based on optical illusions; working with the arts learning centre enabled this to take place. The Maths teacher involved was keen to look at ways that ideas and techniques from this project could be used in the future.
Staff commented on the piece of work that was created during the project, and the impact this had throughout the school – “other departments have asked about engaging artworks for the wall of their department.”

“The Arts Learning Centre (ALC) will become an integral component in developing our schools vision for creativity across the curriculum in innovative ways. The schools vision for a vibrant and fun learning environment will be greatly enhanced by the continued involvement of the ALC and the opportunities that it offers both staff and students.” (Nigel Dudding Deputy Head and Leader for Curriculum)