Partnership Working

The Right People, location etc

Those involved in the projects had A Different View of partnership working most notably the importance of ‘getting it right!’ in regards to working with the right people in the right locations.

Staff at Slough Youth Offending Team were aware of the importance of allowing the young people to choose an artist whom they felt would benefit the Generation Gap project most. They were shown the work of three different film makers and chose to work with one who had a diversity of experience using both straight and animated film. Bucks Arts Partnership did work with them providing questions to help them make informed choices.

One of the obvious benefits of Generation Gap was the practice of working with artists who were not known to the young people – adults who weren’t in the school day-to-day; working with external professionals encouraged a more mature attitude.

As well as being highly beneficial to young people the Drugs Aware! project also created opportunities for local artists. The artists were selected by the partners and young people because of their experience with young people, and their creative skills.
“The project has been great. Steve and Verity are great teachers” (A young person referencing the artists)

Maria Stylianou the, dance practitioner, working on both ChESS and St Edmunds Street Dance encouraged the young dancers to choreograph their own moves that could be mixed with the existing routine that she have taught them. Staff at ChESS highlighted the importance of enthusiastic artists “Maria always told them that she was just teaching them the bare bones of the dance and the rest would be added by them and their own unique personalities. By the end of the 8 months all the pupils had added their own dance moves to each of their routines.”

For the teaching staff involved in ChESS Street Dance a key characteristic of the artists chosen was that they would be a positive role model for the young people “The adults that were supporting the groups threw themselves whole heartedly into the dance sessions and didn’t mind joining even if they looked a bit silly! This really helped break the ice especially in the early days when the pupils were a bit apprehensive.”

Clair Aldington (Creative Arts Development worker) of West Berkshire and Oxfordshire Youth Offending Teams, observed the professional benefits of partnership working through the provision of GCSE Art and Design short course “For me, personally, it provided a chance for professional development as it enabled me to work alongside a skilled art teacher who had been teaching in a PRU for many years. Although I have a MA in Art and Music, I am not a qualified teacher and so the opportunity to work alongside Jackie Paynter and to mark the work with her was an exciting opportunity.”

 

As well as benefiting students and the school culture generally, the partnership working seen in the Beaconsfield Arts Learning Centre project was highly beneficial for the artist:
“This year has been an opportunity for me to learn so much more about the workings of a school, and how the school environment can both nurture, and stifle creativity at various times I am involved in sessions using a much wider range of art forms and this has a direct impact on my art practise. I have developed a range of visual art skills and continue to do so. I am excited by the possibilities that this presents. It has, at times, been strange for me to be based in a school full-time. It was something that I was uncertain about, having come from a freelance background. However, the opportunity that this gives to build relationships and really work closely with students in invaluable.” (Reflection from Creative Partner- Kat Belcher)