Page 1

R

DIFFERENT VOICES Celebrating the inspiring and creative range of work that has taken place in SEN settings with Curious Minds


2

Curious Minds

3

Different Voices

Introduction SEN schools are often vibrant, creative settings used to working creatively with their pupils, often in partnership with visiting professionals. The Creative Partnerships Programme offered a number of Special Schools across Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire the opportunity to engage in further work of this kind with a diverse range of highly skilled practitioners and creative agents. A range of ambitious projects aimed to transform the aspirations and achievements of young people, the approaches of teachers and the practices of creative practitioners and organisations working in SEN settings. In this publication we have worked to the five headings Curious Minds has identified in their Services to Schools offer, as being the areas in which most projects were undertaken; namely, Curriculum Design, Transition, Outdoor Learning, Behaviour for Learning and Communication(Pupil Voice). We have also mapped all of the projects which have taken place within SEN settings and drawn out key learning about what makes a successful project. This information is included at the back of the publication. Established in 2002, Creative Partnerships (CP) was the former government’s flagship creative programme for schools and young people, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education and Skills. Between 2002 and 2005 in three distinct phases Creative Partnerships was sited in 36 of the most deprived areas of England. The programme was initially managed by Arts Council England and subsequently by Creativity Culture and Education (CCE) and was designed to build sustainable relationships amongst schools, creative individuals and organisations. The programme sought to redefine the way creativity could be placed at the heart of learning and find ways that teachers, pupils and creative practitioners could forge partnerships to allow this to happen. This document identifies some of the projects and programmes that SEN schools worked on across both Change and Enquiry programmes.

Change Schools undertook a programme of 3 years, although in practice the schools featured here participated in the programme between two and four and a half years. Change Schools embarked on a programme of whole school change through creativity. This involved working with every pupil and teacher within the school on a series of projects, as well as the wider community of parents, carers and communities of interest. It encompassed the way the school was led and managed, the way curriculum was developed and delivered, staff continuing professional development, teaching and learning, how the environment and resources were developed and maintained and looked at the sustainability of this work beyond the life of the programme. Examples within this publication include Hope School, Morecambe Road, Ridgewood Community High, Royal Cross School and Tor View Community Special School. Enquiry Schools undertook a programme of one year, usually with one teacher and a small cohort of pupils (one class). In this programme a bite sized project was developed in one term, delivered in the second and evaluated in the third. Staff were then encouraged to disseminate their learning to other colleagues. Examples within this publication include Cribden House, Dorin Park, Educational Diversity and Woolton High. The focus of this publication is twofold: Firstly, it will acknowledge and celebrate the inspiring range of work which has taken place in SEN settings Secondly, it will offer ideas and possible models for people who are seeking to engage with creative collaboration amongst pupils, practitioners and staff. This publication is a testimony to all the young people, staff and practitioners whose enthusiasm, energy and commitment have created such a range of inspiring practice. We acknowledge their contribution with thanks. Jude Bird Sue Caudle

Introduction

Introduction


4

Curious Minds

5

Different Voices

1. Curriculum Design By following pupils’ enthusiasms and interests projects have devised curricula that engage and inspire young people to achieve and attain. Staff have been involved as active co-learners and participants.

Section

1

Curriculum Design

Curriculum Design

Section

1


6

Curious Minds

Hope School – Liverpool 2008-2011 Hope School is for boys with social, emotional and behavioural needs. The maximum intake is 50 from year 3 to year 8. The school was part of the BSF programme and recently co-located to a site shared with Gateacre School, a mainstream secondary school. Hope School was a Change School for three years during which time the focus of their three projects was curriculum. The Deputy Head described the curriculum they had four years previously as not specifically tailored to the boys’ needs. Pupils can arrive at Hope School at any point in the academic year and enter into any year group. Some arrive in year 6 already having been to seven schools. The school was committed to motivating the pupils but often had very little information provided to them on transition. The school operates a system whereby teaching groups are arranged by ability rather than age. Most groups have a maximum of ten young people, supported by a teacher and a teaching assistant. Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) were new in Secondary Education and the school needed to incorporate the statutory requirements into teaching and learning. They felt that the PLTS were central to the way they worked with the boys; facilitating them to be self-managers, reflective and creative thinkers, and effective participants. These skills are often under-developed in pupils, who often do not have the skills to work together or share. The school wanted to enquire into ways in which they could promote PLTS as a means to develop a creative and personalised curriculum. Pupils were asked what they wanted to do in order to introduce PLTS. Working in the old assembly room in their previous school where Religious Education (R.E) is taught, they undertook research and developed team-working skills based on the theme of cultural and spiritual understanding. The practitioner facilitated discussion and exploration of what a wall could do or be. This wall was to provide a focus for the boys during assembly. The wall was developed in three panels with moving images, symbols of world religions, shelves for books and resources and chalk boards for the boys to write on.

Section

1

Curriculum Design

7

Different Voices

The other activity the pupils wanted to do was to design go-karts. This was not entirely successful as the practitioner ended up doing a lot of the work. This was key learning for the school, as not all practitioners can work with their pupils and prior experience is vital. Subsequently the boys have really developed skills around the use of the go-karts e.g. learning safety procedures, team work, and being on the track. Learning Together In the second year of the programme there was a key focus on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for staff delivered by practitioners. A shift was beginning whereby staff who had been delivering fairly standardised National Curriculum and QCA Schemes of work were moving to a theme based approach. The school wanted to find out how they could develop and deliver a creative curriculum that would meet the individual needs of pupils. Work also took place with pupils to identify which topics they were interested in and how they would like to learn. Through this process they devised a two year rolling programme of themes. In Year 1 they study Our Planet, Celebrating our Differences, The Arts, Toys and Hobbies, Transport and Famous Faces. In year two they studied Buildings (to coincide with their move), Entertainment, Inventions, Farms and Agriculture, Sport, Hopes and Dreams for the Future. They took the six areas of learning from the Rose Report; namely, developing understanding of Maths, English Communication and Languages, Historical, Geographical and Social, the Arts, Physical Development, Health and Wellbeing as statutory requirements and then mapped objectives into those areas. Every half term there is now a launch day for a new topic/theme. For example, to link with the theme of Buildings a carousel of activities included asking young people to locate famous buildings on a map of the world, make famous buildings out of lego, and create bug houses for minibeasts. This project offered staff and pupils the structure needed to move to a different style of curriculum delivery. The curriculum was adapted to give both structure and freedom. Pupils focus on Maths and English in the morning and the rest of the day is identified as creative so that teaching staff have the flexibility to make adaptations and to pick up on topical subjects and ideas.

Curriculum Design

Section

1


8

Curious Minds

9

Different Voices

Developing Aspirations The third and final year of the programme aimed to build on the findings and outcomes of the previous two years’ projects. At the centre of this project was finding out how creativity could be used to develop and promote aspirations in the pupils. This was the transition year for the school so preparation for moving from the previous site to the current site was factored in and the development of the curriculum has been part of the transition between the sites. Staff and pupils now wholly lead the launch days referred to above. Hope does not exclude any pupils. Staff were keen to develop pupils’ leadership skills in order that they would be able to manage the curriculum. In this project pupils swapped roles with teachers and were involved with planning and delivering sessions. There was a focus on how the boys could project what the future would hold for them as many of them have come through a cycle of family unemployment. They wanted to find role models who would give them hope and to make a film about skills development. Contact was made with the ADHD Association and they did make a film with a practitioner. However, the timeframe was somewhat compressed and they would like to do more on this.

In all areas of the curriculum standards of attainment have improved over the three years of the programme. Significantly levels of attendance have also improved creating stability in the school. Staff are now co-planning in curriculum teams which makes it easier for a small cohort of staff to deliver the whole curriculum. The programme is seen to have been very successful and had a longterm impact on the way the school plans and delivers the curriculum. The value of expert practitioners working in school has been significant here and the places the pupils can visit have been expanded. There is potential for collaboration with other schools and external partners.

Unfortunately, the anticipated work with the co-located mainstream school did not happen on the scale originally planned, although pupils have shared some collaborative sessions in music and cookery which took place on the mainstream site. This gave the Hope pupils experience of and confidence in their co-located partner school.

Section

1

Curriculum Design

Curriculum Design

Section

1


10

Different Voices

Tor View Community Special School – Haslingden, East Lancashire 2006-2010

This project drew together four dance companies with specialist skills working in SEN settings and offered different approaches e.g. Developing narrative through literacy in South Asian Dance, specific work with pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, and improvisation. Throughout this process we filmed pupil’s engagement with the work. We subsequently developed the curriculum based on things young people had most enjoyed and engaged with. We could not call this “pupil voice” literally as many of the participants did not speak however it was pupil engagement. Ongoing CPD was offered to staff to support their ability to develop and deliver dance in school. Tor View now has a thriving dance curriculum and participates in the Lancashire Dance Festival with mainstream schools, they have also developed boys dance and the school runs its own dance festival. The Head of Further Education (F.E) has also run peer teaching and mentoring sessions for colleagues at Cribden House so they are able to deliver dance. She also undertakes team teaching with Haslingden High staff.

Tor View currently has 140 pupils from the age of 5-19 it caters for pupils and students across a wide area of East Lancashire. It has Specialist Arts College status. and Artsmark Gold. Tor View was in the first cohort of Hub Schools In East Lancashire and then went on to be a Change School as a result they were in the programme for four and a half years. The following describes their journey through curriculum development. Tor View undertook eleven projects (see Mapping the Projects) in a four and a half year period. All of this work has had impacts on curriculum development both animating existing curriculum and creating some new areas of curriculum as well as impacting on the way in which the curriculum is delivered. Tor View was always engaged in creative work and this programme really dovetailed into existing work. Specialist practitioners working alongside staff on creative learning projects that were sustained over a long period of time really aided the embedding of this work curriculum wide. Tor View sees the major impacts of the CP programme not only on the arts and core subjects but also creative teaching as well as teaching for creativity. Throughout the programme all key stages have participated in the programme which has also involved all the teaching and support staff and included grounds and maintenance staff as well. For the purposes of this research we looked specifically at “Developing a Dance Curriculum” – curriculum development, “What did the Romans ever do for us” and “Constructing the Colossus” - under outdoor learning, “The Beat Goes on” - developing learner voice through music and song and “Embedding and Sustaining Creativity” - which was a whole school curriculum development project. Tor View wanted to develop a dance curriculum in order to offer dance as a curriculum subject at KS3, an option for KS4 and for KS5 within the Expressive Arts. They also wanted to apply for Artsmark status and this work enabled them to fulfil the criteria through pupil involvement hours in dance. They wanted to offer pupils a range of approaches to dance to engage them in the development of a dance curriculum.

Section

1

11

Curious Minds

Curriculum Design

Tor View has developed a P Scale document for assessing pupils in dance to recognise the steps taken by pupils, acknowledging their achievements and placing value on this work. Staff skills have increased meteorically in this area and the benefits of working with skilled dance specialists has been evidenced thoroughly. In 2007 Tor View embarked on an ambitious two phase outdoor learning project/s. The aim was pupil involvement in the design and construction of an amphitheatre in the school grounds-this was intended to be not only a performance space but also an outdoor classroom. This work entailed a wide variety of arts forms to include mosaic, design, creative cookery, landscape architecture and horticulture. The scale of this project was initially quite daunting as no-one had ever built an amphitheatre before. This project required a lot of collaborative teamwork. In the evaluation one of the pupils who had been key to this work said they could now go and do this for other schools. Pupils toiled alongside practitioners and ground staff in all weathers to develop this landmark! For pupils it was very important to be doing something practical and hands on to change the school grounds. These pupils developed a tremendous sense of ownership and pride in their work along with the skills of design, construction and horticulture. Today the horticultural area is used for work experience and the horticulture curriculum as well as to support the science curriculum. The amphitheatre itself is used for productions as well as outdoor dance and drama lessons.

Curriculum Design

Section

1


12

13

Curious Minds

Different Voices

Whilst Tor View had a specialist music teacher they wanted to encourage other staff to use music as a vehicle to deliver other curriculum areas. The school set out to discover how learner voice and creative communication could be developed through music and song. The practitioners developed with pupils a promenade performance piece about the Irwell Valley. The school also wanted to utilise pupil voice in a non traditional way and made discoveries that pupils who didn’t speak would instead sing or make sounds. This project also provided one to one work in the Intensive Support Centre. Highly specialist practitioners were able to deliver to the schools ambition to work in this way and modelled ways of working with pupils on the Autistic Spectrum. Staff now continue to work in this way with this group of pupils and those with challenging behaviour.

Overall Impacts and Outcomes for Curriculum

The other strand of this project was family learning sessions delivering work with parents, carers and siblings of Tor View pupils. Embedding and Sustaining Creativity in the final year of the programme focussed on collaborative planning with a view to engaging artistic support for staff in utilising ICT and multimedia across the whole school. This was Tor View’s exit year from the programme and they were seeking ways to embed creative planning and creative teaching and learning across the whole school community. Teams of staff and support staff worked on joint planning and delivery of work that was lead by the delivery of the school curriculum. Another focus was placing creativity within performance management as well as creative teaching and teaching for creativity as observable features of a lesson when lesson observations took place. There has been an increased focus on developing open ended exercises and questioning with an emphasis on the importance of the learning journey thus ensuring space for pupil input within the curriculum.

– Lengthy duration of involvement with the programme has led to a layering of learning which has been embedded across the whole school – Impacts on achievement and attainment have been identified – Schools have ownership of something they have tried and tested – Some things that are not an immediate success can work later down the line – The embedding of creative teaching and learning is necessary for sustainability – Not all practitioners are able to work effectively in these settings and specialist skills are required – A high level of pupil voice, involving pupils in the design and development of curriculum, has proved very successful – The value of CPD to support staff skills and confidence has been highlighted – Adaptability and flexibility of planning and delivery makes a curriculum which is fit for purpose

Tor View has been extremely effective and successful at utilising the projects to both initiate and support curriculum development. The impacts have been felt school wide with both staff and pupil skills developing significantly over the programme. Pupils have been offered opportunities to shine working alongside skilled practitioners and staff that have complemented each other’s knowledge and approach. Tor View gained Artsmark Gold and Specialist Arts College status in this time.

Section

1

Curriculum Design

Curriculum Design

Section

1


14

Curious Minds

15

Different Voices

2. Transition Curious Minds projects have explored ways of creatively scaffolding change in young peoples’ lives. This has been within different phases of education and on a larger scale such as moving from one school site to another.

Section

2

Transition

Transition

Section

2


16

Different Voices

Ridgewood Community High School – Burnley, East Lancashire

This project presented opportunities for pupils, students and staff to express their views, thoughts and feelings about the transition. There was real engagement from the young people who felt involved in the decisions that affected their schooling, language and communication. They made clear and relevant contributions about the visual arts work they were developing as part of this project and about the values they wanted in their new school. Working from a visual art basis also impacted on the development of the written word through poetry and creative writing. It also generated a rich source of student art work which is displayed in the new building to great effect.

“Essence 11” Ridgewood Community High School is a new special school that offers a safe, inclusive and secure environment for boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 19 with generic learning difficulties. The school aims to enhance the quality of pupils’ lives by creating a safe, inclusive and secure environment in which pupils can flourish as individuals and develop to their full potential, thus enabling them to become valued members of society. Ridgewood School has been involved in transition in a range of different ways in recent years. In 2006 the school was developed from an amalgamation of three separate schools including a Moderate Learning Difficulty Secondary school, a school for pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties and one for pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties. Subsequently in 2009 they moved into a new building colocated with a mainstream secondary school. Creativity has aided this process of transition especially when projects have been aimed across the whole school. In this project Ridgewood School wanted to find out how working with a professional artist to communicate the idea of journeys could support the idea and practice of transition; transferring the positive aspects and ethos from one school site to another. The name of the project derived from the wish to capture the “essence” of the previous school and for staff and pupils to bring with them the “good” things about the school. The qualities they wanted to transfer included friendships, happiness and good sounds whilst rejecting the “bad” things like bullying and falling out. The positive qualities were all written onto leaves in different materials and textiles and then used to make a number of beautiful images of trees to depict new beginnings. Opportunities were created for pupil councillors to visit the new site in preparation for the transition. Items belonging to the former site were collected in shoe boxes and a chest. Something was collected from every class. There was a procession bringing the chest into the new site and the objects representing the positive qualities of the former school were re-distributed around the new school building. The chest has been on display in the hallway until recently and has now been adapted to become a sensory story box in the library.

Section

2

17

Curious Minds

Transition

Tor View Community Special School – Haslingden, East Lancashire “Making the Links” This project was undertaken when Tor View was in its final year as a Change School. The school recognised that over four and a half years pupils had enjoyed a wide range of exciting creative learning opportunities. However, their work placements were still in the service and manufacturing industries. Tor View wanted to find out how the school could develop and consolidate relationships with creative and cultural organisations. The school wanted to raise the aspirations of the pupils in relation to the type of work they might seek as well as supporting creative and cultural organisations to offer work placements and ultimately work to disabled young people. A series of visits was set up over a five week period. Each organisation hosted a visit from four F.E students and the school placement officer. The organisations involved were Curious Minds Lancashire, Mid Pennine Arts, Robinson Howell Partnership, Action Factory and Burnley Youth Theatre. The students engaged with the work of these organisations in a very “hands on” way and developed a sense of what the organisations do. They met different people working in their usual workplaces rather than in schools. Their ability to make relationships with adult professionals in a short period of time was a key impact. Pupils grew in confidence in these situations. They liked being treated as adults, as was particularly evidenced on a visit to a Primary school with Curious Minds staff. They liked doing things they felt were making a contribution to the organisations they visited, such as creating a page of “Mailout” magazine at Robinson Howell Partnership. They enjoyed exploring behind the scenes at Burnley Youth Theatre and learning new theatre language like “set” and “in the round”.

Transition

Section

2


18

Section

2

19

Curious Minds

Different Voices

The staff member involved learned a lot about the creative and cultural organisations. Previously she had set up placements she believed to be “realistic” for pupils’ abilities and had never considered these types of organisations. With four and a half years work on the CP programme it is now realistic for pupils to undertake work in these settings.

Overall Outcomes and Impacts for Transition

A series of five consecutive weekly visits offered pupils the opportunity to compare and contrast organisations and to strengthen their recall of the experiences. All the organisations and the students found out about each others’ capabilities. Some of the settings involved have access issues which would need to be addressed if young disabled people were to be placed at their premises. By influencing the creative and cultural sector there is a two way exchange between school and community, which offers a more expansive range of possibilities to young disabled people. Raising aspirations of their students is the school’s key business but the wider world needs to take this on as well.

– Offered progression routes from one phase to another or from one place to another

The pupils said “we like being treated as grownups”. Several settings offered longer term placements which the school was keen to follow up. In fact, beyond the life of the project, this has not been thoroughly developed although the school is still working with a number of creative partners.

– Provided creative and cultural organisations with ways in to working with young people from SEN settings

Transition

– Created a positive sense of place and possibility – Enabled creative ways of dealing with change

– Provided opportunities to scaffold change – Provided preparation for co-location – Recognised that transition is bigger than primary to secondary and needs factoring in to different phases of education – Offered opportunities for staff to recognise what pupils were able to do both within and beyond the school setting

– Developed language skills, confidence and self esteem – Created products and art work as a longer term legacy

Transition

Section

2


20

Curious Minds

21

Different Voices

3. Outdoor Learning Curious Minds projects have animated outside areas in school grounds to make them exciting and dynamic places to teach and learn.

Section

2

Transition

Transition

Section

2


22

Different Voices

Dorin Park School and Specialist SEN College – Chester Dorin Park School and Specialist SEN College provides a specialist learning environment for pupils with physical and / or complex needs from age 2-19.

Key impacts revolved around pupils who can be frustrated by lack of language and comprehension, who developed excellent communication with the practitioner because he worked in a sensory, child led manner. Pupils were able to work and focus for longer periods and to work cooperatively on tasks which had previously been difficult. The creation of an outdoor space has given them a place where they can be creative and work more independently. Impacts were evident on behaviour, a sense of self- worth and purpose and the ability to handle tools effectively, safely and sensibly. Sociability also improved.

The school wanted to find out what impact a series of outdoor skills sessions would have on the children’s ability to make relationships and connections and on the pupil’s ability transfer to other settings.

Staff were shown how to look at different areas in a more creative way and particularly ways to use the outdoor spaces for all curriculum areas. Staff are now working to develop these ideas and take them further.

The project was aimed at a small cohort of pupils on the Autistic Spectrum. The school wanted to find out how they could most effectively work with these pupils and to offer them opportunities they often miss out on in order to enhance their learning potential. Often these pupils don’t go on visits as it is too stressful for them. By creating an exciting project which offered unusual opportunities the school hoped to motivate and enthuse pupils so they relaxed, felt safe and were able to begin to lead on their own learning. This project was also part of a programme of work with University of Chester Initial Teacher Trainees (ITT) set up by Curious Minds to develop creativity within the ITT programme and to link the work of school placements and non-standard settings for the students.

Staff said they had found out “it doesn’t take heaps of money and the outdoor spaces can be used for all curriculum areas” Pupils demonstrated how much they liked working with the practitioner because he supported them and as a consequence were well-behaved and weren’t confrontational.

The work took place over an intensive four week period for two days a week allowing for immersion and experimentation by the children. The practitioner was carefully chosen for his skills and ability in outdoor learning and working with pupils with ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition). He sourced materials and resources and used them to work with the children to create a range of different invitational spaces for the children to explore and make their own.

Once located in their new school, staff at Ridgewood wondered how they could enable their pupils to design outside spaces that would create learning opportunities for their school community. The development of the outdoor environment was a stated aim in the school development plan. The area identified was a quadrangle which was seen as plain and bland and in need of development.

“Making Space for Learning”

An enclosed space was developed in a corner of the school grounds which created safety and security for the children. This afforded pupils the opportunity to make their own world rather than have it imposed upon them and created a more improvisational, rather than a very structured, approach to learning. Pupils built a den with found and natural materials such as ropes and cardboard and planted trees to identify a space. They constructed a bird hide and a “secret garden” where they cut holes in the fence at a low level so they could see out and wheelchair users could also see in. The pupils were totally involved in the design and construction of all these areas.

Section

3

23

Curious Minds

Outdoor Learning

Ridgewood School – Burnley, East Lancashire “Creating Space for Creativity”

Cross phase pupils who would not usually work together were involved in the planning process; developing questions and making connections between objects, the environment and their learning. This took the form of tactile and sensory learning opportunities. These pupils had complex emotional difficulties so this way of working brought the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) agenda to the fore.

Outdoor Learning

Section

3


24

Different Voices

Although this was a short project the school has continued to develop this area. Pupils were given a design brief and with practitioners responded to questions around which games would be suitable in the outdoors, how to make them practical, what the suitable materials would be, how to overcome and adapt design problems and how they would be installed and used. The quad now features images of trees and animals and has a trail running through it. There is a board game fitted into planters and the construction club uses this space at lunchtimes. The classes which open out onto the quad use the space in curriculum time for such areas as speech and language, science and horticulture.

Overall Outcomes and Impacts for Outdoor Learning

Another developmental aspect of this work has been outdoor display. Pupils have created signage by weaving shredded carrier bags into wire meshing and created signs like “Toy Store”. This has aided vocabulary development. They have also used frames to work on the ground and create beautiful though impermanent images. Outdoor display goes through a cycle of construction and decay faster than displays indoors so this can be related to life cycles within nature. The school feels there is still work to be done in this area; not just in developing the outdoor spaces but also supporting staff in ways to plan to use the outdoor areas across the curriculum. This is an experience echoed in mainstream outdoor learning projects. Issues of inclement weather and the length of time it takes to attire pupils for the cold and wet makes working outdoors impractical quite a lot of the time. Making the use of outdoor spaces integral to each theme or topic in each curriculum area is where the school continues to place its focus

Section

3

25

Curious Minds

Outdoor Learning

– Pupils were involved in changing their own environments – This work can involve the design and building of learning spaces – Value is placed upon kinaesthetic and sensory learning styles – Pupils recognise what is different working outside and respond positively to not being desk bound – The work brings environmental issues to the fore – Skill development is significant in areas such as tool handling, cooperation and teamwork – Pupils develop pride and self-esteem in making an impact on their school environment – Outdoor display can be used as a learning resource. It is subject to the same cycles of nature in terms of decay and this can also provide learning – Finding ways to incorporate the use of the outdoor spaces into planning and lesson delivery across the curriculum guarantees that spaces are used

Outdoor Learning

Section

3


26

Curious Minds

27

Different Voices

4. Behaviour for Learning Through participating in collaborative, solution-focussed projects young people have developed a range of inter-personal skills and strategies they need to learn effectively.

Section

4

Behaviour for Learning

Behaviour for Learning

Section

4


28

29

Curious Minds

Different Voices

Educational Diversity – Blackpool

Staff felt they were able to take time to explore and exploit creative activities, in a relaxed manner. They were able to establish a different kind of relationship with young people where “nobody’s ideas were any more valid than anybody else’s.”

“Blackpool in 3D” Educational Diversity has six centres across Blackpool that work with young people who have various and often complex needs from medical to emotional and behavioural. This project involved collaboration between two of its centres; the Speedwell Centre and The Willows. Educational Diversity set out to explore the potential of a 3D making project, based on the theme of Blackpool, to support and foster self-esteem, communication, problem-solving and other transferable life skills. They were keen, through the introduction of a collaborative, making project, to create an enjoyable environment in which young people would be able to work together positively. The project was based at the Speedwell Centre and took place over a period of six weeks, one day per week. It involved a group of KS3/4 young people from the Speedwell Centre, all of whom have medical needs, and a group of KS2 pupils from The Willows, which is a pupil referral unit. Two artists were employed to work with learners to develop a 3D model of Blackpool. Young people considered what it was like to live in Blackpool, and what parts of the town they especially liked. They took part in a range of arts activities including photography and plasticine work, went on research trips and documented their experiences. Over the six-week project, the group made a made a 3D model, incorporating places and features they liked such as the Pleasure Beach Theme Park, the park, the lake, a golf course, the seafront and lots of sea creatures. They took pictures of themselves and each-other which were placed inside the model to create different scenarios. The process, discussion and decision-making which took place during the project were much more important than the eventual art-pieces produced. Participants were encouraged to consider and express something about themselves and their environment. Young people collaborated and worked effectively with each-other and the older learners were very supportive of the younger learners. Listening and communication skills were developed within the group and also during research visits to Blackpool, when young people approached fishermen and asked them questions.

Staff were able to observe and reflect on how learners of different ages played differently. The younger learners were particularly engaged in creating plasticine figures and playing with the model. The older learners became most engaged when creating a collage documenting the process. In particular, staff were struck by how much the young learners, most of them very vulnerable young people, became engaged and motivated by the project. As one teacher stated “it’s not often you hear people laughing out loud in here.”

Woolton High School – Liverpool “Overcoming Obstacles” Woolton High is a day and residential school for boys aged 13 to 16 years with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. The school prides itself on providing a supportive environment for all its pupils to develop their social and emotional well-being. The school was interested in the extent to which a cross curricular obstacle course could influence the development of Year 9 pupils’ self-management skills. Many young people at the school have poor emotional literacy and the school was therefore keen to undertake a project in partnership with a new media specialist which would promote team-working, self-awareness and self-management. This Enquiry project took place within the PHSE curriculum, although the course itself involved cross-curricular themes and input from every department in the school. The original idea emerged from the group of young people themselves, following an initial “taster” session with the artist. The media artist taught the groups camera skills and they experimented with the effects they could produce with different angles. An obstacle course was created, which included a range of physical and thinking tasks. The young people chose which ones they wanted to do and over a series of weeks they filmed the process.

A number of problem-solving activities emerged as the project progressed. How, for example, do you construct a roller-coaster out of straws? The group spent a whole session working out how to get a camera to “swoop” over the model to achieve an aerial shot.

Section

4

Behaviour for Learning

Behaviour for Learning

Section

4


30

31

Curious Minds

Different Voices

Tasks included “Nuclear Waste” in which the group had to transport nuclear waste from a Nuclear reactor into a safety device using ropes,” Fox, Chicken, Grain” where they had to cross the river, taking only one thing at a time, without leaving the chicken with the grain or the fox with the chicken and “Two trees and a rope” where a rope is attached across two trees, just too high to jump over, and the group needs to work out how to get to the other side. Young people devised a football obstacle, in which they had to pass, dribble and shoot the ball into the net.

Overall Outcomes and Impacts for Behaviour for Learning

Two classes of Year 9 pupils completed the obstacles. For each they worked out a storyboard and planned how they were going to film the activity. As they became more positive and engaged in the project they made props and experimented with unusual angles to make the videos more interesting; at one point they were dragging bookcases across the room, so that they could shoot from above. At the end of each task, pupils reflected on video about what they had done, how they felt, why they had chosen a specific solution to a problem and what they might do differently next time. This process also helped pupils who are generally very harsh on themselves to identify their own and others’ positive talents and strengths.

– Through participating in collaborative, solution-focussed projects young people have developed a range of transferable skills and strategies. – Creative projects can create positive environments in which cooperation, decision-making and creative problem-solving can take place – Projects can enable young people to gain increased self-awareness and awareness of others – Creative projects promote a “capacity” rather than a “deficit” culture – Even very small shifts in young peoples’ skills and behaviour can have a real impact on engagement, learning and resilience

As the project progressed, there were definite changes in participants’ behaviour and a number demonstrated personal self-management and improved self-control. Incidents of bullying, mocking and aggression towards each-other decreased and examples of team work, collaboration and active encouragement increased. Young people demonstrated organisational and time-management skills, increased flexibility and willingness to try new things. It is interesting to note that the changes in the group’s behaviour and dynamics have had an impact throughout their time at Woolton School. The material was edited into a video which participants could view and possibly relate to other problems / issues in their lives. Other young people can view the video and relate it to their own experiences. The final pupil evaluation reflected the ethos of the project as a whole. Young people were given free rein to creatively represent how they felt they had progressed in their self-management, creative and team-working skills on a large-scale physical graph using coloured tape. This summative selfassessment tool is one which the class teacher continues to use. The enquiry project has enabled staff to develop more creative thematic teaching practices around PLTS and SEAL. In PHSE, this is part of a move away from prescriptive or discussion-based lessons to a model of thematic enquiry. The obstacle course, in a simplified form, continues to be part of the Year 9 PHSE curriculum and changes in behaviour and selfmanagement continue to be observed.

Section

4

Behaviour for Learning

Behaviour for Learning

Section

4


32

Curious Minds

33

Different Voices

5. Communication (Pupil Voice) Communication has been a strong strand of development. In particular, creative approaches have provided many ways into encouraging and valuing different forms of expression, whether signed, spoken, image-based or using body language.

Section

5

Communication (Pupil Voice)

Communication (Pupil Voice)

Section

5


34

Different Voices

Morecambe Road School

Year 10 learners also developed a series of short films based on dreams. Young people wrote a poem on the theme “If I could live my dream…” then filmed these using the green screen, simple props and costume.

“Engagement” Morecambe Road School is a Day Special School for pupils with a range of special educational needs, primarily moderate or severe learning difficulties, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, or autistic spectrum disorders, aged 3 to 16 years. As a Change School, Morecambe Road School undertook a wide range of projects over a three-year period. This included a dance/movement residency to offer new approaches to curriculum subjects, a CPD project offering the new leader of a performing arts curriculum skill development through working with a range of practitioners and a number of projects focussing on new media. The “Engagement” project was an ambitious exploration of how active engagement in new media could positively enhance teaching and learning within the school. The creative media involved included animation, filmmaking, editing, sound-recording, pod-casts and interactive whiteboards. This project did not focus on teaching new techniques, but rather on exploring different ways of teaching and learning. Three practitioners specialising in new media were involved, each of them working with a specific class and a particular curricular focus: Year 6 learners devised and created a series of animations using shadow puppetry to explore experiences of World War 2. They also made a film on the theme of “Dig for Victory” Year 7 learners focussed on text called “Dream On”. They created a game-show based on the book and quizzed each-other about its themes including racism and football. Year 10 worked on a number of linked projects, using new media to enhance the curriculum: They increased their understanding of Romeo and Juliet by creating news reports based on the scene where Mercutio is killed by Tybalt. The newsroom was created using a green screen and scenes were filmed in the school grounds. They considered stories from other cultures and used shadow-puppetry and stop motion animation. The class identified key messages and actions, created a storyboard, devised a sound-track and brought everything together in an animated film based on a traditional story from Togoland.

Section

5

35

Curious Minds

Communication (Pupil Voice)

The “Engagement” project culminated in a film and media festival which showcased all of the animation and film work which had taken place across the school. Parents, carers, representatives of other schools and the wider community were invited to this event which was an important opportunity to profile and celebrate the achievements of the young people involved and disseminate the values of creativity beyond those who had participated directly in the project. The film and media festival offers an exciting model for a potentially annual celebratory event. In addition to developing skills in sound recording, editing, green screen, and a range of technical language, young people developed their communication skills in a number of ways. The project increased selfesteem and built confidence. Young people were able to express their feelings and opinions through film and developed self-reflection through the editing process. Working as a team required good listening and cooperative skills. Ideas introduced during the “Engagement” project have become integral to the curriculum, and learners look forward to coming into KS4 and making their own “dream videos”. Film and new media have been incorporated increasingly across the curriculum and are also offering new ways of assessing and evaluating learner progress and achievement. Staff have developed the skills and confidence to utilise film in a range of other settings, including documentation of Duke of Edinburgh activities.

Royal Cross Primary School – Preston “Creative ICT” Royal Cross is Lancashire’s only school for deaf children, based in Preston drawing pupils from across the region. The school believes that communication is the key to success and everything it does is geared towards developing language and communication skills. As a Change School, Royal Cross undertook a wide range of projects on this key theme of communication. Projects included “Rainbows of Sound” which explored the use of specialist music and sound equipment with pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties and “The Write Ideas” which focussed on developing creative approaches to children’s writing.

Communication (Pupil Voice)

Section

5


36

Different Voices

The “Creative ICT” project was an extension of the previous year’s “Creative Communication” project, during which the school had explored the role of ICT alongside dance and visual arts, in supporting staff to extend their teaching styles through creative practice. The practitioner had worked with students to explore new digital media approaches, but school staff had found it difficult to retain information as they had the dual roles of teacher and interpreter. This year the focus was on embedding practice within the school by passing on a range of new media skills to the staff themselves, who would then utilise the ICT in their day-to-day teaching.

Young people have experienced their media-based work being valued and encouraged, however unconventional it might be. An ethos of “no right or wrong” has encouraged experimentation and opened up boundaries. Kinaesthetic learners have benefitted from increased use of visual stimulus and prompts. For example, the introduction of photostories as prompts is now being introduced to support the communication of young people with communication difficulties at review meetings.

The practitioner worked with four staff members; a combination of teachers and teaching assistants (TAs). Initially, staff were going to train as a team, but due to low staffing levels this wasn’t feasible. Staff identified their own aims for the project. The practitioner then developed a personalised programme and worked with each staff member on a oneto-one basis, initially for one hour a day, then for half a day, to ensure time was spent looking at concepts and approaches in sufficient detail.

Cribden House School – Rawtenstall

Requirements of staff ranged from taking effective photographs to complex editing operations. The areas covered included Photoshop, Premier Elements, 2Animate, Textease, developing slideshows, creating stories, improving photography skills, organising photos and creative documentation. School staff have gained confidence in a range of skills and have now started to incorporate much more ICT into their day-to-day teaching. Staff have started using the Smartboard more in school assemblies, offering more work for inclusion on interactive display screen in reception and there is much wider adoption of Textease as a teaching tool The school has invested in new editing software, flip-cams and a LCD monitor. It has plans to incorporate its new ICT knowledge in the development of a Moodle and school website, which will offer new ways of interacting with parents and learners. Each of the four people who have been trained has a different skill set to bring to their teaching, which can be passed on to other members of staff, so that the use of ICT in school can be sustained and developed across the school. Learners are already benefitting from teachers’ enthusiasm for, and engagement in, new approaches to ICT. They have gained hands-on experience of a range of equipment and have taken control of recording activities across the school and filming a number of celebration events. The freedom young people have been given with equipment has raised their motivation and their confidence to communicate effectively.

Section

5

37

Curious Minds

Communication (Pupil Voice)

“Inspire to Aspire” Cribden House is a day school that accommodates 40 primary aged children who have Statements of Special Educational Need for Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. The school serves the area of East Lancashire. This Enquiry project sought to develop new strategies for delivering literacy within the curriculum through the use of drama, dance, poetry and working outside the classroom. It aimed to contribute to staff development and support the ongoing development within the school of a more creative curriculum. In doing this, it aimed to raise children’s vocabulary, communication skills, thinking skills and confidence. Four artists with a range of skills including poetry, dance, drama, storytelling and thinking skills developed work in the school as part of a week-long “WOW” week. Regular meetings of practitioners and school staff meant delivery and planning were part of a dynamic, collaborative and emergent process. Practical sessions offered vocabulary extension, opportunities to use new-found words and structured discussion. A wide range of creative activities introduced by the practitioners approached literacy from quite surprising directions including development of circle time techniques using objects and artefacts, using a “magic box” as inspiration for adjectives and “wow” words, creating new board games and setting up a number of outdoor adventures and trails in the school grounds to create oral stories.

Communication (Pupil Voice)

Section

5


38

Different Voices

Particularly successful elements of the project included daydreaming; relaxing to music then asking learners to draw and write down what they saw and heard in their minds and the development of personal journals as a way of keeping records of drafts and work in progress, with a private rear section for personal reflection.

Overall Outcomes and Impacts for Communication (Pupil Voice)

The project promoted imagination, language and communication skills. There was clear well-documented progress recorded in learners’ writing, speaking and listening skills. Pupils who were extremely reluctant to write at the beginning of the project producing more written work than they had ever written before. There was much evidence of reflective learning throughout the creative sessions, as children were encouraged to discuss their own ideas and listen to the ideas of others. Throughout the project children were encouraged to speak and write their own ideas in a safe environment without fear of failure and with a strong sense of owning the work. It was clear they experienced success and were keen to share their ideas with others, communicating their enthusiasm through school assemblies. The project offered a number of learning resources and classroom strategies which staff are continuing to develop and make their own. These include working journals for notes and personal reflection, storysacks to create stories, and day-dreaming exercises as stimulus for oral communication and writing. Staff have been encouraged to adopt a more practical, child-led approach; asking more questions, encouraging children to contribute ideas and acting on these ideas, so that lessons are genuinely meeting the needs of individual learners. As one staff member stated: “by forcing us to take risks the project has given us the ability to problem-solve and take on new challenges positively.”

Section

5

39

Curious Minds

Communication (Pupil Voice)

– Creative approaches have provided many ways into encouraging and valuing different forms of expression, whether signed, spoken, image-based or using body language. – Creative projects enable young people to develop speaking and listening skills and to develop writing and image-based communication. – Creative media can enable learners and staff to document and evidence learning, especially by those who find written or spoken language challenging. – Projects can make an important contribution to person-centred approaches and to the support and promotion of learner voice – Creative approaches can make positive contributions to communications with parents, carers and the wider school community. – Projects have highlighted the importance of CPD in order that staff have the skills and confidence to utilise new media in their day-today teaching

Communication (Pupil Voice)

Section

5


40

Curious Minds

41

Different Voices

6. Most Successful Projects

Section

6

Most Successful SEN projects

Most Successful SEN projects

Section

6


42

Curious Minds

43

Different Voices

The most successful Creative Partnerships projects in SEN settings are those where: – A planned and thorough induction for practitioners has been built into the project, including sharing the school’s vision, ethos, protocols and procedures. – A planned and thorough introduction to the group, including opportunities for practitioners to meet and observe groups prior to the start of a project has been built in. – Planning, delivery and reflection have involved practitioners, teachers and TAs working together and building on the skills and knowledge of all involved. Planning and reflection time have been built into the process to ensure that projects could be adapted to respond to needs and opportunities as they arose. – Practitioners already have experience of working in SEN settings, but also have the flexibility and the ability to personalise their approach. They have an open attitude to learning themselves and offer bespoke projects for particular schools and particular groups of young people. – Practitioners have been flexible, responsive and non-judgemental in their approach. Whilst working within a framework, they have been able to be spontaneous and trust the process. This approach has been modelled to staff and has developed scope for spontaneity and child-centred approaches.

– Continuing Professional Development for staff has been built in as an integral part of the project. – Child-led approaches and learner voice have been central; engaging and responding to lots of different voices, expressed in lots of different ways. – Layering, pacing and a range of practical, differentiated creative approaches have offered scope for personalised learning. Individual responses have been encouraged and valued. This has helped construct future approaches to learning. – The introduction of a range of different media, approaches and technologies has especially enabled kinaesthetic learners to engage meaningfully in activities. – Progression has been recognised in lots of different ways, in recognition of the fact that progress is different for each child. Creative approaches have offered opportunities for collecting a range of creative evidence of learning. – The overall programme has contributed to a shift towards a more flexible, creative approach to teaching and learning across a whole school.

– Projects have recognised, valued and utilised the creative skills of teachers and other staff, as well as their detailed knowledge of pupils and their preferred ways of learning. – Projects have adopted a “can do” approach, building on the skills and capacities of all the young people involved. – Projects have placed strong emphasis on process; taking time to explore and experiment in balance with any sharing or product. – Projects have engendered an informal, relaxed atmosphere, where teachers have expressed that they feel less constrained than usual. – Time and space have been built into projects to enable all young people to participate at their own pace and in their own way.

Section

6

Most Successful SEN projects

Most Successful SEN projects

Section

6


44

Curious Minds

45

Different Voices

Hope School, Liverpool – Change School Projects

7. Mapping the Projects

PLTS – looked at how to promote independent creative thinkers and learners, team workers and self-managers to develop a creative curriculum. Artforms: Design and graphic arts and illustration Learning Together - focused on how to develop a creative curriculum that would meet the individual needs of pupils in the school. Artforms: Moving images and animation Developing Aspirations – sought to find out how to use creativity to promote and develop aspirations. Artforms: Crafts, moving images, film and video

Tor View Community Special School, Haslingden East Lancs – Hub School then Change School Projects Me and My School - a way of introducing the school to the CP programme and creatively mapping the school then developing narrative through story and drama Artforms: Photography, ceramics, story, drama, puppetry Window on the World of Work – invited students to creatively explore their hopes and aspirations in the world of work/work placements Artforms: Dance and film/video King Hei Fat Choy – introduced pupils to Chinese Culture and helped them develop their own Chinese New Year celebrations Artforms: Calligraphy, dance, tai chi, lantern making, mask making

Section

7

Mapping the Projects

Mapping the Projects

Section

7


46

Different Voices

Fruit and Vegetables – offered pupils the opportunity to make links with different cultures and explore these cultures through their food.

Ridgewood Community High School, Burnley, East Lancs – Change School

Artforms: Creative cookery Developing a Dance Curriculum - offered pupils a range of approaches to dance( e.g through narrative and improvisation) to engage them in the development of a dance curriculum Artforms: Dance and film/photography What did the Romans ever do for us? (part 1) Constructing the Colossus (part 2) – major outdoor learning project which engaged pupils in the design and construction of an amphitheatre in the school grounds Artforms: Mosaic, design, landscape architecture and horticulture, creative cookery, construction, music, dance The Beat Goes On – looked at how learner voice and creative communication could be developed through music and song Artforms: Choral singing, experimental music and world music Making Space for Change – investigated how to create interactive learning displays with pupils that demonstrated both process and product and invited engagement from others Artforms: Fine art, photography, film/video Embedding and Sustaining Creativity - sought ways to embed creative and collaborative planning and teaching and learning across the whole school community to ensure long term sustainability of the work Artforms: Dance, music, film, digital technology Making the Links - aimed to consolidate relationships with creative and cultural organisations to promote the practice of student work placements Artforms: Community arts, theatre, publishing, arts development, visual arts

Section

7

47

Curious Minds

Mapping the Projects

Projects Essence 11 – aimed to identify how working with a professional artist would assist young people to communicate their ideas about transition to a new building. Artforms: Craft, design Creating Space for Creativity – looked at how pupils could be enabled to design outside spaces which would create learning opportunities for the school community. Artforms: Craft, design Creative Multimedia - aimed to enhance the use of ICT to support creative teaching and learning through a “Day in the Life of the School” approach. Artforms: Experimental and electronic music, multi media Building Confidence- focussed on ways of increasing ownership of the new school building by using it as a creative tool for teaching and learning. Artforms: Interdisciplinary arts Imaging Raindrops 111- this project used public art as a way of working with staff and pupils to create work on this scale to take into their new setting Artforms: Crafts, design, public art Pupils take the Lead – Year 7 pupils worked with a drama practitioner to build their confidence, communication skills and engagement in learning. Artforms: Puppetry, mime, physical theatre

Mapping the Projects

Section

7


48

49

Curious Minds

Different Voices

Royal Cross School for the Deaf, Preston, Lancs – Enquiry and then Change School

Morecambe Road School, Morecambe, Lancs – Change School

Projects

Projects

Changes – Looked at how language and communication could be improved by working alongside creative practitioners on a themed approach.

Looking for Direction – used a dance/movement residency to offer new approaches to curriculum subjects.

Artforms: Poetry and crafts Creative Communication – enquired into how staff could develop their teaching styles by exploring communication through creative practices. Artforms: Interdisciplinary

Artforms: Community dance and storytelling Relate to Your Space – sought to discover ways in which creative activities develop in young people an increased awareness of their environment and looked at how they might take responsibility for changing and improving it. Artforms: Fine art, design, science

Rainbows of Sound – wanted to identify how the use of specialist music and sound could impact the development of communication and awareness with pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Tribes – Worked on the relationship between participation and inspiration in terms of activity and how might this embed creative practice.

Artforms: Music and sound

Artforms: Community music, dance, carnival and cultural festivals, design

The Write ideas – explored how the overall standard of children’s literacy skills could be improved by creative approaches to developing children’s writing.

Engagement – a project about active engagement in new media and how this could enhance learning achievements.

Artforms: Prose fiction, mime and physical theatre. Creative ICT – identified how staff could embed creative approaches to teaching and communication through further use of ICT. Artforms: New media film/video

Artforms: Sound art, poetry New Start – offered the new leader of a performing arts curriculum skill development through a sustained input from a range of practitioners. Artforms: Community and contemporary music Multimedia Explosion – created real contexts for learning in order to raise standards for writing by working with practitioners to develop multimedia presentations. Artforms: New writing, film, video

Section

7

Mapping the Projects

Mapping the Projects

Section

7


50

51

Curious Minds

Different Voices

Woolton, Liverpool – Enquiry School

Acorns Primary School – Enquiry School

Overcoming Obstacles – explored how pupils could acquire self management skills through the development of a cross curricula obstacle course.

Sharing the Story – developed approaches to story and music making. Enquired into ways the school could develop higher degrees of engagement in learning through participative story and music making.

Artforms: Moving image and TV

Artforms: Storytelling, community music

Cribden House, Rawtenstall, East Lancs – Enquiry School

The Rose School – Enquiry School

Inspire to Aspire – to find ways to develop a sustainable creative programme and develop teachers strategies for delivering literacy within the curriculum.

Mathematical Movements – Explored ways in which the use of kinaesthetic techniques could impact on attainment and motivation within the maths curriculum. Artforms: Multidisciplinary

Artforms: Combined arts, story, non-fiction prose

Educational Diversity – Enquiry School Projects

Project Not Roadkill!! – Identified ways in which pupil’s personal safety could be explored to enhance their learning potential.

Creative Citizenship – Working with a Year 10 group through citizenship and PSHE this project looked for ways in which creative approaches could positively impact on the engagement of this group of students.

Artforms: New writing, drama and film making

Artforms: Visual arts Blackpool in 3D – Fostering support and self esteem along with transferable life skills across the Educational Diversity Group was explored through the development of a 3D visual theatrical model of Blackpool. Artforms: Drama, moving images, architecture and crafts

Section

7

Hendon Brook Short Stay Primary PRU – Enquiry School

Mapping the Projects

Dorin Park School and Specialist SEN College – Enquiry School Making Spaces for Learning – What Impact would a series of outdoor skills sessions have on the children’s ability to make relationships, transfer to other settings and make connections? Artforms: Craft, design and graphic art

Mapping the Projects

Section

7


enablingcreativecollaboration Curious Minds, Lodge House,

t. 01282 435835

Twitter @curiousmindsnw

schools@curiousminds.org.uk

Sign up for the Curious Minds E-bulletin www.curiousminds.org.uk/register

www.curiousminds.org.uk

Cow Lane, Burnley, Lancs, BB11 1NN

Different Voices  

Celebrating the inspiring and creative range of work that has taken place in SEN settings with Curious Minds