CREATIVE COMMUNITIES ANNUAL REPORT 2010-2011
The front cover was created by Year 7 students, as part of their Identity project during which they explored their own identity, the identity of their tutor group, their school and the community.
INTRODUCTION At Thomas Tallis School we value community learning and we enjoy collaborating with a huge variety of people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Each year, we co-ordinate a wide range of creative learning opportunities with primary and secondary schools, colleges, youth centres, local residents, arts organizations, businesses, arts practitioners and outdoor education centres. We are outward facing in our attitude to learning. We recognize that we rely on the creative participation of our community partners to make learning successful for our students. We are very excited by the emergence of a brand new community on our doorstep, our wonderful new school building and the many new opportunities we have to learn with partners across the globe.
Byron Parker Executive Headteacher Thomas Tallis has a long history of working with outside agencies, local community groups, other schools locally and internationally, as well as with professionals working across a range of disciplines. We have always valued how joining a network of other learners, and how collaborating with other professionals working within education and beyond, brings benefit to our students, our parents, our staff and to the wider community. Our status as an Arts College, formerly as a Beacon School and then latterly as a Leading Edge School mean that partnership is something that is built into the heartbeat of our vision and community. We are very proud of the magnificent new school which we have designed and which we will move into this October. Such an excellent resource for learning will provide wonderful opportunities for our students and the local community. We have the highest
aspirations for the way in which local people will use Thomas Tallis school as a central base for learning and want to make the very best use of these facilities. From early in the morning until late at night we want our school to be a thriving centre for creativity and excellence as a hub for learning in the local community. We want everyone to be as excited as we are about the potential for the diversity of our community to collaborate and develop together. We already have many examples of this taking place and some of these are showcased in this booklet which highlights a selection of the community projects and partnerships which we are most proud of. I hope you enjoy reading about them and the impact they have had for learners. I also hope they prove to be a catalyst to you thinking about ways in which we could join in partnership with you at some point in the near future.
Trish Dooley Deputy Head responsible for Community Cohesion Well, what an exciting time ahead. With so much anticipation, we finally move into our new building in October. We are busy planning a community use strategy which will offer members of our community the opportunity to share in our amazing facilities. If you have any suggestions about how you would like to contribute to this, whether as a participant or someone who could offer a service, please contact me. We are still refining our parent consultation programme so if you have any suggestions to improve this again, please let me know. We are also developing our links with International schools to help enhance our studentsâ€™ global citizenship.
Lisa Sproat Creative Communities Development Manager â€?Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.â€? Henry Ford Celebrating our past and looking forward to our future Thomas Tallis move to a brand new building that will house our local community and shape its further existence. We take with us our memories and all we have learnt. Ready to receive the families and young people of the future, moving forward together I am positive we will reach great heights.
GARGANTUA Big Baby, Big Show “The ensemble threw themselves into it with everything, they grabbed the audience and didn’t let go until the lights went down”... “the production was hugely life affirming, energised and fun. “
This year the Thomas Tallis School drama department applied to be part of The National Theatre Connections Festival, involving 200 schools and theatre companies from across the country. Each company was given the opportunity to perform one of ten new plays at a professional theatre in the West End of London. After much deliberation we chose to perform Gargantua written by Carl Grose. It is a melodrama, set in the 1950s, and follows the lives of Mini and Marcus Mungus in the town of Skanton Marsh. After being too scared to give birth, Mini finally succumbs after 2 years of pregnancy resulting in baby Hugh....Hugh Mungas! After officially entering the record books as the world’s biggest baby and reaching 200ft Hugh is captured by the government who are hoping to harness the genetically modified DNA to create an army of super babies.
Hugh on the other hand has other ideas.... With the world famous Dummy Suckers as our backing band, Gargantua was an energetic and vibrant ensemble piece that grabbed the audience’s attention right from the opening number. A roaring success, Gargantua performed to three sell out audiences as well as one night at the Soho Theatre. It was a fantastically enjoyable experience for all involved.
WORLD CREATIVITY FORUM Our Pop Up School Adventure
“The Oklahoma trip is an experience I will never forget; great people, great food, amazing culture and most importantly, a trip with creativity at the heart”
In November 2010, eight students and two members of staff from Thomas Tallis School, traveled to Oklahoma USA to present our thoughts about creative learning and the future of schools at the Creativity World Forum. The trip was the culmination of a three month long project co-ordinated by A New Direction, the London delivery organisation for the national Creative Partnerships programme, designed to promote collaboration between schools in London and Oklahoma. Representatives from three London schools (Tallis, Stormont House and Gallions) collaborated with partner schools in Oklahoma (Howe High, Harding Fine Arts Academy and Stanley Hupfield Academy), all members of the A+ network. We began our collaboration virtually, using a variety of social networking tools to explore our shared understanding of creative learning. These tools included Tumblr blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Ning and Skype. Eventually, a suggestion emerged that we might attempt to create a pop up school at the Oklahoma conference in order to demonstrate some of our thoughts about creative learning in the 21st century. The idea resulted from our investigation of the Pop Up phenomenon in London and
beyond during the summer of 2010. Our Tallis Lab curriculum is concerned with exploring the benefits of Web 2.0 tools and a more project based approach to learning and we had begun to make really effective use of blogging, web design and social media. We were determined to carve out a significant space for ourselves at the conference so that young learners could showcase their ability to work collaboratively using new media. Our experience at the conference in Oklahoma was fascinating. We established our Pop Up School in an unofficial corner of the conference hall (Booth 100 ½) and engaged delegates with a variety of tasks hosted on our popupschool website. We scavenged resources from other exhibitors and plastered our corner of the smart, corporate looking venue with handdrawn posters, notes and provocations. We used Twitcam to broadcast live from the stage during our choreographed presentation to 1500 delegates. We made films, did research, created podcasts - mostly from our new iPod Touch devices equipped with the relevant apps - iMovie, Audioboo, Tumblr etc. The younger students (Year 5) sang songs in the foyer (rather like a Flashmob event) or asked a series of
challenging, open-ended questions designed to make delegates really stop and think. We aimed to give our learners an opportunity to engage with adults as equals, as co-learners and to publish their thoughts and reflections to a real audience online. The response was very positive: #popupschool was by far my favourite thing at the #CWF2010 RT @ shannoninottawa the future is unwritten http://bit.ly/dzpt4d We met teachers, lecturers, business people, video game designers, educational consultants and others keen to know what we up to. We made faceto-face contact with some of our Twitter friends (Tweeps) and began planning some collaborative projects. In between our activities on the conference floor, we took turns to watch the keynote addresses of various inspirational figures. We had the privilege of meeting and chatting to Sir Ken Robinson, who was very keen to find out about the changes taking place in the UK education system. Two of our team members spoke to representatives from the 14 international districts of creativity at a special gala dinner, promoting the notion of creative, student led, temporary learning adventures.
The most valuable lesson we learned was just how easy and powerful it is to connect with other learners and learning professionals (we’re not very fond of the word teacher) in far off places. Tammy Parks at Howe High School was our partner in the project and has proved to be an inspirational colleague and a leading figure in our PLNs (Personal Learning Networks). We conducted several Skype conversations with her and her students in the lead up to the conference and we were inspired by her story. Their physical isolation has been a spur to innovation. In order to give their students access to 21st century learning they have harnessed the power of the Internet and the skills of broadcast journalism to connect them with the rest of the world. Our experiences at the conference have given us a great deal of confidence to continue to develop awareness of the power of social networking to promote exciting, authentic, creative, international learning activities. On Saturday 19 March, Arts College Manager Jon Nicholls and Assistant Headteacher Soren Hawes were invited to speak at the National Society for Education in Art & Design annual conference. The theme of this year’s
conference was Inclusion, Diversity and Globalisation and featured presentations by academics, creative practitioners and education professionals. Our talk focused on ‘Networking with colleagues: Global and Local’. We shared our experience of attending the World Creativity Forum event in Oklahoma in November 2010 and our concept of a Pop Up School. We also described the many ways in which Thomas Tallis School has begun to build a learning network across the globe of practitioners committed to developing creative approaches to learning. We presented two stories that we felt exemplified the value of building and maintaining a personal learning network. Our collaboration with Tammy Parks at Howe High School in Oklahoma has taught us that geographical isolation is no barrier to effective creative and cultural learning. Howe is three hours drive from the nearest town and has a population of only 2000. Tammy has pioneered the use of media technologies, social networking and video conferencing to give her students access to real audiences and a culturally rich curriculum. She runs a TV network in her classroom, broadcasting high school basketball games live on the Internet to the surrounding community, creating news programmes and running virtual field trips for students across the
United States. Tammy is a passionate professional learner who continues to inspire us to become an increasingly outward facing school. Billy Rowlinson, one of our Media and Photography students, has demonstrated beyond doubt the value of getting connected in an increasingly digital world. Billy has built an impressive portfolio of his work online and regularly publishes his creative output to a worldwide audience. In October 2010, Billy won an online photography competition and became an official photojournalist at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. He is now hoping to gain a pass for the 2012 games and negotiate an internship with a media company. Billy uses a range of web-based tools to maintain his network of contacts and potential employers. During our talk we used Google Docs to establish and populate a virtual Pop Up School. We wanted to demonstrate how easy it is with the tools available online to connect with other learners, share skills, knowledge and experiences and develop a Personal Learning Network. Feedback from delegates at the conference was very positive and we are looking forward to maintaining close links with the NSEAD.
“Inclusive activities for all, our students celebrated their diversity and EAL children recorded thoughts about their local area in their own language”.
WEB PLAY Local learning for our little ones Web Play is an arts education charity that combines drama and technology to create inspirational, cross-curricular projects for schools that support children’s achievement, creativity and cross-cultural awareness. Local schools are linked online to collaborate with each other and with professional theatre and drama artists. Through drama and technology, the project helps children not only develop their literacy, drama, numeracy and ICT skills but also build on their knowledge of history, geography and citizenship. The websites used are secure and for students and teachers only. One of these is ThinkQuest, which enables students and teachers to exchange ideas with drama professionals and communicate with partner schools across the world. Web Play launched in January 2000 with six schools from London and Los Angeles. Since then, over 200 schools and 20,000 children have taken part in projects across the UK, the US
and India. Most recently Thomas Tallis School commissioned Web Play to work with four local primary schools, Holly Family, Horn Park, Brooklands and Kidbrooke Park. These four schools embarked on an interesting virtual journey together sharing knowledge of their local surroundings. The teachers of the selected classes took part in a training day and taught each class in the role of a secret agent. During the project students learned about Internet safety and appropriate online behavior. They researched their specific local areas both online and through walks and interviews with residents. All four primary schools attended a ‘Secret Meeting’ drama workshop, held at Thomas Tallis School, where partner classes met in person and used improvisation and drama techniques to further investigate their local community. Year 12 drama students from Tallis received a day of training from
a Web Play actor, in which they were taught how to facilitate and support the primary school students at the ‘Secret Meeting’. The Tallis students rose to the challenge and were fantastic creative ambassadors. The younger students worked in small teams to create multimedia ‘guidebooks’ of their local area. The schools had a Web Play end of project celebration, which included a digital pack with downloadable resources and certificates. We were delighted to be able to promote and host this project with our partner schools since the creative use of new technologies is central to our mission, both as a specialist arts college and national School of Creativity.
CREATIVITY SUMMER SCHOOL Transforming everyday items and sounds into something remarkable Funded jointly by Thomas Tallis and Kidbrooke Schools and co-ordinated by Emergency Exit Arts, the Creativity Summer School takes place each year during the summer holidays. Recycling and the process of transforming everyday items and sounds into something remarkable inspired this year’s theme, The Power of Transformation. The aim of the A2 Summer School is to engage young people in Years 6 and 7 who are either existing students or are joining Kidbrooke or Thomas Tallis Secondary Schools. Along with developing the artistic skills and creative thinking of the participants, the project aims to ease the transition between primary and secondary school by acclimatising young people to new surroundings and experiences, by giving them the chance to meet other students and members of staff. This year we employed several Youth
Consultants, aged 14-16, who were directly involved in the planning process and the delivery of the project. The week long summer school culminated in a sharing of work with family and friends at Kidbrooke School on the final day. A remarkable array of artifacts had been designed, including two mobile percussion kits of recycled materials, shopping trolley monsters and personalised, hand printed costumes. Participants, along with their families, also had the opportunity to be part of the spectacular international Mayor’s Thames Festival Night Carnival on 12th September 2010 on the South Bank. This is always an amazing event and was very well supported. There was a real sense of community as we paraded with hundreds of other revelers in the twilight lantern procession, showcasing our creativity and performing to a large and enthusiastic crowd.
“I think all of it has helped my self confidence because I made friends with people going to Tallis”
FRENCH AT LEE MANOR PRIMARY SCHOOL “apprendre ensemble” “I really enjoyed the experience. It has been lovely to work with younger children. I have particularly enjoyed meeting children who will be coming to Thomas Tallis next year and also brothers and sisters of children I already teach. I hope that this helps bridge some of the gaps between Primary and Secondary education.”
One of Thomas Tallis School’s languages teachers, Miss Crocker, has been helping out with a year 6 class at Lee Manor Primary School by teaching them French every Thursday for one term. Their teacher, Miss Baird, has been very grateful as she is required to teach French to the class but has unfortunately not studied French before. The year 6 students have been working on pronunciation and classroom instructions as well as revising some of the vocabulary that they had previously learnt. We have also played games and sung songs in French to help develop their skills. It’s been good fun. I think that it has been a really useful for Miss Baird to have a French speaker in class as she has been learning alongside the students.
“Thanks, I thought it was really good, they were all really enjoying it! So was I! The students have been saying lots of things that you’ve told them! Thanks!”
JOINT ART PROJECT WITH OUR LADY OF GRACE PRIMARY Going for Gold!
Between April and July 2011 Thomas Tallis School and Our Lady of Grace Primary School devised and delivered a joint Art Project. Working in collaboration with the school’s Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator we produced a scheme of work that incorporated art and the Olympic Games. Weekly lessons culminated in a new display. A small group of Year 12 Art and Design students provided fantastic support; these students gained both experience and a Community Arts Award. The team taught eight Gifted and Talented primary pupils, the lessons including work on colour, form, shape and composition. Over the course of several weeks, the pupils created mascots, flags and medals in preparation for the display. The display was finally revealed to the whole school at
the beginning of July and will remain there for all to see until the opening Olympic ceremony in 2012. The entire project was a huge success; the Thomas Tallis students found the experience great fun while the primary pupils embraced being taught new and exciting materials and techniques by older peers. A project for next year is already in the pipeline.
“all children thoroughly enjoyed the project and the new display hangs with pride for all to see and appreciate.” “As a school we will continue our links with Thomas Tallis School, helpig both primary and secondary art progression.”
LEARNING AWAY Raising the bar in English, Maths and Science The goals of this trip were to focus in on helping students to reach Level 5 and make the progress they need in the last stage of Year 9, to support their self-esteem and confidence and to have fun as a learning community. There was a specific focus on supporting their progress in Maths, English and Science with the workshops being tailored to the needs of the different students and delivered by a specialist team of staff over the two days. The students were also given a degree of control in what took place on the event with them deciding the operation of bedtime, the set up of the evening events and reflecting on what happened at different points over the two days. There was a big emphasis on listening and talking to reflect on our learning and operation as a community with student voice placed centre stage. Our First Decision An important part of the residential we are running is to give students a say in how certain aspects ran. The first question they had to consider at the start is ‘What time should bedtime be?’ Students broke into small teams called Home Groups and discussed this. A representative from each group
came to a council meeting to make the decision. The students were actively involved in discussing and considering this, especially as they had to think about making sure the whole community would be accommodated. Maths - Measurement and Scale One group of students were challenged to use the grounds of Margaret Macmillan House Field Centre to measure distances of particular items and areas. They had to work as a team to record the measurements and then decide on a scale that allowed them to plot this information as a map. Collaborating in this way allowed them to practice their number, ratio and spatial skills, as well as to apply number concepts to reality. English - Analysing Poetry The first session on English was all about analysing a poem called “City Jungle” by Pie Corbett. Focusing in on the analysis of language, in particular the techniques of personification and alliteration. This is the kind of analysis that allows students to achieve higher levels, especially when they then apply it to their own creative writing. Groups of between 11 and 14 students worked collaboratively to analyse the poem, to consider the
meaning of personification and then apply it to the composition of a poem as a group. Science – Making Progress on the Rates of Reaction. On the Friday morning the students split into two teams and worked on the factors that affect the rate of reaction. The students had to carry out an experiment and record the time it took a piece of magnesium to dissolve in acid at different concentrations. They planned how they would go about this, made their recordings and presented them as a graph. They then carefully considered what they had discovered. With the support and guidance of two of our specialist Science teachers, Mr Smythe and Mr Sawyer, the students drew out the range of factors and explained the affect they had. This allowed the students to demonstrate and reflect their progress in relation to their skills and understanding in Science. Most students made excellent progress and were staggered by how much their thinking had moved on because they had been able to focus on a precise are of their learning for a concentrated period of time.
A personification poem about Thomas Tallis from our Year 9 students
“The year base doors clap their hands, The door handles beam their eyes at you, The windows stare right back, As the cafeteria breathes in students to give them their food, The links like arms springing outwards like a Yo-Yo, Carry the hungry students forward, And the corridors once again scream out ‘Help!’ ”
DRAMA AT HOLY FAMILY PRIMARY SCHOOL Year 6 take to the stage The project began with an initial aim to explore the power of drama as a learning medium to support literacy in year 6 at Holy Family School. The weekly workshops focused on the historical theme of evacuees from the Second World War using the stimulus ‘Good Night Mr Tom.’ The collaboration began with a visit to Thomas Tallis School’s drama studio where the students from Holy Family were submerged into the lives of four evacuees on a train to the countryside (played by a few of our very own talented year 7 students!) The mentors led drama games and supported the year 6 students to model drama and the team work ethic needed for this creative way of working. We explored performance skills, such as creating characters, several styles, including mime, a range of drama techniques and devising scenes. Each student wrote a monologue based on an evacuee character they created and had to consider use of voice
and how to manipulate the body to communicate meaning. The students were fantastic to work with and showed real imagination and creativity. Over the term, they reflected a real growth in confidence and ability to work together. It was a positive experience, which showed the power drama has to inspire and motivate learners.
made me feel more alive and free to express myself.”
“When we work in teams it helps us talk to people we wouldn’t normally talk to.” “I like showing other people what I can do.” “It helped me show that I’m not too afraid to do things.”
INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS Developing and celebrating worldwide... Thomas Tallis School has been awarded the Intermediate International School, UNESCO Associated Schools and the Get Set Network Awards. This is in recognition of the work completed to date in promoting global awareness and the ambitious plans we have for further developing this aspect of the wider curriculum. Intermediate International Schools Award This award recognises the curriculum-based international work currently undertaken at Thomas Tallis School. It offers a framework to develop international partnerships and achieve curriculum goals, whilst developing collaborative curriculum-based international work with our partner schools. UNESCO The award recognizes that Thomas Tallis School is a model for UNESCO’s values including: peace, tolerance, human rights, cultural diversity and sustainable development. This was achieved by integrating these study themes within the curriculum including features such as international cross-curricular days, cultural festivals, the awareness of human rights and links with partner schools abroad. Through Connecting Classrooms and other international projects within the school, we are currently working towards the Full International Schools Award.
Connecting Classrooms Thomas Tallis School is taking part in the North Africa project and has been partnered with a cluster of 11 schools in Egypt. The local schools within our cluster are Horn Park, Fossdene, The Gordan and Holy Family Primary Schools. David Roll, Headteacher at Horn Park Primary School, is leading the cluster, supported by the Thomas Tallis Connecting Classrooms Coordinator and Head of Citizenship, Erin Culley. Community Cohesion is a key priority for Tallis and our aim is to develop and improve links with other schools, both locally and globally. The Connecting Classrooms link has been made through the Wellbeing curriculum. A scheme of work has been introduced with the current year 7 students on the theme “Getting to know you,” which will touch on Citizenship and R.E issues. In the following academic year, the focus will be on the Olympics and in the third, the environment. Rep London Represent London is a three year employability and volunteering programme which will leave a legacy of young people who will thrive in education and employment through the development of key skills, raised aspirations and the acquisition of community/ business skills.
Fifteen Year 11 students will be taking part in providing a range of practical and cultural services to visitors in London during Sports, Festivals and Jams and during the six week period of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as volunteers. The project has recruited students from the 5 Olympic Boroughs. There will be 3 schools from each of the boroughs, a total of 15 schools. Thomas Tallis School has been invited to participate in the scheme and we have recruited 15 Year 11 students, and will recruit another 15 students each year for the next 3 years of the programme. The students have participated in a series of modules at Barclays Bank including Money Skills and have learned how to create podcasts at the BBC. They will also get the opportunity to participate in a series of modules at Archant including social networking and blogging and at the London City Airport where they will learn about customer services. In addition, two students from the Tallis group have attended a training day at the BBC and been asked to document the next year of the project. The students who participate in the scheme will be asked to volunteer for between 3 and 6 consecutive days over the time period 20th July - 10th September 2012.
“The fourth time I have had the great opportunity to visit Thomas Tallis, each time with a group of up to 16 people. Some of them have attended twice.The warm welcome and the enthusiastic staff has impressed me a lot.” There will also be an opportunity for staff and parents/carers to sign up to volunteer with the students. For the last four years we have welcomed teachers and educationalists from Denmark and other Scandinavian countries interested in finding out about our latest creative projects and any new experiments with technologies taking place at Thomas Tallis. Grethe Grønkjær from GeGe and Poul Tang from VIA University College organise the trip to coincide with the annual BETT exhibition of new technologies that takes place in London, but are equally as keen to have a chance to see how some of these approaches and technologies are implemented in schools. Their visits are every bit as valuable to the staff at Thomas Tallis as they gives us an opportunity to discover how different educational systems work and also the chance to discuss the latest ideas from the Danish school system. It is also a great opportunity for the staff at Tallis who participate to reflect upon and evaluate their own practice and some of the schemes and ideas that they are working on. This year we decided to have a balance between presentations and some activities. We started the day by spending some time discussing and thinking about our new Tallis Lab curriculum that is delivered to students in years seven, eight and nine. Once we had considered the principles
and ideas behind the course we decided to get stuck in and have a go at one of the challenges set for the students . The ever willing and enthusiastic visitors took on the gameplay challenge designed by Jon Nicholls for our year nine students. The task was to create a game that would help younger students learn more about a particular topic in their curriculum. Our visitors proved themselves to be more than up for a challenge and created a wonderful range of interactive classroom or playground games on topics as diverse as the Vikings and patterns of migration and Internet safety. Following this our visitors then threw themselves into the challenge of making an animation. For this activity they were guided by Sam Murray who used the animation as an example of the work he had been doing with Greenwich primary schools as part of the Creative Learning Project. Working on the basis that it is much more fun to do something than to hear about it, our visitors set about the challenge and using a range of props and articulated models, created some charming animated sequences using a piece of software called iCanAnimate. Sam then gave the group a tour through the project website and an opportunity to hear the students from primary schools talk about what they felt they had learned from being involved and also a chance to see some of the wonderful products that the
students had made. Excited that the outcomes of their first attempts at animation, the group then moved on to a presentation by Tom Denison White about the potential of handheld devices to support creative learning in the classroom. Tom attended this year’s Learning Without Frontiers conference and introduced our visitors to the ways that tablet devices such as the iPad and smaller more flexible devices like the iPod touch could be used to support learning. The group had the chance to see how the iPod Touch could be equipped with lots of free or inexpensive apps to support collaboration and sharing using blogging apps like Tumblr, and also the creation of wonderful images using apps like Camerabag and Instamatic. Deb Lemmer pulled the session to close by talking about how the use of technologies and creative learning strategies are part of our vision of what is to be an Arts College, a Leading Edge school, and a National School of Creativity. As always we were incredibly impressed by how outward facing our Danish visitors are and how willing and engaged they are in discovering what is happening outside of their immediate context. Their visits always spark fascinating discussions and we very much look forward to their visit next year.
“To me the networking and the visits at Thomas Tallis are the highlight of my trips to London.Thank you on behalf of the four Danish Groups.”
TREE DRESSING What a Wonderful World! This year our local community enjoyed another great Tree Dressing celebration on the Ferrier Estate in Kidbrooke, South East London. Our chosen theme was ‘Community’. Residents of the estate are experiencing a massive urban regeneration project that will create a vibrant new development, completely replacing the existing estate. The tree dressing celebration is a chance for the whole community to have fun together and share their creativity and sense of belonging. The community were led on a lantern parade by The Valentino’s jazz band, viewing the beautiful decorations on the trees made by the local primary schools and various community groups. Thomas Tallis School student Nikki Soetan performed Louis
Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and the Tallis steel pans band entertained everyone with some rousing tropical tunes. The Mayor of Greenwich gave a warm speech and thanked all the fantastic performers. The evening came to a close with some amazing fireworks and tasty soup made by local resident Rosa Goncalves. This event, co-ordinated by Thomas Tallis School, would not be possible without the help and support of a wide range of partners including the Ferrier Safer Neighborhood Team and local police, Berkley Homes, Greenwich Council, Southern Housing Group, Kidbrooke Vietnamese Chinese Supplementary School, The Ferrier Cultural Centre, Emergency Exit Arts, Greenwich Food Co-operative, Holy Spirit
Church, Holy Family School, Greenwich Community College, Superkidz, ASRA and Guarida Café.
“I love this event, it makes me feel great and truly a part of my community”
FELIX SCHOOL OF ROCK Music Makers of the Future
“Just to say how amazing your Rock School was & how brilliant for my daughter to participate in such a positive, fulfilling, exciting and fun event with so many other like-minded people, musically, she became incredibly more confident and gained a self-belief in her own ability, which has passed over into other areas of her life,Thank you” “Awesome, inspiring, supportive teaching that empowers these children to do things they did not know they could do!”
Felix’s School of Rock is an amazing four-day intensive music experience that gives local pupils from the ages of 9 to 16 the chance to take part in an rock and roll boot camp. Hosted by Thomas Tallis School during the Summer, Easter and Half-term holidays it offers pupils a fantastic chance to do something productive with their holiday. During their time at FSOR the pupils will form small groups, choose a band name, have a photo shoot and finally on the last day perform a gig with a full PA, lighting and stage set-up to a enthusiastic and supportive crowd made up of friends and family. The course is open to singers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, brass players and drummers, although pretty much any instrument can and will be incorporated if needs be! All abilities are welcome and a positive attitude and the desire to make
music and friends is much more important than playing experience or skill. FSOR was founded by Felix Glenn in 2004 and has been going from strength to strength ever since. It has been based at Thomas Tallis School since the summer of 2010. FSOR offers reduced fees to Tallis pupils as part of a bursary scheme that ensures that the opportunity to take part in such a unique and rewarding experience is available to as many pupils as possible. As well as the gigs offered within the school, FSOR works hard to ensure that the live experience doesn’t finish at the end of the course. They host stages and events at Lewisham People’s Day, Brockley Max Festival and Manor Park Festival and give bands from the FSOR course the chance to showcase their music to a wider audience.
INTERNATIONAL WEEK AT HORN PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL From London to Egypt Each year Horn Park Primary School hold a creativity week. This year the focus was on international links. We have been collaborating on the Connecting Classrooms project, developing a relationship with a school in Cairo, so we decided to build on this work and centre our international week’s work on Egypt. Each year group took on a different focus. Year six teachers meet with Annmarie Woodcraft, International Schools Co-ordinator, who had designed a scheme of work and resources based on Fairtrade. Year five students worked with Erin Culley, Head of citizenship, looking at the similarities between Egyptian children and British children. Each student designed their very own coat of arms, including aspects of their heritage, hobbies, personality traits and dream job for the future. Year Four students
worked with Paul Challenger, our music technician. They formed a multimedia orchestra and created some amazing Egyptian music, using laptops, guitars, drums and xylophones. Year three students worked with Kerri West, drama teacher, exploring the use of masks. The students used the story of Cinderella to look at body language and how to tell stories without words. A small group of students that form the Whizz Kids group at Horn Park worked as journalists throughout the week and documented all the learning. At the end of the week they worked with Tom Dennison White, eLearning Development Manager, to build a blog to share the stories, photos and videos with the rest of the school. Here is the link to the blog: http:// creativityathornpark.tumblr.com/
“I really enjoyed working with the ‘Horn Park School Ancient Egyptian Multimedia Orchestra’. They were a great bunch and their enthusiasm is definitely infectious. It was great for the children to work together and build each other’s confidence” “Paul..will you come back again soon please?”
CHRISTMAS CONCERT An artistic celebration of festive joy... On 14th December, the Music department, this year joined by the Drama and Dance departments, presented Christmas Past, Present and Future for the annual Christmas Concert in St James’ Church, Kidbrooke. The concert was a ‘fantastic eclectic mix’ (as described by one parent) of different styles, genres and tastes. A little something for everyone! The concert started with the whole church joining together in the singing of Once in Royal David’s City, the first verse of which was sung beautifully acappella by a Year 7 student. Then came the first of three impressive extracts from Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’, performed by Year 7 and 8 students who all showed remarkable talent and maturity. The items that followed ranged from an alternative reggae
version of Winter Wonderland by the Year 13 BTEC band through to serene performances of Silent Night and O Holy Night by the Junior Choir. We were also treated to performances by the French Choir, Year 8 Band, Year 12 BTEC Band, Guitar Group, Year 7 and 8 Dance Group and a number of solo items. The concert was fittingly rounded off by a rousing rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful complete with joyful descant. Everyone left the church full of the spirit of Christmas and very proud of the students’ hard work. We are delighted to work in partnership with St. James’ Church and really appreciate the opportunity to perform in this wonderful venue.
“The storytelling, physical theatre and dialogue combined with the wonderful musical performances was an eclectic mix that will live in the memory for some time”
“an audience of parents and friends left the sports hall on Friday evening with beaming smiles...and you can’t beat that!”
Dance through Life... In January 2011 Ludus Dance company were artists in residence for the third year running at Tallis. Over the week the company ran workshops with dancers in years 8 - 10 and year 12 Drama students. The theme of the work was ‘consequences’ and students engaged in creating dances and experimenting with physical skills that addressed this theme; they learnt sections of repertory and extended their contemporary dance skills. Every year 8 student had an hour long workshop whilst 24 year 9 Bronze Arts Award students and 14 Year 10 BTEC Dance students each had an intensive 11 hours in which to explore, create and refine an original performance piece. Midweek the technical crew arrived and transformed the Sports Hall into a dance theatre, setting up a full dance set with lighting and dance floor. On the Friday every year 8 student spent the afternoon watching Ludus Dance Company present their new work Consequences, a three part dance work with choreography by internationally known
choreographers, Ben Write, Nigel Charnock and Yale Flexer. The event culminated with the year 9 and 10 dance groups premiering their work to the year 8 students. Later that evening parents, carers, teachers and friends came for an evening presentation of Consequences and the year 9 and 10 choreographed pieces. It was a magical event. The students had a fantastic experience, working with professionals and dancing on a fully lit dance set. This year’s project was special as a mixed age group of 10 Tallis students had travelled to Lancaster in July to help Ludus develop Consequences before its premier. The students watched the work in rehearsal, had discussions with the dancers and choreographer and offered their perspective on the work in progress. It was great to see that their feedback had been actively incorporated into the final piece. The week also offered valuable training for the Dance department as well as offering students and the
wider community the opportunity of seeing a full-scale professional dance work at the school. Overall the residency reached out to in excess of 400 people across the school community! Dance Outreach Over the last three years the Head of Dance has been sharing his skills with our family of schools. So far this year he has been working with year 5 and 6 pupils from St Thomas Moore, Cardwell, Greenacres, Ealdham and Holy Family schools. The pupils have been exploring themes as far ranging as The Aztecs, Rivers, The Blitz, Victorian street children and Michael Jackson! This has also provided valuable training for the primary staff. There has been some great work and performances as a result and it has been fantastic to see the pupils and staff extending the work into bigger scale performance pieces. We look forward to continuing this community outreach work next year.
CREATIVE LEARNING PROJECT Developing Digital Literacy “The level of autonomy between children observed during the last session was astonishing: for much of the time, adults could have left the room and the quality of learning would not have diminished - I was delighted to see the way that some of the boys in particular, embraced the whole project, the change in their attitude to learning was little short of astonishing!”
The Creative Learning Project is a unique partnership between Thomas Tallis school and the Greenwich City Learning Centre with the aim of using new technologies to promote creative learning in our partner primary schools. Now in its second year, the project has worked with 8 of our primary partners in Greenwich. Each school selects a curriculum topic that they are currently working on. We then meet for a devising session to ensure that the project is designed to compliment, enhance and develop the work already planned and taking place in the classroom. As well as being an exciting and engaging project for pupils, the creative learning project also has several other aims: to enhance continuing professional development in our partner primary schools • to enhance students’ digital literacy • to develop sustainable projects, using an imaginative approach to
ICT, that develop key skills • to have a positive impact on student engagement in and enjoyment of learning • to create a legacy of approaches, techniques and processes that can be used by others • to help raise standards across the curriculum Thanks to the funding from the CLC we have a set of portable digital resources that we take to the schools, consisting of 10 Mac laptops, microphones, headphones, cameras (video and still) and webcams. This allows us to create a blended learning environment rather than relocating to the ICT room! Thomas Tallis School provides the services of its Multimedia Learning Co-ordinator to assist in the delivery of the project for one day each week. The subjects we have tackled so far have been both diverse and challenging. For example, we have created a TV documentary about Fair Trade with Brooklands School, an animation about recycling with
Eglington School and a radio show/ animation about George and the Dragon with Cherry Orchard School. Both students and members of staff have responded very positively to these interventions and we hope that the project has increased the capacity for creative learning using ICT in our partner schools.
KATHAKALI The remarkable classical dance drama of Kerala, South West India Kathakali is based on Hinduism and is a highly charged and powerful drama that combines devotion and physical virtuosity with symbolic storytelling, to produce one of the most impressive and vibrant forms of theatre in the world. Kathakali holds centuries of tradition and culture. It is not just a dance-drama, but an act of devotion featuring the universal struggle between good and evil. A large brass oil lamp called a Valika, is placed at the front of the stage. Lighting the lamp is a highly symbolic act and when lit, it illustrates that there is divine presence. The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company embarked on a major UK tour in 2010, bringing classical dance drama from Kerala, South India to many across the world including our community in Kidbrooke. Residencies took place at Thomas Tallis, Kidbrooke, Holy
Family and Cherry Orchard schools. Each school took part in music and movement workshops, learned the Mudras sign language and watched the company prepare for performance, mixing make-up and then applying it beautifully and painstakingly. The performers also prepared their costumes by carefully folding the huge skirts. The Kathakali performance was a captivating, vibrant and rhythmic experience, which the students will never forget.
â€œI enjoyed learning the sign language and watching the sign language in the performanceâ€?
LEARNING AWAY The Business Apprentice 2011...you’re hired! One of the most exciting things about learning is that it does not need to take place in a classroom with a teacher; this was clearly evident in the three day residential in Central London with Year 12 students competing in teams to be The Apprentice. Students were set different challenges in groups and had to use their time effectively, plan what they were doing and take on different team roles in order to complete the challenge. Day 1 was to create a charity calendar based on London for 2012. One group ambitiously attempted to visit 12 Olympic venues in 5 hours and managed to reach 7 of the 12 venues using public transport and created a calendar with an Olympic charity in mind. The second group’s charity was Help for Heroes and provided images of Heroes in Central London. The winning group based their calendar on trees, and skilfully took images of trees with London icons in the background; although they were disappointed at the lack of trees in Covent Garden!
Day 2 was to design an app for the iPhone/iPad based on a socially conscious theme. Market research was conducted in a sunny Camden by the groups, with some groups being very creative in their definition of ‘socially conscious’. The groups worked hard over the day to design the app, conduct research, work on the finances and produce a presentation. One group was grilled with questions which even Lord Sugar may have blushed at! The winning team was the group who created an app called eTips to calculate your personal carbon footprint then give tips on how to reduce your footprint. Day 3 was a short day when students were sent out with some money and a list of things to buy for lunch…at East Street Market. With a lack of goods to purchase at the market the reliable Morrison’s proved the best place to purchase the goods required, and the winning team managed to convince the Manager at Morrison’s to donate all the goods for FREE! Excellent negotiation skills! This experience was a great opportunity for students to use a
wide range of skills, and develop skills that they already had. Confidence, negotiation, leadership, planning, logistics, research, presentation skills were thrown in the mix and the student rose to the challenge in a way that could really only have happened outside the classroom. Images and videos of the trip are available at http://businessapprentice. tumblr.com/ Planning is underway for Apprentice 2012! If you know of an organisation that would like to help, donate goods to sell, allow us to use a space in Central London, or help in any other way please get in touch shenderson@ thomastallis.org.uk
“I feel much more confident and more motivated to work since having these experiences”
GET SET FOR THE OLYMPICS “to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield” As we approach the one year countdown to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, we were very excited to discover that our application to join the Get Set network was successful. Members of the Get Set network gain access to exclusive rewards and opportunities, including: tours of the Olympic Park, visits from Olympians and Paralympians and taking part in a variety of other London 2012 initiatives. We also pre-qualify for an allocation of London 2012 tickets. This first allocation has enabled us to organise a trip for 30 students to attend the UIPM World Cup Final Women’s Pentathlon test event in our local Greenwich Park. A group of our students were also lucky to get a guided tour of the site with views of the Olympic stadium, the Aquatics Centre, the handball arena, the Velodrome and the Orbit. Rewarding The Olympic Values The students were asked to nominate someone who exemplifies the values of the
Olympic and Paralympic Games. The message of the Olympics is quite clear, that sport is only half of the equation. Indeed, the aims for the Olympic movement have much more to do with education than sport: These Values are: • Respect – fair play; knowing one’s own limits; and taking care of one’s health and the environment • Excellence – giving the best of oneself, on the field of play or in life; taking part; and progressing according to one’s own objectives • Friendship – how, to understand each other despite any differences The Paralympic Values are based on the history of the Paralympic Games and the tradition of fair play and honorable sports competition. The values are: • Courage • Inspiration • Determination • Equality
In June 2011 we launched a scheme to reward someone for the first of the Thomas Tallis Olympic Values: Friendship. The students were asked to nominate someone who deserved this award in no more than 50 words. The school council then decided who was awarded the prizes which included access to range of Olympics visits and events.
“It was a great opportunity to visit the Olympic site in Stratford. I was amazed at the scale and variety of venues”
PARENTAL CONSULTATION Learning for the Family... This year we have held a series of events specifically for parents and carers: September 15th Welcome to post 16 parents This provided an opportunity for parents of our new post 16 students to meet each other and those of our original students. We discussed an overview of the curriculum, enrichment and cultural entitlement, and the facilities for post 16 students. September 22nd Welcome to Y7 parents Parents met the tutor of their child and the parents of the other members of the tutor group. September 29th Open evening for prospective Y7 parents. Parents attended an introductory talk on the school and its ethos and vision. They met with staff and experienced the curriculum their children would follow in addition to finding out about a variety of learning strategies. October 7th KS4 Information Evening With the changes to how GCSEs are structured and assessed, we felt it was important for parents to have a clear understanding of this so that they were able to support their children through this crucial time in their education.
October 19th Well-Being Parents were reminded of the well being curriculum and introduced to the facilities of the School Based Health Centre. They were able to give feedback on the services offered here. November 18th Post 16 promotion evening This was a similar event to the open evening held in September. It aimed to support prospective post 16 students and their parents in choosing an appropriate centre for their studies. November 25th The new school This was attended by the architect and project manager of our new school building. Parents were given the opportunity to review the designs and understand the process of the construction. They also saw samples of flooring and furniture. December 7th Y7 Consultation Evening Parents were asked to consider and respond to our revised assessment and reporting plans and to give their initial thoughts about the new uniform design. We also launched the Mobile devices Project, where parents were given an invitation to apply. Check out the progress made at www.tallismobile. tumblr.com
February 3rd Arts in the KS3 Curriculum This was an interactive event where parents experienced the learning and assessment process in the arts subjects. March 15th The Schools Vision and New Uniform Parents were asked to contribute to the visioning process in preparation for our move into the new school building. They also continued the consultation process for the new school uniform. May 19th Science at KS3 Another interactive evening! Parents were able to explore and experiment in our labs. June 21st Gifted and talented students This event aimed to explain the provision for our G&T students. We clarified selection and review process for parents and carers. In addition to the events listed above, we have had two major consultation bodies working on the design of the wall graphics in the new school and the new uniform. Both have involved parents. Further information about these projects can be found on the relevant blogs: tallisgraphics.tumblr.com tallisuniform.tumblr.com
ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR A nostalgic Tangled Feet performance...
For the last three years Tangled Feet theatre company have been artists in residence during the summer term at Tallis. Kat Joyce, co-director of the company, was a student at Tallis in the 90s and her father Tim taught Drama here and was a respected Pastoral Leader. As a National School of Creativity we set out three years ago to promote a variety of approaches to creative learning, responding to our imminent move to a new building as a primary catalyst. Having performed their piece ‘Home’ and devised a site specific performance with our students about notions of place and belonging in 2009, last year saw the company conduct their research and development for The Measurement Shop at Tallis. The resulting performance used a range of mathematical and statistical techniques for measuring the seemingly unquantifiable: How hopeful are
we? How do we feel about the new building? The partnership with Tangled Feet reached an amazing climax this year in our collaboration on a new show All That Is Solid Melts Into Air which was performed at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival and at a special show in school: London’s story is an epic and perpetual tale of regeneration and change. Ships have sailed, bombs have fallen, tower blocks have soared and markets plummeted. The past is wiped away and new futures promised. How does a city survive when as all that is solid melts into air? What does it take to let go of the past when the future is still out of reach? The collaboration began with a series of specialist physical theatre workshops for all Year 9 students. The week ended with a remarkable pop up performance during which members of
Tangled Feet clambered across the school roof dressed as builders apparently measuring the building for demolition. However, their equipment and bizarre dialogue quickly alerted the audience gathered below to the absurd nature of their actions: “Hold on, hold on. I was a bit off. It was 37 light years and 2 months!” The performers used a long roll of red tape that ultimately stretched from one end of the school, where the new building is slowly growing, to the other like an artery or umbilical cord. The next phase of the project involved a visit to the Three Mills rehearsal studios for a group of 40 students to work with the company on devising the end of All That Is Solid Melts Into Air. We arrived to discover a huge scaffold and stage rigged with a series of pulleys that looked like it belonged on a building site.
“a beautiful and moving piece, very poignant and appropriately timed”
The show explores the experience of urban regeneration on a community of people. With minimal dialogue but a whole repertoire of physical movements, the performers describe a variety of responses to a landscape in flux. The students’ role in the last 10 minutes of the show is to colonise what appears to be an empty and derelict block of flats and breath life back into the place. This involved learning a very complex piece of choreography and getting to grips with decorating the huge structure with foam and hazard tape. The students worked magnificently and impressed the adults with their enthusiasm and perseverance. The show was eventually performed to packed audiences in the Greenwich + Docklands Festival in July 2011. These were remarkable events, which tested the students’ resilience and support for one another. This is how one theatre critic described the show’s ending: “Finally, we’re shot back into the present, and the performers become
a group of kids who swarm over the structure”: for the first time in the show the intricacies of the structure are properly recognised and exploited, as the kids scramble all over the place, balance on the supporting poles, swing and jump from platform to platform, and generally just try stuff out and egg each other on. It’s strongly influenced by parkour, and it’s infused with a sense of delight, energy and an appreciation of the structures we’re able to create. As the performers dance and play, kids from Thomas Tallis run onto the site and join them, clapping and jumping and dancing a routine (to great celebratory music by Nick Gill) in loosely synchronised fashion. They have bunches of striped construction site tape in their hands and they pull it through the crowd like streamers, and attach it to the scaffolding so that eventually the performance structure resembles some festival arena or mad parade float. From a review by Corinne Salisbury
in the British Theatre Guide “Finally, despite the inclement weather, the scaffold and show transferred to the concourse at Thomas Tallis School for two triumphant performances seen by students, staff, ex colleagues, ex students, parents and friends. The evening show in particular proved to be a very emotional affair as we honoured the building that has inspired so much creativity over the years with an amazing show accompanied by a barbecue and performances from a variety of student bands. The school building, which was constructed on the site of an old RAF base and sits next to one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK, provided a perfect setting for the show. The summer has provided many opportunities for our community to bid farewell to the existing school building but few more poignant than this.”
TALLIS MOVES Thanks for the memories... The day started for me at 10.00. I drove into school and the school keepers were heaving furniture about and setting up the car park. Other colleagues were organising the day’s entertainment: posting signs, baking scones, setting up slide shows, plugging in the PA and rehearsing students. We were not sure anyone would turn up. Would we be left with a thousand cream teas? It was this ability to go into the unknown, to take a risk and trust in the depth of feeling our alumni have for the place, that made this day so successful and emotionally charged. It all stared to happen as ex students, staff and parents from the 1970’s started to trickle in. Steve Palmer an ex Maths teacher came armed from the Isle of White with a bunch of photographs and copies of the alternative Staff Bulletin. This was a radical publication created by colleagues who, ‘til this day, remain anonymous. It challenged the view of school life presented in the official staff weekly bulletin and made for very amusing reading. He almost cried with joy as he popped his head into the Maths office and recognised work that he put up in the 1970’s!!! I read a few words on Behalf of Beryl Hussein, the first Head Teacher at Thomas Tallis. She paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of all of the staff students and parents at this time. She considered her fifteen years at the
school to have been the busiest and most rewarding of her professional career. She did add that the present building, when first constructed, was pretty awful and wished us greater success with the new one! Then it all started to happen as 100s of students, teachers and parents started to arrive. At first they tentatively gathered on the concourse but soon they strode around the building with confidence as though they had never been away. People were checking out old tutor rooms, classrooms and the places they were sent when behaviour had been untoward. Memories came flooding back and were shared with anyone who wanted to listen. I have never laughed so much, cried so much, talked so much or been hugged and kissed so much. Every person I spoke to revealed that Tallis had given them so more than academic results. It had equipped them with the ability to be creative and explore their individuality, to take risks, to fail at some things, to aspire for a rich and fulfilling life and follow their dreams, to care for others and give something back. They felt that they had been a part of a truly comprehensive community and its diversity had enabled them to engage with and thrive in the world outside the school gates. All of them honoured the talent, creativity, hard work and sense of fun that many of their teachers had imparted to them. What was so impressive, and for me
“An emotional day...that makes me appreciate the journey that I have been on” an important legacy of the school, was what these young people had become. There were world-class lawyers, Hollywood actors, theatre directors, Grammy award winning professional musicians, designers, political activists, charity workers and many teachers. The sunny sound of the steel pans, a signature Tallis sound for many years, welcomed our visitors onto the concourse and complimented the blue sky and scorching hot sun. All of the bands were slick and gutsy and through the music captured the spirit of different decades. The year 7 band really plucked at my heart strings. The year 12 Drama groups called in their audiences on the concourse as they re-enacted events from the different time periods whilst also touching on local developments in our community. Pink leg warmers and spandex looked as if they might be ready for a come back as we were given a brief rendition from Fame. The slide show in the Drama studio was incredibly emotional. People laughed, cried and threw their arms around each other. Others cringed with embarrassment about the hairdo and the length of skirt. I have never experienced so much warmth and deep sense of emotion in this space that I have worked in for so many years. It was truly astonishing and very moving. We made and served over 500 cream teas and the staff association made over £500
on the bar. Was there any vandalism on the day…..oh yes! A brass Deputy Head Teacher sign was prized off a door as a souvenir .The colleague in question had seen people taking photographs of it earlier in the day and thought the ex student responsible might have spent a significant amount of time in her office over the years! Four names were tagged by the Technology area with class of ‘84 written underneath. I would call it nostalgic vandalism tinged with a touch of charm and humour. A spine tingling moment for me was when old skool met new skool musicians on the outdoor stage and played together. It was spontaneous, raw with energy and talent, and so totally Tallis. We danced on the concourse. Even the flying ants managed to get in on the act. As the day started to slide away and I made my way to the car, one of my ex tutees from the 80’s threw herself into my arms sobbing and said, ‘I only intended to stay for half an hour but I can’t leave. I can’t believe that this building will soon be a heap of rubble!’ I cheesily replied, ’No bull dozer can take away the memories, experiences, the sense of community and the relationships you have enjoyed here. It is the people and what is created between them which makes the community not the building.’ What a wonderful day it had been!
Community Use of our Building
Greenwich Basketball Club • London Storm Basketball Club • New Covenant Church SELTEA (South East London Tamalese Education Association) • Tan’gun Taekwondo Academy
CONTACT US... Thomas Tallis School Kidbrooke Park Road London SE3 9PX www.thomastallis.co.uk
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