You’ve probably picked up on these pages that I’m incredibly enthusiastic about fresh, exciting and creative ways of learning. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with a broad range of youth groups and young people for all kinds of projects.
I have a particular soft spot for the Creative Partnerships scheme which involves so-called ‘Creative Practitioners’ (that’s shorthand for talented, creative people from a range of disciplines with a passion for learning!), going into schools and inspiring young people and staff through all manner of different workshops. I do film workshops which can focus on literacy, IT, research and communication skills to name the most obvious ones, there are plenty more! The bottom line is that attainment and engagement amongst pupils increases massively in places where these projects run.
So, whilst it’s been on the cards for a while, it’s devastating to hear that the planned cuts to arts funding may hit Creative Partnerships hard. Have a read of this article in today’s Guardian for more on the background to it. On the plus side, this report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers shows that there is a clear economic benefit to these projects. Whilst measuring Creative Partnerships projects by their economic value kind of misses the point, it does hopefully provide a stronger case for the continuation of the scheme.
Just in case you’re in any doubt about the scheme, here is a video I worked on with young people from Baxter College in Kidderminster. I can’t claim to have been the lead in the project – credit there goes to Hayley Pepler and Alison Grade – it was an inspiring project to be a part of and really highlights the benefits of CP projects. Young people scripted the trailer for a series of programmes they have yet to produce, then quickly picked up the rudiments of filming, sound recording and directing, before going on to liaise with staff and pupils throughout the school to film everything in a day. I’ve met professional film makers that would be unable to pull that off! The buzz that you see in the video isn’t just all show, it’s a genuine excitement that passed around the school as the day wore on. Magic.