Working With Artists & Creative Practitioners

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Mathew Beckett – Cre8us Ethos to Develop Young People’s Confidence and Increase Multimedia Skills in Staff March 9, 2012

Cre8us project March 2011


KEY INFO:

  • Priors Field School
  • Years 4 & 5
  • Aim: to develop confidence in young people in the classroom
  • Enhance the use of digital media in school
  • Increase staff skills in multimedia and creative teaching techniques
  • Introduce a Cre8us ethos into the classroom through gameplay and creative digital behaviours.
  • Bring fun into the classroom



Stage 1: Enquiry: A school staff team identify an issue

Teachers at Priors Field school noticed that girls in a particular year group were lacking in confidence in expressing themselves in class when asked questions. It became clear that although most of the girls were more than capable of answering questions correctly they would choose not to whilst in the class situation amongst the boys.


Stage 2: Collaboration: Teachers invite Cre8us Practitioner Media artists in to assess the issue and come up with a creative way to address it along side advice from school staff.

Mat Beckett (Musician, Audio/visual artist & Filmmaker) and Jonathan Lee (Photographer, Actor & Filmmaker) met with teachers at the school and observed young people in the classroom, identifying typical behaviours and considering a creative response to them.


Stage 3: Innovation: Planning a project

Considering the needs of the young people, teachers, school and project brief Mat and Jonathan along with school teachers, develop a project using Podcasting as a creative vehicle to help build confidence amongst the girls, celebrate the school and enable the teachers to expand their digital knowledge.


Stage 4: Risk taking: Delivering the sessions

Mat and Jonathan had identified a need for the girls to work on a creative project that brought together skills in Drama, Sound recording, Peer to peer learning, Photography and presentation. The girls would produce a Podcast that employed skills in interviewing peers, performance/presentation and technical media. They would report on the school play, develop creative sketches, interview teachers and students, create pieces of music, document the process photographically, carry out peer to peer training with the boys and present their work to the boys at the end of the process.


The project had to creatively challenge existing expectations of ability and desire and take risks in its delivery to break usual behaviours.

This carefully thought out incremental confidence boosting process, would measure a successful outcome on the desire of the girls to want to share their journey with the boys at the end of the project in a way that would not have been imagined at the start of the process.

The girls would work together initially as a single gender small group on drama games developing confidence and creative trust. Whilst having fun they would be picking up the technical skills required to record their podcast, music and performance.


Stage 5: Reflection: carrying out continuous reflection as part of the sessions

The group would regularly audit their learning in each session and reflect on their achievements. ‘What did I do today that made us proud? Showing us physically on a scale of 1 to 10 what is my status? And many other drama based games to enable the young people to really share their experiences during the sessions.

This method of delivery was one of the most positive things about the Cre8us project as many projects do not allow funds for the time it takes to properly plan and assess sessions. As practitioners, this enabled us to try new creative techniques, extend our own learning and experiences of being in school and not just do what we had always done.

Key to the project’s success was the way in which the school embraced the risky teaching techniques we were promoting and supported us as artists to deliver in a way that we wanted.


Mathew Beckett


Email: matbeckett@yahoo.com

Website: http://vimeo.com/mathewbeckett

Phone number: 07890537502

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