Last year we introduced a whole SILC creative session on a Friday afternoon – CREATE. It promotes a culture that fosters creative thinking and places value in what can be gained throughout the process, not exclusively what is produced at the end.
CREATE provides everyone in the SILC with an opportunity meet and work with a wider range of staff and students from across all 3 of our sites. We wanted all our students to enjoy working together at their own pace whilst at the same time expanding and developing their repertoire of creative, social skills and experiences. Students at all ages help and support each other in their learning and representatives from all 3 sites come together to help lead activities. This gives them the opportunity to share their skills, develop leadership qualities and peer mentoring opportunities. We also utilise the skills of our staff to help lead groups and they carefully encourage and guide students through the creative process.
Here at the South SILC we invest in our young people and are committed to ensuring they have their say and that their views are represented in all things. As part of this our students are supported to generate ideas, self-assess, order their thinking, reflect on what they have done so far and take ownership of where they want to go next. Giving pupils a choice about their activities, using their interests and ideas is the key element and intent of the session. In this way the students have ownership, and can refine their skills over the course of the sessions. Over the year this ethos has become embedded and the sessions are very much pupil centred experiences. CREATE gives students opportunities for creative action, and emotional response as well as insights into personal and cultural values and beliefs.
We are very clear that there are no ‘right or wrong’ answers, but that our pupils are encouraged to make choices, ‘have a go’, see what happens and where their learning takes them!
As a staff one of our aims is to foster creative thinking however we accept that students need opportunities to enhance their skill set in order to facilitate this. To that end we are committed, where appropriate, to teaching new skills which in time can be used as a creative outlet. Students have had the opportunity to work with specialist music and art teachers. Some are taking instrumental based lessons learning and exploring instruments including guitar, keyboard, steel pans, djembe and tuned percussion.
The experiences and activities we offer give our pupils sense of achievement in their creations, performances and experiences. We have seen pupils push boundaries and develop self- esteem. Our pupils learn to collaborate, show empathy and resilience in addition to having the confidence to take a risk. The sessions encourage our pupils to self- reflect whilst exploring and trying out new experiences. Pupils are assessed and progress recorded in a variety of forms including photographs and annotated work.
All students are encouraged to take part in CREATE and individual needs and requests are always considered and honoured when possible. At the end of each term there is a celebration of everyone’s achievements. We share our work across school through musical performances, dance, story -telling and exhibitions of Art work. We have held open afternoons and encouraged parents/carers and those from the local community to also take part! A display of the pupils work is built up over the weeks and everyone has an opportunity to see their work on the display ‘working wall’.
Above all else we want for our students to enjoy CREATE. Students are most receptive to learning when it is fun! The feedback from them has been extremely positive and constructive. Click on the links below to see for yourselves!
Audio interviews with students
Here are what some of our pupils have to say about their Creative Afternoon experiences.
Audio interviews with students
Here are some photographs of pupils and parents enjoying our recent whole school Carnival event
At the South SILC we are really pleased and proud of the impact the CREATE is having on our pupils. We are constantly striving to improve our provision with the pupils interests at the centre of future developments.