Creative evidencing: a personalised approach to Arts Award delivery

Creative evidencing: a personalised approach to Arts Award delivery

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BY: Guest Writer
15 Apr 2024

We continue to explore portfolio building and creative evidencing on the blog this month. Ade Ikoli, Head of Creative Media at Hopewell School in Essex explains the importance of Arts Award being delivered according to each young person’s individual preferences and how this can be supported through the use of creative technologies.

At Hopewell School, we provide specialised education and therapeutic support for children and young people with Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs) encompassing social, emotional, mental health, and learning needs. Creative Media enables the school to meet students' individual needs being sensory, academic and/or social. Our tailored approach, guided by EHCPs allows us to individualise education further, nurturing creativity and skill enhancement within a supportive setting. We establish a feedback loop to monitor student progress and promote a reflective learning ethos. Our integrated curriculum spans humanities, PSHE, maths, and other disciplines, underpinned by a strong literacy focus. Fostering an inclusive environment conducive to students flourishing.

Creativity knows no bounds at Hopewell School and every student's unique interests and talents are celebrated. At the heart of our approach to Arts Award delivery is the belief that every student deserves a curriculum that speaks to their passions and interests. By carefully listening to each student and building their journey around their EHCP and understanding their individual preferences, I design bespoke courses that compliment their unique talents and aspirations through my Creative Media lessons.

Personalised projects: from basketball courts to military museums

basketball project designing court anmation and linking sound effects to animationImage: basketball project, designing court animation and linking sound effects to animation

For example, one student's passion for basketball became the focal point of his Arts Award journey. We explored the creative arts within basketball, from court design and materials to the history of ball design and uniform aesthetics. By linking his love for the sport to various art forms, including stop-motion animation and digital game design for PC, VR and next generation consoles, we created a dynamic and engaging curriculum that inspired his creativity and fuelled his passion for both basketball and the arts.

This student delved into the world of basketball design and materials, examining the properties of rubber, leather, and synthetic materials used in ball construction and design. Through hands-on experiments and research, he gained insight into how each material contributes to the ball's bounce, grip, and durability, informing his own designs for his VR basketball game, which enabled him to achieve Silver Arts Award in 2023.

His curiosity didn't stop there. He also explored the physics of basketball design, from sound effects and shoe rub on the court, investigating how the size and shape of the ball impact its flight trajectory and handling. By studying aerodynamics and ball dynamics, he gained a deeper understanding of the science behind the design, informing his design choices, enabling his ball animations to fly smoothly in his game.

The military historian: from museums to masterpieces

Military project student using voice to text software to support  with an audio and text reflection linked to his evidence photos arts award goldImage: Military project student using voice to text software to support with an audio and text reflection linked to his evidence photos for Gold Arts Award

Similarly, another student's passion with military history became the foundation for a rich exploration of museum curation and display. Through hands-on projects involving stop-motion animation, 3D pen design, and 3D movie making, we brought the history of military fashion to life, immersing the student in a world of creativity and learning.

His museum visits were a treasure trove of artifacts and stories waiting to be discovered and shared. He embarked on a journey to explore the art of museum curation and display, culminating in his own creative curation masterpiece, exploring themes of conflict, sacrifice and resilience. He researched historical artifacts and archival materials, carefully selecting objects that resonated with him and spoke to his vision for the exhibition’s creative story.

His work didn't stop at selecting artifacts—he also crafted a compelling narrative to accompany his exhibition, weaving together stories of bravery, heroism, and human spirit. Through meticulous planning and attention to design detail, he transformed his exhibition space into an immersive journey through history, inviting visitors to reflect on the lessons of the past and the challenges of the present.

Leveraging technology for inclusive learning

In addition to personalised projects, I utilise a variety of creative technologies to support students throughout their Arts Award journey. Whether it's overcoming barriers to creativity or fostering engagement and participation, these tools play a crucial role in empowering students to succeed.

Within our Creative Media lessons, I utilise digital folders/websites to support students to create and design their own Arts Award portfolio.

For students who struggle with reading, I create visual teacher-made videos with voice-to-text support, allowing them to focus on their creative projects. Similarly, for students who find writing challenging, I introduce voice dictation software, enabling them to articulate their ideas freely and without inhibition.

Bridging gaps with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

To connect with students who are unable to attend classes in person or who experience anxiety when participating in public events, I leverage Virtual Reality (VR) technology. Through virtual classrooms and exhibitions, students can engage with their peers and showcase their work from the comfort of their own homes.

Furthermore, I incorporate Augmented Reality (AR) into the Creative Media curriculum, which supports students focusing on product or car design or architecture. By bringing fully-scaled models into the classroom, students are immersed in a realistic environment where they can explore, design and innovate with unparalleled depth and engagement.

Celebrating success: Arts Award achievements

Through this personalised approach to Arts Award delivery, we've seen incredible growth and achievement among our students at Hopewell School. Over the past three years, we've supported 59 students to achieve Arts Award, with notable increases in award levels each year—a testament to the effectiveness of our personalised approach and the transformative power of arts education.

As we look to the future, we remain committed to fostering a culture of creativity at Hopewell School. Through personalised projects, innovative technologies, and unwavering support, I believe that every student has the potential to unlock their creative genius and achieve their dreams.

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