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Home >> Case Studies >> Straits School - Part 1

Straits School BadgeStraits "Starters to Stars" Part 1

The Straits Primary School is a school which, according to the government’s performance measures and league tables is doing well and Headteacher Adrian Slack, is very keen to see this improve further.

Last year the school’s SATS results showed another increase on the previous year continuing the trend of the last 9 years. The statistics (shown below) are good but Adrian’s real heart is in providing as much opportunity for enjoyment and achievement through learning as he can. To this end, he wants to know just how much benefit creativity can bring, not only to the development and life chances of his pupils but also to the school’s performance and reputation. Adrian has taken a brave step of introducing more creative practices into the curriculum in order to stem the continual tide of judgements against a narrow curriculum, and allocated a special day each month where the pupils buddy up with different year groups and enjoy a creative learning day.

Why had he done this?

I feel it is important to be able to celebrate what children have to offer apart from their academic standards in Maths and English. It is vital to give children a sense of self worth, self confidence and a means to learn for themselves, as well as an appreciation of their talents beyond the specific standards and criteria needed for testing.”

We wondered what might happen if he gave his learners a creative studio and stage to enjoy as a natural part of curriculum activities, all the time? How many creative sparks are there in each pupil? How much energy could this give his teaching staff with which to educate?

We introduced Adrian to the concept of edujam and he warmed to the idea of pupils having real ownership, he also liked the idea of basic artforms built in for different learning styles. The chance to offer parent’s a new doorway to their child’s education also sparked his curiosity. Adrian kindly accepted the invitation to help steer and give edujam a tryout in the final stages of development, with some year 5 pupils and two members of his wonderful teaching staff.

Why was he willing to take the risk on something this new and untried?

“The children had already been used to compiling work through the medium of the visual arts and digital media and this provided a showcase for their work, not only for their immediate peers but to a larger learning community and indeed the world. Children need an audience and an output for their creativity and the edujam approach seemed to suggest that it could provide it.”

What does he hope it will achieve?

“Hopefully this will inspire children to immerse themselves in creating digital masterpieces through the vital media of the visual and auditory arts, encouraging speaking and listening and collaborative learning skills. Children achieve great self esteem by ownership of their accomplishments in presentation media. This in turn gives them great confidence in other areas of the curriculum.”

As you can see from the video feedback from Leanne and Natasha, (teaching staff turned creative friends), it seems to be a very positive start. The school is looking forward to giving more pupils the opportunity to participate, each with their very own Jam Studio and we will post part 2 of this case study at the end of the Spring term.

Meanwhile we are very grateful to Adrian and his staff for the opportunity to work with them during last term. If you are interested in giving your pupils the same creative opportunities, or you would like to enjoy some creative sparks from the pupils of the Straits Primary school then please contact us.

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