Headroom - Empower your creative community

Helping you grasp opportunity to extend creative practice and to encourage parental involvement is the most important aim of this Headroom.

Research into creative practice highlighted a re-awakened desire to teach in staff. Empowering pupils with edujam can enable a whole school community to enjoy the outcomes of creative practice in ways that were never previously possible. This change is cultural, powerful, very challenging and like any change, scary at the same time.

However, schools using edujam as highlighted in this guest column, see that it can energise their pupils, adding flexibility and extending learning. It can really enhance communication and relationships between pupils, teachers and parents across your school community to reap benefits such as :

* Pupil engagement right across the curriculum.
* Encouragement of creativity.
* Publication and sharing of a range of art forms.
* Independent, purposeful learning and peer assessment.
* Greater sense of ownership and achievement.
* Empowerment of teaching staff and assistants.
* Extension of learning with pupils taking their learning and achievements into their home.
* Empowerment of parents to take a much more supportive role.

However, as with anything in life, what you get out depends on what you put in. We now know that pupils take to using edujam like ducks to water and so the role of staff in encouraging and empowering pupils quickly becomes the biggest key to successfully achieving the benefits above.

Having worked with schools a simple approach seems to working well. This approach involves staff; 

Planning simple creative practice to hand in via edujam

Staff may suggest some simple literacy based work, fables, poetry, stories using a basic wordprocessor, perhaps with an illustration and audio reading as a good activity to start with. Some pupils may wish to do this kind of work on paper which they later photograph or scan and keep things that simple. Many pupils will endeavour to use more sophisticated media capture and presentation tools rich in audio, powerpoints, videos and animations as resources allow and their ICT confidence and skill grows. Of course it is the learning, skills, creativity, enjoyment and growing confidence that matters.

Sharing ideas to inspire from peers

There are now thousands of creative outputs from pupils as a result of core curriculum activities. Teachers can easily access and use pupils’ work as teaching tools alongside their own resources. This offers staff ideas, examples of creative practice, it is also a  fantastic way to promote good work and inspire your pupils as creative producers. Access to creative outputs is for teachers who become registered as creative friends for a particular school using edujam. Further details are shown here.

Not planning everything, simply encourage ownership, embrace their culture and interests 

More and more pupils are being encouraged to produce and share content about their own passions and personal interests. Encouraging pupils to enjoy using edujam in this way alongside core curriculum activities, seems to be hugely motivating for staff and pupils alike and can help to strengthen relationships between the two. Indeed this seems to make quite a difference in the extent to which pupils feel ownership and the subsequent educational benefits.

For example, Miriam Buchan, teacher at Shirenewton School, has been delighted with the stream of poems her class has kept producing since they completed a block of work on poetry back in the Spring Term of 2008. Indeed her class produced over 180 digital masterpieces over a term. Edujam has helped to give her pupils new purpose and a desire to continue to write poetry. Miriam has also enjoyed seeing the confidence and self esteem of pupils grow, especially if they were not always the first to put their hand up in the dynamic of a whole class situation. Use of edujam can offer every pupil a safe place to feel good about their talents regardless of age and ability or preference in subject and art form.

Teachers planning and requesting work to be handed in via edujam from a core curriculum activity, as well as simply encouraging flexible use driven by the energy and interests of pupils themselves has shown to be the biggest key to sustainable success and benefits with edujam.

Twilight Inset for Staff

Another huge factor in helping your school make the most of the opportunity with edujam is the confidence of teaching staff and involvement of your learning support assistants.

Brockshill Primary School in Leicestershire have given their teaching staff and learning support assistants, hands on workshop training.

This has really helped to ensure that pupils have the encouragement and support they need from their teacher right from the start.

 

Recognising this need, in addition to the successful Creative Community Kick Start days with pupils, staff and parents, edujam can offer twilight workshops for additional teaching staff and learning support assistants, where we will :

 
* Facilitate hands on use of a Jam studio from a pupil perspective and lokk at the tools provided for staff to assess work and provide feedback to pupils.

* Show and share examples of creative practice, different art forms and activities with edujam.
* Successful models of roll out with pupils.

A room with connection to the internet and a computer for each member of staff is all that is required for these twilight sessions. If you would like edujam to facilitate a twilight workshop for your staff please do not hesitate to contact us via 01291 673456 or via andyp@edujam.org.

Meanwhile,if your school has been using edujam for a period and would like to add some exciting new opportunities we have in the Headroom details of;

Exciting Curriculum Activities with recipes and books. 

Enthralling Active Drama Workshops.

Options to safely extend audience / creative community with other schools.