28 March 2013 at 5.35pm | Comment on this article
Jaywick, in the north-east of Essex, has been described as “the most deprived area in England”. In 2010 the town came top of the government’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation. Children who grow up in Jaywick face multiple challenges, including low attainment at school.
Could exposure to a range of cultural experiences help children do better in school and raise their aspirations? Local school, Frobisher Primary, and Signals Media Arts, were given funding by Royal Opera House Bridge to experiment with film, animation and illustration. In preparation for their Sats exam, children aged 10-11 worked on bringing Walter de la Mare’s poem The Listeners to life.
The Royal Opera House Bridge team was really excited to fund the week-long project. Kelly Lean, ROH Bridge programme manager, explains: “We knew the children at Frobisher Primary School would respond to working intensively on a film project. Frobisher and Signals Media Arts were able to dedicate the entire week to working with Year 6 on understanding the poem, storyboarding ideas and creating films. It really captured their imagination.”
Headteacher of Frobisher School, Julia Hall, says: “The children need to develop their language skills and this has been a really good opportunity for them to do this. They’ve come out with some incredible thoughts and responses to the poem and have a real comprehension of it.”
“I had lots of fun. We did lots of things we’ve never done before, like making puppets and filming. It’s really helped me understand the poem better.” Chloe, aged 10
The children also used the work to gain a Discover Arts Award, an Entry Level 3 qualification. To achieve this award, children need to discover the arts around them, find out about artists and their work and share their experiences with others. Twenty-seven children achieved this award during the week. Kelly says, "It’s likely that this is the first accreditation these children have achieved, which is a significant milestone, especially before they begin secondary school in September."
Julia Hall adds: “We’ve covered so many different aspects of the curriculum: ICT, reading, writing, listening, team-work and identifying roles. It hits a lot of objectives.”
You can find out more by visiting Signals Media's website.