Being Us at the Weald School

Girls from Years 8 and 9 who had been identified as ‘passive learners’ by form and subject teachers produced short creative film pieces exploring self-expression, culminating in an exhibition. The girls worked in a range of media, including film, writing, drawing and photography to explore their thoughts and feelings.

Who was involved

  • Girls from Years 8 and 9 from The Weald School, West Sussex, with Drama teacher Aine King
  • Creative practitioner Annis Joslin, Film-maker


How can creative approaches to self-expression improve the engagement of passive girls in years 8 and 9?


  • To use safe and supported creative self-expression to enable girls to take risks, make new friendships and build their self-confidence.
  • For this developing self confidence to impact on rates of participation and engagement in school work
  • To attain Bronze Arts Award


The girls took risks, made new friendships and discovered new skills. Their confidence and participation scores improved as compared to the start of the project.  Students reported being more willing and able to participate in class as a result of the project.

The girls acquired film-making skills and learned about film and photography as tools for creative expression. All the girls achieved a Bronze Arts Award. Their capacity for collaboration was enhanced.

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In group work I have more to say. I think people should listen to my ideas.


I make myself be heard. I don’t want to be in the background so much.


I’m not scared of putting my hand up in Maths now and I’m really proud of myself.


Before I started this project, I wanted to do drama but I wasn’t really confident enough to do it. But I regret that now. Being in front of the camera became routine and the nerves just disappeared.


It’s definitely boosted my confidence. Even my teachers are saying that I’m involving myself more in lessons.


It’s helped me believe that…I’ve got something inside me. It doesn’t matter that I’m different. I know myself more.