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Light and sound at Durrington High School

A selected group of under-achieving and disruptive Year 9 boys worked with two male practitioners – a music producer and a film-maker/designer. The boys created music and film footage that became part of a large-scale outdoor public art installation during White Nights, in Amiens (France) and Brighton.

Who was involved

  • A small group of specially selected Year 9 boys, and their teacher Gail Christie from Durrington High School, West Sussex
  • Creative partners: Steve Geliot and Andrew Walker

Enquiry 

How can creative learning stimulate and raise the aspirations and enterprise of Yr 9 students with challenging behaviour to encourage them to fully engage with school and learning in general?

Objectives

The project aimed to provide the boys with opportunities to take a more active role in their education, improve their behaviour, learn new skills and raise their aspirations.

Outcomes

The lead teacher noted that the experience of taking part in practical sessions made school much more appealing to the boys, and this raised their attendance and enthusiasm. Members of the public saw the boys’ work during ‘White Nights’, in France and Brighton. Whilst the group did not initially grasp the kudos of this opportunity, seeing the fruits of their labour on ‘YouTube’ gave them a great sense of achievement. Steve and Andrew were a big inspiration and the participants developed an insight into life as an artist or musician.

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Aside from developing an awareness of the value of hard work and perseverance the boys also learnt a variety of practical skills, including music production, editing, filming, design and directing. The project encouraged the boys to challenge themselves in new ways, and when asked to reflect on their involvement they said:

I used my imagination. I feel more confident now and I’m able to express myself better.

I feel I’ve been a major part if this project. I’ve enjoyed making music and film, and being part of a team.

I’ve really enjoyed the project; it’s helped me to think more positively about school.