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Creative Wellbeing Programmes in Schools 2018/2019

This year we have delivered six after school creative wellbeing programmes in schools: Space to Create in Primary and Telling Your Story in secondary.

These are 8 week after school programmes targeted at children and young people who would enjoy and benefit from a creative space to build confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Schools can contribute to extend the programme. The primary programme has been funded by Hastings Opportunity Area and the secondary by BBC Children in Need.

Sessions are led by 2 artists who develop a varied programme of activity that responds to children and young people’s interests. Activities have included arts, crafts, drama, music and singing. The secondary groups have also done a gallery trip to Jerwood or De La Warr Pavilion.

Objectives

  • Develop creative skills and identify how these support broader wellbeing
  • Increased confidence self esteem
  • Improve coping strategies and resilience
  • Feel more connected

Who is involved

  • Artists: Anna Atkinson, Ed Boxall, Phoene Cave, Rebecca Child, Bec Garland, Riz Maslen  and Janey Moffatt
  • Schools: Bexhill Academy, Hastings Academy, Ark Helenswood Academy,St Leonards CE Primary Academy, Baird Primary Academy and Churchwood Primary Academy

Outcomes

A safe and stress free space
Both primary and secondary groups value the space provided by these programmes and recognise the impact it has on their wellbeing.

I love it here. I feel more calm and relaxed.

Secondary participant

Students at Hastings Academy when asked how they would describe the programme to a friend came up with Chill Out, Calm Art and Helpful Fun.

Creativity
Across all groups children and young people report feeling more creative as a result of the programme.  Children at St Leonard’s CE Primary reported being more creative at home, having developed confidence to sing, and enjoying the variety of creative activities. One child answered ‘YES!YES!YES!’ when asked if they felt more creative as a result of the programme.

Confidence
Over the 8 week programmes, teachers and parents often remark on the increase in a child or young person’s confidence. Confidence grows through finding new avenues for expression and also in finding solidarity and connectedness in a group. Some children have commented specifically on the opportunities to sing and the impact this has had on their confidence.

I’m more sociable now.

Secondary participant

It made me feel confident because it always reassured me about my art.

Primary participant

I feel happier and more confident because I get to share my feelings and what had happened in my life.

Primary participant

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Coping/resilience
Across both age groups children and young people are welcome to share issues that are challenging them. This could be bereavement or sickness in the family, bullying at school, or friendships and relationships. Sometimes relationships in the group are testing and the time together offers children and young people a supported space to work things out.

It helped me manage what I should and shouldn’t say.

Primary participant

Does it have to stop, it stopped over Christmas and I started getting into trouble again.

Secondary participant

The exploration you see in Early Years often gets lost further up the school. The programme offered true exploration without constraints. It allowed the identity and unique strengths of each child to come through. It offered an opportunity for exploration without the constraints of the school curriculum.

Principal Baird Primary Academy

We are delighted that both programmes continue to be funded next year. If you are interested contact catherine@cultureshift.org.uk