Recovery Learning: Pass the BatonMarch 2, 2021
Rethinking RecoveryMarch 17, 2021
At a time of austerity and constriction, Sefton’s Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) is determined to maintain a high profile for its provision for the arts and creativity across its educational and community providers. Despite the new and additional challenges created by the pandemic, lockdown and school closures, their plans remain hopeful, challenging and ambitious.
All members of the Sefton partnership firmly believe that the arts, culture and creativity possess a ‘magic key
’ to unlocking potential in all students; developing confidence, independence, resilience, pride and cooperation and enhancing mental health and well-being along the way. The LCEP's Strategic Group represents a diverse range of stakeholders who all share the same vision to promote an innovative creative and cultural offer with schools and arts organisations across the borough, leading to high quality opportunities for the next generation. The include: Formby High School
(an Artsmark Platinum school), The Atkinson
, Sefton Libraries
, Hugh Baird College
, Sky Music Education Hub
and, of course, Curious Minds.
Since March 2020, this group has continued to meet online - providing a supportive virtual space for member organisations to share their concerns, aspirations and creative ideas in uncertain times. This ongoing collaboration and determination to innovate has seen a number of initiatives flourish in this time period; benefiting teachers and arts practitioners, as well as children and young people.
A range of ‘Teach Meet’ sessions for subject specialists. ‘Creative Teach Meets’ have also provided a forum to share ideas around curriculum, assessment and partnerships with lively conversation and debate from primary and secondary teachers, as well as arts organisations and practitioners.
The ‘Talking Heads’ music session allowed local teachers to share, collaborate and discuss practical and manageable approaches to delivering lessons in non-musical classrooms from September 2020. It also explored to impact on curriculum planning, content and connections to the local cultural landscape. Training sessions were also offered around ‘Taking your choir rehearsals online’.
During summer 2020, strategic partners YKids built on their existing programme of creative packs delivery by joining the national #LetsCreate initiative, supported by Arts Council England. Working with LCEP partners, Sefton Libraries and Venus Charity, YKids delivered 275 packs, including to refugee families and via a local foodbank. With additional support from Crafts Council they delivered 300 packs in the October half-term.
January 2021 saw the launch of a ‘Creativity is…’ campaign, which encourages young people across the area to reflect on their experiences over the past year and explore their creative skills. Inspired by the work of Bob and Roberta Smith, the project encourages young people to submit original work to a ‘placard exhibition’ and ‘go digital’ with homemade short films.
In March, a new pan-Merseyside Virtual Schools Choir project will launch, aiming to record hundreds of young voices in a fantastic original pop song ‘Above Us Only Sky’ which celebrates all that is fantastically cultural and unique about this amazing city region.
Later in 2021, virtual plans include a Young Peoples’ Creative Voice Online Conference and a Creative Schools Conference too. Both events will allow teachers, practitioners and young people to celebrate their approaches to creativity, art and culture.
As the education, cultural and youth sectors now begin the long and potentially unpredictable return to normality, the work of the Partnership continues apace. The drive, energy, insight and commitment shown by the strategic group through the challenges of this pandemic has served to galvanised the vision of its membership as well as opening-up the programme to new partners. All of which, naturally, can only benefit the young people of Sefton for years to come.