Multi-academy arts project – Liberty Chain

Enrichment case study (Trust-wide)

Funded by Arts Council England and Ormiston Trust, this regionally based multi-arts programme supported 70 young people and 10 teachers (from within OAT and beyond), as well as reaching over 400 students from across the OAT midlands academies.

What we did

The six-month programme used the key themes of British Values and Citizenship, developing participants’ practical, creative and personal skills, through high-quality arts activities. Activities included a series of professionally supported arts workshops, teacher CPD, cultural site visits for 70 students, 60 of whom received an Arts Award accreditation and Arts Award assessor training (for five teachers).

Multiple creative workshops including pottery, architecture and sound design, textiles and performance were delivered in schools by professional artists.

What we achieved

The project culminated in 4 youth-led sharing and celebration events, an open source online teaching resource, developed in collaboration with all participants 60 young people achieving arts award Bronze and 6 teachers trained as Arts Award advisers, and a public exhibition of some of the artworks at Dudley Canal Trust and Museum.

What they said

Teachers and students were keen to express their appreciation for the project…

Kate Kearns teacher, said: “Sharing has included; sharing a skill with younger girls, sharing to the KS3 community in a formal assembly forum, and also sharing with a wider public audience as their work is exhibited at the Canal trust, Dudley : I think this is excellent and the girls are proud.”

Arna, a student said: “Its’s really good, like for the Arts Award I didn’t think about going on the trips and all the other things we are doing, like being able to work with real artists and speak to them, I really didn’t think that would happen…We normally have to copy about an artist, we don’t really talk about our ideas and we don’t go into the expression, we don’t consider the why… this project has really helped.”

Jemima Waltho, enrichment manager, said: “All four academies have created some beautiful and expressive pieces, supported by their teachers and chosen art professionals. The Liberty Chain project has enabled them to explore difficult and sometimes challenging themes in an engaging and creative way. As a trust we are dedicated to creating opportunities to broaden the horizons of our students. We are grateful for the support we have received from Arts Council England and Ormiston Trust.