Why is ARCH needed?
The focus of government policy would suggest a move away from the arts in schools, and although we know that many schools work hard to bring arts experiences to their pupils, there is nevertheless a strong need to encourage and support schools in this endeavour. Research and case studies have shown the enormous advantages of engagement in the arts for young people, and ARCH aims to give added value to this work for as many children and young people as possible within the District.
What is the connection with Heritage?
The Connections pilot project showed that there are enormous inspirational resources in the Stroud area and that guided research and investigation into the world of local heritage especially not only makes the young people and their families more aware of their heritage but also provides exciting starting points for creative work in the arts.
How does a school become an ARCH member?
All schools in the District receive an invitation to register for ARCH during the spring term. Between then and the end of the school year interested schools will be visited to discuss how they would like to participate during the following school year and to make ARCH aware of their existing practice and experience. An annual membership fee of £100 plus 25p per pupil on role is then payable to cover basic costs.
What can schools expect from their membership of ARCH?
There are two basic strands to the programme. The core programme has two elements: an opportunity for any young person in the school to follow an Arts Award and for staff or parents to receive support and training to become Arts Award advisers for their school; and opportunities for young people to experience live professional arts performances or exhibitions and events.
The second strand is about the creative arts projects inspired by heritage. The current model for these projects has a number of related elements:
- Schools will work in cluster groups of between 3 and 6 schools, and overseen by a group of senior managers representing all the cluster schools.
- Schools will agree the focus of their heritage investigation and the art form(s) of their creative project.
- Each cluster will be allocated a professional Heritage Outreach Development Officer (HODO) and a professional practitioner in their chosen art form(s).
- The HODO will work closely with all the schools to advise and support the host teachers and the participating pupils in their investigation.
- At the end of the investigation period, the pupils will curate a school-based exhibition with the help of the HODO.
- Once all the schools have successfully reached this stage, the exhibitions will be brought together at a suitable public venue and all the participating pupils and staff will visit to experience each otherís work.
- During the investigation, the arts leader to put together a suitably experienced team of professional artists in the chosen medium, and they will also attend the joint heritage exhibition.
- This day will serve as an opportunity to enjoy working together and developing ideas for the next creative arts stage of the project.
- An agreed schedule of workshop visits by the arts team to each school will then enable the young people to create their own original work for performance or exhibition.
- Supported by the professional team, all the participants from the cluster schools will present a public performance or exhibition.
- The whole process will be documented and monitored and a report issued after the culmination of the project.
- There will be no fixed time frame for these projects. Both this and the calendar period for each cluster will be negotiated between the senior management team and ARCH.
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