Creative Saturday School
The College’s inaugural Creative Saturday School (CSS) was a great success running weekly from September 21st to March 14th excluding holidays. Working in partnership with the Creative Dimension Trust (TCDT) has been an excellent launch pad and learning ground.
To bring children with similar interests from various backgrounds together; to break down social, economic myths and barriers; and to provide aspirational opportunity for those with creative aptitude and passion.
We are aware that funding cuts and curriculum priorities can often mean art is an under resourced subject at primary-level and that private tuition in the subject is not easy to access for younger year groups.
We have an existing relationship with the Creative Dimension Trust who use Dulwich College facilities to run free workshops for 16 to 24 year olds. We approached them to explore the idea of running workshops for younger pupils and ran a pilot in February half term 2019.
As well as providing the necessary administrative and HR support, the College also employed a member of staff to support the external tutors each Saturday morning.
The pupils undertook 14 varied workshops with craft specialists, artists and designers, where they learnt skills such as marbling, gilding, stone carving, puppetry and mask making. The pupils fully engaged with learning these specialist skills. In between the specialist sessions, the pupils were taught by a regular tutor; these sessions worked well to add some consistency and familiarity for the pupils.
Parents were very positive about the workshops and interested in seeing what their children were working on week by week. They often stayed behind after sessions to talk to tutors about sourcing tools and materials so pupils could continue developing their skills at home independently.
At the end of the CSS The College asked pupils and parents to complete online questionnaires providing feedback on the provision.
The Parents gave an average 4.67 star rating out of a possible 5, they highlight increased confidence and maturity as well as the access to a range of creative disciplines. All the parents remarked that their child was demonstrating better engagement at school as a result of attendance at the CSS, and said they would recommend the experience to others.
One hundred percent of the pupil feedback was that the sessions were easy to understand and that they felt safe and looked after. 80% told us that the sessions were ALWAYS fun and that the tutors were ALWAYS helpful and interesting.
Fourteen children attended from seven Southwark primary schools - six State and one Independent. We had an equal number of boys and girls and age range varied from 8 to 11years old.
This diversity reflects our ethos and philosophy to bring children with similar interests from various backgrounds together; to break down social, economic myths and barriers; and to provide aspirational opportunity for those with creative aptitude and passion.
The pupils had 14 two-hour workshops from September 21st to March 14th excluding holidays.
Covid-19 has prevented the scheme continuing in 2020-21 but we hope to re-establish the provision as soon as possible.