Artis Learning went digital!

 

Reflecting on 2020

By Carys Owen (Cuckoo), Partnerships and Impact Manager

 

The last academic year has been an extraordinary and unexpected year for everyone, but in spite of school closures due to Covid-19, Artis Foundation has continued to deliver high-quality creative learning to children across the country.

The Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from offering our ‘normal’ on-site provision to schools from 23 March 2020. Having anticipated school closures in the weeks leading up to lockdown, we had planned our response. With crucial funding from the Arts Council Emergency Fund and the London Community Response Fund, we created remote provision for schools across the country, supported and trained our Artis Specialists in new modes of delivery, and designed future content that will aid children’s re-integration into school settings and support their wellbeing.

 

“Our Artis Specialist is more important now than ever. She enables children to be creative at home. To continue their learning, feel connected to school, and support their wellbeing.”

Emme Ford, Headteacher, Lee Mount Primary School

 

Our Artis Specialists set up creative classrooms in their own homes and we developed a virtual system for them to upload their videos. Using music, dance and drama activities, Artis Specialists pre-recorded sessions for their class groups, which were bespoke to the topics they cover in the curriculum. Children at home (or at school, for children of key workers) were able to join in with songs, movement sequences and drama activities to learn about classroom topics. Children saw the Artis Specialist that they knew and loved in a weekly video, strengthening their connection to school, and offering children fun ways to learn at home.

 

“The children will love these sessions and the Teachers are very grateful for the support with their workload!”

Stephanie Morton, Deputy Headteacher – Highfield Primary School

“I just wanted to say thank you for the videos.  I have used them with the children who are in school and they have loved them!  They join in enthusiastically and the mix of activities is perfect.

I have also heard very positive feedback from parents who have used them at home.  One mum was delighted to finally ‘see’ Flick as she had heard so much about him from her children!  It is lovely to know that the children are getting the opportunity to do upbeat, fun activities.  I feel that you cannot help but smile when Flick is teaching; he spreads joy and that is hugely important at this time.”

Michelle Cavanagh, Malmesbury Primary School

 

In the period of school closures, Artis Specialists created over 800 videos for over 7,500 children. These pre-recorded sessions reduced the workload of 450 teachers and supported many more parents across the country.

Since September this year, our incredible Artis Specialists have been back in schools delivering live sessions again. We’ve had to adapt our protocols to sit within government and individual school guidelines, and ensure health and safety is at the forefront of our delivery. Our Mentor teams have come up with innovative ways to help our Specialists teach creatively within school bubbles, to support spatial awareness by using music, drama and movement as an aide rather than a hindrance.

It has been so important for our partner schools’ recovery curriculum and to support children’s wellbeing now they are back in school. Where needed, we have been able to continue offering remote provision through our new digital platform, Artis Anywhere. Thanks to critical funding, Artis Anywhere will provide a weekly creative learning session for primary schools, covering each year group and curriculum topics.

 

In our end of term survey for 19/20 we had incredible feedback with 100% of Artis partner schools telling us that their provision had improved their children’s communication, confidence, teamwork, participation, and creative thinking.

Thanks to the creativity, innovation and agility of our Artis Specialists, our partner schools and our core team, we are coming out of 2020 as a stronger charity. We can face the challenges of school closures and physical distancing to continue to provide creative learning opportunities for children across the country.

11 Nov 2020


Registered Charity Number 1174635