Westdene Teaching School Alliance Programme

How arts and cultural resources can support the new primary curriculum and 'close the attainment gap' for disadvantaged pupils.

Photoworks worked with Westdene Primary School (a National Teaching School) and cultural brokers Culture Shift, with investment from Artswork, the South East Bridge Organisation, to bring together artists, cultural organisations in Brighton & Hove and schools within the Teaching Schools Alliance.

Teachers and arts professionals participated in joint training opportunities and collaborated to share their expertise and resources, undertaking small-scale action research activity in their schools and cultural venues.

The programme aimed to explore how arts and cultural resources can support the new primary curriculum and ‘close the attainment gap’ for disadvantaged pupils, it provided training for Art Teachers that enabled them to step up in school leadership roles, promote Arts Award and Artsmark in schools and increase young people’s awareness of jobs in the creative and cultural industries through a Creative Café style event.

As part of this, Photoworks delivered professional development opportunities with staff at Westdene Primary School and Cottesmore St Mary’s Catholic School exploring the role of photography as cross-curricular learning tool that resulted in an animation project using iPads at Cottesmore and a mini photo festival at Westdene.

The programme ended in Spring 2015 and eight schools from across Brighton & Hove worked with Photoworks, Audio Active, Brighton & Hove Libraries, Brighton & Hove Museums, Collected Works, Fabrica, Little Green Pig and South East Dance.

Juliette Buss of Photoworks said,

Photoworks are thrilled to be a lead partner on this programme. This is a really valuable opportunity for different types of cultural organisations to come together with schools that are playing a key role in curriculum development across the city, and together look at how cultural organisations can support teachers, and encourage schools to engage with our programmes.

Jenny Stratton, Deputy Head at Westdene Primary School said,

We are absolutely delighted to be working in collaboration with other local schools and exciting arts partners on this innovative project.

Read more about the project here: How arts and cultural engagement can support school improvement priorities: Evaluative Project Summary