Raising pupils’ aspirations and confidence through a photography collaboration

Created by Paul Henegan

What was the school trying to achieve?

The case study was in response to a perceived need of this secondary school on the outskirts of Derby to improve teaching and learning through a better understanding of its learners. For a local Arts organisation, it was a means to fulfil its own educational mission to introduce young people to, and encourage their engagement with, cultural events in the city. A recent teaching and learning staff group at the school investigated what the school was trying to achieve with learners. Discussion focussed on ‘what were learners like now’ and ‘what did the school want learners to be like? 

The main aims for change to emerge were centred on the need to move from encouraging ‘spoon-fed’ learners to promote independence by encouraging students out of their ‘comfort zones’ to take risks with their learning. Higher aspirations for all students arising from more positive attitudes to learning were an aim as was greater global and political awareness.

Simultaneously and fortuitously the Arts Education Officer at ‘QUAD’ offered the art and design department, a series of three coordinated workshops. Their offer was intended to raise awareness of the Format biannual international photography festival held in Derby (key partners QUAD, Derby University and Derby City Council) with young people and schools to introduce young people to, and encourage their engagement with the cultural opportunities available in Derby.

Click here to download the case study