This project has made a significant and sustained impact on both the school as a whole, individual teachers and on students. It has been recognised as an essential vehicle for school improvement.” Tom Procter-Legg, Head Teacher, Iffley Academy
2020 sees an exciting year for the partnership. A mini museum is being established at the school for students to curate their own exhibitions, with the support of GLAM staff, while the outdoor space at the school will increasingly be used for learning, supported by Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum.
Alongside practical outcomes, such as the achievement of Arts Award qualifications by all those students involved with project work, the programme has had a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of the students. Using the cultural opportunities created by the programme, they have explored relationships in order to enhance their social skills and self-confidence, with the result that they place greater value on social interactions over processes and projects.
The project has also transformed teaching practice at the school. Cultural learning now lies at the heart of the curriculum, while many teachers plan their own trips to the museums and engage directly with the venues to develop their own projects. They have gained a sense of ownership of their local cultural spaces and are more confident about the contributions they and their students can make to the cultural sector.
For GLAM, the partnership has resulted in a more diverse audience of young people, and a greater focus on making the venues more accessible and welcoming to SEND children and their families.
“The arts project allowed the pupils to explore different types of roles within their relationships, providing confidence and self-worth to those who find social interactions a challenge. The support they gave each other through the thrills and failures that occurred in the creative processes were heart-warming and genuine.” Nicola Baptie, Teacher, Iffley Academy
Best-practice case study
The partnership has recently been cited as a best practice case study in the Durham Commission Report on Creativity and Education (October 2019). The report describes the partnership as a "consilient model of arts and science learning, which demonstrates how children can acquire knowledge, come up with new ideas, work with their hands and feel ownership of the cultural institutions in their local community".
Read the Durham Commission report
A range of articles about the Iffley Academy partnership have been published in educational journals and websites. We would like to thank the publishers for allowing us to reproduce copies here. A full list of credits is available below:
You can find out more about Iffley Academy at www.iffleyacademy.co.uk.