Wednesday 7 October 2009

The final frontier

Thanks to everyone who took part in today's series of meetings, especially the students who spoke so intelligently to Sir Nick Serota from the Tate. Welcome also to the new members of the Action Research Group!

Space, as the old TV saying goes, is the final frontier. The main topic of conversation at this afternoon's ARG meeting was the possibility of the school inheriting a new space external to the current school. We watched a documentary about a project called "Once Upon a School" that I have blogged about before. This involved some professional writers working collaboratively with teachers (in the States) to establish better literacy support for their communities. The key to the initial success of the project (or projects, since there are now lots in a variety of cities) was the use of a neutral space that functioned as shop (selling pirate supplies), tutoring space and office.

It may be the case that Tallis has an opportunity to use just such a space. The question is, what would be the best use of it? We had several ideas this afternoon but I'd like you to add a comment to this post with your latest thoughts. Don't worry too much about the practicalities at this stage. We need to think a bit outside the box. What does our community, in the widest sense, need educationally that it doesn't currently have? How could this space help us to experiment with new solutions to some tricky problems? How might the space be organised and what might happen in it?

I look forward to reading your amazing ideas. I will then take these ideas to the Man from Del Monte to see what he says about them.


ttgunner said...

im really looking forward to using this space. i think it would have an interesting effect on students who would be brought together from all over the school and with different creative outlooks to put there ideas to work. Because of this, it would be cool getting diffrent subjects together.

Soren Hawes said...

Apologies for not getting round to commenting sooner - it's been a hectic, but exciting, few days.

I think Tallis has been working really hard to find ways of extending learning outside of the school gates and into the wider community. What better way of doing this than experimenting with a space that has a relationship with school, but doesn't suffer from some of the restrictions that are sometimes necessary to make our school space work. I know that some of the best learning experiences I have had with colleagues have involved us getting off site - it's amazing the difference it makes. same people , but different space and a fresh perspective. I think considering a creative space for staff, students, parents and community would be a challenge well worth taking on,

A few thoughts:

It would be really important to make sure that it isn't seen as a creative ghetto, or appear to suggest that the school building isn't a place with creative potential.

Is there a way of engaging with creative practitioners and creative industries to help us put plans for this place together? It might be of interest for some major organisations that are seeking to engage new audiences.

Can we work with the Dave Eggers idea. I think the playfulness, humour and energy of the idea was so important in drawing in participants - both adults and children.

I think the ARG could still continue to work on developing creativity in school, but planning for this space could be our key project. Never mind a Gold Arts Award, they would have to invent a diamond-encrusted-platinum-bling-laden gong if we get this done!