Sunday 27 June 2010

Freddie Darke's Memories of Tallis Mural

Freddie Darke's Memories of Tallis Mural from Jon Nicholls on Vimeo.

Freddie is an ex student of Thomas Tallis School and a gifted illustrator. As part of our 'Past, Present & Future' festival of creativity, we commissioned him to return to school to share his memories in the form of a mural. He did a remarkable job and this short film documents the process. Freddie's is the first of a series of creative interventions throughout 2010-11 prior to our move to a new school and the demolition of the existing building.

Monday 21 June 2010

The Crate

The pop up gallery arrived this afternoon. It's first job is to star in a film about Dr. Who visiting Tallis and exploring its past, present & future. Then it's home to The Measurement Shop in a couple of weeks and, in the meantime, will become a portal and workshop space linking Tallis with the Beaconsfield Gallery.

You may have noticed that the gallery looks a lot like a packing crate (it even has "Fragile. This Way Up" stenciled on the side). This is deliberate. The space functions as a gallery/workshop when the doors are open but also as a sculptural object, referring to the fact that we will soon be packing up and moving to a brand new school. It was important to us that the gallery could be seen from the road, as you enter the concourse from the car park and from most of the rooms adjacent to the concourse.

What will you take with you to the new school? Will they be physical or emotional items?

Friday 18 June 2010

Check out our official poster for the 'Past, Present & Future' events. It was designed by Rhea Evers, an ex student who is now studying for a degree in illustration in Brighton. I think she's done a great job and has captured beautifully the spirit of the event. Well done Rhea!

Wednesday 2 June 2010

What motivates us?

Check out this really cool animated talk by Daniel Pink, an expert on motivation and economics, courtesy of the RSA. Apparently, giving people a financial reward for doing complex cognitive tasks produces poorer work. What really motivates people seems to be three things: challenge, mastery and making a contribution.

What does this tell us about how we organise learning in school? Do students work better if we reward them, not with money, but with better grades? How would learning change if we altered the purpose of coming to school? What if we were able to harness the more intrinsic sources of motivation that really get people going and make them care about what they spend their time on?

I had a thought today in the shower (where I get most of my best thoughts). I've not ruminated on it much but I'm going to share it with you anyway. What if we encouraged all students to spend a part of their week in school working on a personal or collaborative project of their own choosing? In other words, we would collapse the curriculum for a portion of the week (maybe only a couple of hours) or maybe for one whole day every month and we would say to students, "This is your time. Use it to learn what you want, to try something new or work on something you feel passionate about."

Would this work?