From April to May 2016, Signals delivered a multi-art form project at Stanway Primary School in Colchester. Working with one year 4/5 class of 32 pupils, Signals task was to engage and develop participants in literacy through arts and digital technologies, whilst also to inspire creativity and individual development. This project was the second part of Plug-In, an Arts Council funded project which responds to the demand from education organisations locally wishing to know more about new technologies and how they can be applied in education programmes.
Over eight weeks children took part in drama, script writing, animation, live foley and makey makey workshops, creating content for a multi-art form performance, which showcased everything they created and learned in front of all of their key stage 2 peers. They had the opportunity to work with: Jane Gull – Film director, Tom Hicks – International Animator and Frazer Merrick sound composer and app developer. The children created a script based on the Greek myth King Midas and used animation and Makey Makey’s, a small USB circuit board which allows conductive materials to trigger computer code, to enhance their performance.
Learning from the Plug-In Symposium
Before the Stanway school project Signals delivered a three-day symposium called Plug In, which invited local digital professionals meet local cultural organisations and offer a platform for the two to network, creating opportunities to introduce digital work in cultural educational programmes. For example app developers GAMAR gave a talk on their exciting ‘artificial reality’ technology which overlays animations and text on camera footage from within their app. Having been introduced to a variety of new technologies and techniques, Signals then worked with Stanway primary school to apply what was developed from Plug In. All of the presentations were recorded and can be viewed here or browse through some fantastic tweets from the 3-day event here.
The series of workshops with the school culminated in a performance, which was a real celebration and showcase of the chidlren’s creativity and learning from all of their workshops with the artist tutors. The children animations were projected behind them as they acted on the stage, and then using a ‘makeymakey’ the children triggered sound effects (which they had made) during the shower – such as the booming God voice.
This project has been a fantastic showcase of Signals ability to excel at delivery creative digital learning. Integrating digital technology with art and not only enriching the learning experience but also increasing the engagement and enjoyment of learning for the children.