SCRAWL on the WallWriting on the Wall are working towards launching SCRAWL on the Wall, a children and young people’s festival within schools that aims to inspire young people, diversify our vision, challenge the position of young people in the arts and question how the arts support and benefit young people whilst supporting their creative and educational development. SCRAWL on the WALL will feature a week-long series of workshops, competitions and author readings to widen children and young peoples’ view of writing and the arts, culminating in a showcase to share and celebrate the work of all the young people. Competitions would include flash fiction writing, poetry and spoken word and ‘best blog’, with workshops on fiction, novels, script writing, blogging and writing for gaming. The showcase will see students visit local libraries for a day of interactive events, highlighting the importance of young people visiting and engaging with cultural venues in their city. SCRAWL on the WALL will also be an opportunity to introduce schools to diverse literature with readings and workshops from both emerging, and accomplished writers.
Make Doves Not War
While we will adapt some of WoW’s successful projects, initiatives and competitions for SCRAWL – Flash Fiction, Pulp Idol, Panel discussions, etc., we are also aware that this generation of young people have grown up in a digital, web-connected world, often carrying smartphones with processors more powerful than that of a whole school’s computers from twenty-five years previous. These are the ‘digital natives’, and although there are issues relating to smartphone addiction, which SCRAWL can look at ways of addressing, there are many other areas, particularly YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, where WoW will work with young people and schools to develop exciting, engaging and meaningful arts and culturebased interaction promoting and encouraging creative input and development. This would be achieved by working with the young people themselves to explore and develop new, creative programmes. In the process of developing these digital programmes, we would be able to look at ways we could encourage and support the young people to achieve the Silver Arts Award.
The constraints of the curriculum sometimes place added pressures on young people to ‘achieve’ in school. Creativity and the arts are routinely overlooked in the classroom. The literature taught in schools doesn’t always reflecting their interests or concerns, and it can be difficult for children to identify with. WoW will work with a broad range of schools, including specialist schools, to bring in high-quality diverse literature and writers to provide positive role models and pathways for marginalised young people. The festival will allow children to work alongside authors and writers with similar life experiences to themselves, opening future possibilities and increasing aspirations.
Curating a children’s festival means that WoW can showcase work that is created all year round and during the annual festival. Festival events would be tailored for schools bringing in writers and social commentators into schools to explore and debate current issues.
All staff connected with delivering projects with young people will be Arts Award trained and will offer schools we have previously worked with help for their pupils to develop their Super Heroes: Words Are Our Power portfolios to submit for the Discover Arts Award. For 2018/19, WoW will provide Discover and Explore Arts Award, with potential for Bronze Award. We will be committed to helping core schools reach Artsmark status.
WoW will work with schools towards the plans of the Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership to award a ‘Liverpool Artsmark’ to schools who achieve 100% participation of pupils in 5+ experiences of art and culture per key stage.
The festival will recruit students from previous Super Heroes projects and other organisations such as Merseyside Youth Association (MYA) to create, manage and deliver events in the festival, providing work experience and pathways to gain experience for employment or further education. Selected students WoW currently work with will be invited to form a focus group to ensure that young people play a key role in the development of the festival.
Feedback from teachers, and from our own observations and evaluations, in the schools where we have delivered our Superheroes: Words Are Our Power project, shows that the project has been most successful when teachers have been fully engaged in the consultation, development and delivery of the sessions. We need to teach the teachers and inspire them creatively, so they feel confident in their work around our projects, and so we can promote creativity generally within schools to create a legacy for our work. To this end we intend to set up a ‘What’s Your Story?’ course aimed at teaching staff, which will be integral to the development of the SCRAWL festival and our future school-based projects.
We aim to:
• Work with school staff in 2018-19 to deliver several festival events aimed at young people and school students under the title SCRAWL On the Wall
• Launch a ‘What’s Your Story’ project aimed at Teachers
• Form a focus group of pupils and young people to work with WoW to develop SCRAWL Festival
• Secure long-term funding for SCRAWL Festival
• Train WoW staff working with schools and young people up to a minimum of Bronze Arts Award
• Offer Arts Award to pupils working on our projects
• Support Artsmark targets for schools being developed by Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership
• Establish WoW’s premises as an Arts Award Centre.
If you, your school, youth group or community organisation are interested in helping us make SCRAWL on the WALL the best children and young people’s creative event for young people, get in touch, so we can work with you to develop a series of creative events to inspire and engage young people across the region.