Artists test impact of creative approaches with pupils at risk of exclusion

Paul Hamlyn Foundation funding ignites 'The Spark' project with primary school children in Doncaster

We’ve secured a two year Explore and Test fund from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to test whether creative techniques, developed through our work with Primary Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) can be applied in mainstream primary schools to benefit pupils at risk of exclusion.

Artists are working in three primary schools in Doncaster using sculpture, circus arts, music and visual arts to create engaging creative sessions for pupils and working towards creating end-of-year sharing events.

Our aim is that these sessions will produce positive outcomes for pupils including increased engagement, self-esteem and aspiration, coping strategies and decreased likelihood of exclusion.

The artistic team will also create a practical toolbox of creative approaches to support the continued professional development of teachers and will work collaboratively with staff to test new ways of engaging challenging pupils. Training will embed the approach with teachers so they are confident in using successful tools and approaches with new pupils facing similar challenges.

We want ‘The Spark’ project to provide children at risk of exclusion with new routes into learning. Building achievement and ambition over time, we’ll provide opportunities for challenge and safe risk-taking. We hope this experience will result in high-impact creative products that pupils and teachers will feel proud of.