Training and workshops
Feedback from Julie Smith, from the Directorate of Children's services at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, on Open Day on methodology and practice for mentors, teaching assistants, teachers and Head Teachers in Dudley, W Midlands.
I would like to thank you and the team from The Art Room and The Mulberry Bush School for delivering the training and workshop on the 5th February at Saltwells EDC.
As you are aware those in attendance on the day were learning mentors and teachers who work on a daily basis with children who have difficulty coping in school. The feedback that I have received from them is that they would very much like to establish Art Rooms in Dudley.
Your team explained the philosophy behind The Art Room clearly and the use of photographs helped colleagues to visualise the setting. An explanation of the structure of a day in The Art Room was very useful in helping colleagues to consider the possibility of establishing such provision in their own schools. I felt that the brief explanation of attachment theory was also extremely helpful as it put into context this way of working.
Colleagues have stated that the use of case studies to show the impact of The Art Room was very moving and powerful. I felt that this provided a very real picture of the difficulties that children face in their everyday lives and how a setting like The Art Room can provide the nurturing and support necessary to facilitate positive change in a young persons life.
The workshop in the afternoon was excellent. The participants really enjoyed the practical experience and felt that it gave a concrete example of activities that they could engage in with the children.
Some colleagues have already expressed their wish to establish an Art Room in their school and in some cases have already started to gather resources. The impact of your visit has inspired colleagues to look at ways of using art as a vehicle to improving children’s self esteem. Staff from Pupil Referral Units have also contacted me to express their interest in using this approach.
Following such overwhelming support for the development of Art Rooms in Dudley I would like to express once again my gratitude to you all and would like to work with you further in taking this forward. We are very committed in Dudley to providing the best for our young people and The Art Room team in conjunction with the Mulberry Bush School have touched our hearts and minds and have provided us with a new way of delivering what we know to be crucial to supporting pupils who are ‘at risk’ of a failure to achieve their full potential.
Julie Smith, BIP Co-ordinator