HeadStart is a multi-agency organisation aiming to increase resilience and improve mental wellbeing in young people. HeadStart supported and funded the Creative Resilience project as part of the Resilience Revolution in Blackpool.
The main aim of the program was to encourage resilience through participation in a collaborative sculpture project with the intention of increasing year 8 pupils’ resilience and ambition.
It was hoped we would see children increase enjoyment and confidence levels while develop willingness to participate in new activities which can enhance creative thinking and communication skills. Blackpool Sixth Form College collaborated with local artist/ art adviser Linda Copeland on this project. Through utilising Vygotsky’s theory of scaffolding learning: instructional demonstrations, discussions, active learning, creating greater independence in the learning process.
Three schools taking part in this research project experience were:
- South Shore Academy
- Montgomery High School
- Blackpool Aspire Academy
Over 300 year 8 pupils attend exploratory activities before staff then went on to shortlist 60 students for the full Creative Resilience program. The theme of birds, wings and flight were used for inspiration due to this helping to highlight the overall focus – encouraging young people to break through expectations and set themselves ambitious flight trajectories for their futures, supporting them to pursue creative industries careers and opportunities.
During this project, it became apparent that this group of students were capable of much more and the decision was made to integrate training activities into the session to equip them with tasks they could share with other students through becoming Creative Ambassadors back in their school settings.
It is hoped that this cohort of students will continue to be involved with collaborative community based activities and that they will enjoy further Creative Careers experience days at Blackpool Sixth.
We would like to thank all schools involved for their enthusiasm and dedication to really understanding the need for such a project and the benefits it could bring to their students and for wholeheartedly endorsing the activities we proposed. It was clear throughout this project that we have a lot of creative opportunities to foster on the North Coast and that we all want the very best experiences for our future creatives.