Pedestrian are delighted that our project Changing Tracks has been featured in an article by the Leicester Mercury's Fiona Dryden. The project is delivered in three schools in Leicestershire county with the aim of building stronger links between schools and the local community. The sessions in school are designed to support younger children to build confidence, be able to use their voice, share stories and take part in curriculum enrichment activities.
The article reads:
Pupils learn importance of teamwork
Staff at an inner city school are using art to tap into pupil’s potential.
The project, entitled Changing Tracks, uses funding from the Police and Crime Commission to engage youngsters in a variety of ways, with cash spread among several Leicester schools, including Braunstone Community Primary.
Youngsters at Braunstone have taken part in, among other things, photography lessons, learning about how to capture their subject, as well as performing arts, and outdoor learning.
They have read additional books and built bird boxes and other outdoor items.
Head teacher Jatinda Mahil said: ‘The project is all about engaging students in different ways, by getting them to do something that develops the children’s experiences and brings their learning to life.
“They haven’t just been reading more books, they have performed their own versions of those books and talked about how they made them feel. They have spent a lot more time outdoors in our established allotment area and outdoor classrooms, created memory books of their time and worked with various artists.
“Not only that, they have also engaged with our visitors, including our local PCSO as part of a superhero day. It’s about breaking down barriers and bringing the community in to show our pupils what they’re actually part of.
“All of the work has been linked to the curriculum and we’re seeing children absolutely thrive.
“They have made great strides in their confidence, taken on a lot more personal responsibility and have really seen what teamwork is all about.
“With boys in particular, we’ve really seen their language acquisition brought on leaps and bounds just be doing lots of activities outside and reflecting on it afterwards. It’s been fantastic to see.”
Ms Mahil said the project had created a ripple effect across the school with staff also undertaking professional development training to ensure they are engaging with pupils to the best of their ability using the outdoors to engage pupils with their learning.
“Our pupils are part of an amazing community and we want them to understand that they can contribute to it positively. Equally, we want to show them who else does that too,” she said.
The school’s start of term was delayed slightly because of vandalism, but Ms Mahil said: “We haven’t let that dampen our spirits and, if anything, it’s shown our children just how much the community can rally around and the school and pupils have a part to play in our community.
“We had local businesses bringing food in for staff who were helping with the clean up and we’ve had lots of donations and parents fundraising and donating money to replace certain equipment which got broken. It really is remarkable.”
Year four teacher Carl King at the school, said: “We want to ensure that our children get as many experiences as possible and this project and its funding has really allowed us to do that.
“The work hasn’t been done in isolation – it’s linked to the curriculum and pupils can see that for themselves.”
We at Pedestrian are delighted that the positive impact of the project is being felt and look forward to continuing our work with all three of the schools involved.