Creative experiences outside of the classroom help raise children’s self-esteem, sense of achievement and confidence.

For many children who are struggling to engage with the curriculum, taking part in creative activities in an environment outside of their school and home, gives them the opportunity to explore who they are, and learn skills they may not have had the experience to develop before.

Aimee* was a very shy nine year old, whose English wasn’t quite as good as her peers. Along with her class, Aimee took part in Great Art Quest, which partnered her school with their local art gallery. The project focused on literacy and language through the arts.

The creative practitioner leading the workshop session describes her interaction with Aimee:

"At the initial gallery visit, there was one child who wouldn’t look at me, or respond, or join in with the activities at all. She seemed to be labelled by the children and teachers, as if ‘Oh well, she won’t join in.’ Later, when I worked with her in the school, her very understanding teacher said she was extremely shy and did not speak any English when she had first arrived. I really wanted to ensure that she could participate, as I felt this project should be for children just like her.

Part of my session involved children reading their own story. She didn’t feel comfortable with that, of course. She told me, via her friend, that she was worried the others would laugh at her, that her story wasn’t very good. I asked if it would be alright if I read out her story and didn’t say her name. She liked the idea of having an anonymous name (she thought it was funny!) so I read her story. I didn’t say who wrote it.

She sat up straight and watched her story unfold. At the end, her story was clapped and cheered.

She watched intently as everyone rushed to act out her story as they had done with the others. I felt really happy that she had had the chance to see her work performed, and that she permitted this to be done, which she wasn’t sure of at first.”

We are proud of how experiences like these can change a child’s life forever.

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*Names and images have been changed

Banner Image © Vivienne Bailey