Isambard Community School students have been enjoying Arts Blast 2 – an intensive eight-day programme of curriculum arts activities which replaced all normal lessons in early February.
Flux – a government-sponsored pilot to help young people in North Swindon participate in the arts – is providing professional artists to help students write scripts, make puppets, produce a horror movie – and much more.
As almost 500 students got involved in activities such as film animation, acting, Samba drumming, writing workshops, South American dance, Peruvian textiles, and visual art – in association with the Arnolfini in Bristol – one student said, "With Arts Blast everything is so different, it’s exciting!"
Another added, "It’s really exciting because in French we’re learning how to make puppets! It’s more fun than normal lessons, I jump out of bed because of Arts Blast. We have to use our brains a lot to get new ideas and be creative."
Other comments included, "We’re having a lot of fun and it’s not until you write your arts diaries you realise how much you’ve learnt. It’s really cool, you just want to get to school, everyone looks forward to it."
"I get really, really excited about it, in the morning I wake up and say ‘oh yeah! we’ve got Arts Blast today!’"
Arts Blast 2 sees Flux artists and teachers help Year 7s focus on South America, and Year 8s look at Living Together.
This programme follows Arts Blast 1 in October, when students made a volcano, saw it erupt and reported on it in their professional TV studio.
Flux is a three-year pilot project for North Swindon funded by the government and delivered by Artsmad, which is part of Swindon Borough Council. The project will see if fantastic arts activities, such as filmmaking, digital art and rock schools, can help shape the new communities of North Swindon. As well as working in the wider community, Flux is working in the Isambard Community School.
For more information about Flux please see www.fluxswindon.org.uk