Work by Arts4wellbeing being showcased at the Tate Modern London


UWTSD is celebrating the success of one of its key, third sector partner organisations. Arts4wellbeing’s creative learning project has been chosen as one of 35 projects across Wales to be showcased at the TATE Modern, London.  

Arts4wellbeing (@A4W.Innovation.CIC ) are an arts in health organisation based in west Wales, delivering courses and training programmes across three counties to promote individual and community resilience, supporting good mental health and wellbeing,  and promoting the growth of strong resilient communities.

Two years ago Mike Hotson and Sara Wentworth of Arts4wellbeing were invited to tender for an Arts Council of Wales Creative Practitioners in Schools project in Ysgol Penfro/Pembroke School. The brief was to design and deliver a project which would engage a group of disaffected Year 10 boys in learning, to address barriers to learning, aimed at helping them integrate more positively within the school and wider communities, and improve their performance in their GCSE English exam.

A4W approached UWTSD Widening Access for support in making a short promotional film. Richard Beecher from the Marketing and Communications team worked with Sara and Mike to create and edit the film tender for the project. Tenders were subsequently shown at the school and after seeing the submissions, the boys chose A4W to devise and deliver the Creative Learning project on  Lord of the Flies for GCSE.

Sara and Mike worked collaboratively with the teaching staff and the boys to design and deliver an immersive creative learning programme, using the local woodland as the outdoor classroom representing the island in the story. Lord of the Flies for GCSE was taught using total experiential immersion, drama, group-work, creativity, underpinned by the Five Creative Habits of Mind to engage and inspire the boys. Through carefully designed innovative approaches Sara and Mike gradually improved listening and speaking skills, self-confidence, self-esteem and behaviours, encouraging a move from self and group sabotage to self-directed learning.  A4W worked alongside a filmmaker who worked with the boys to create a film of the immersive learning experience which was an initial film at the end of the project, and subsequently extended the film, adding footage interviewing the boys and Ben Barraclough Head of English after the GCSE exam results had come through.

By the end of the project Sara and Mike’s creative teaching approach had successfully enabled the boys to build the World’s first Lord of the Flies Immersive Learning revision trail, which was then extensively used  by the other 400 students in Years 10 and 11 for their own exam preparation. The A4W team facilitated an end of project community event at the school, alongside the boys, enabling the rest of the school to sample the sensory creative learning.

As a result of the project ten of the boys passed their GCSE English with the other five boys only missing by a few marks, far better than had been expected. Their integration and relationships within the school improved, the boys had new understandings, developed and strengthened new life skills, became more in touch with their potential, and better motivated and equipped to be successful in the adult world they were about to enter.

This ambitious programme of embedding Creative Learning through the arts in Schools, putting arts and creativity at the centre of the curriculum, is funded by Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government. ‘At its heart is the conviction that if we are to nurture the learning capability of children in Wales, an arts rich education should be central to the whole school experience of all learners.’ Tate Exchange.

The UWTSD Widening Access and Community Engagement team has worked with Arts4Wellbeing for a number of years; UWTSD students have also volunteered with them in the past.  Two Carmarthen campus digital media students are currently working with Widening Access and Arts4Wellbeing to deliver both a film and a digital story telling project in mid May with members of the rural Ceredigion community who are part of the Arts4Wellbeing Compassionate Communities project.  The intention is to record the histories of the participants whilst simultaneously introducing participants to valuable digital skills thus hopefully helping them access services.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07384 467071