Going with the flow with Craigroyston High School

We love the expressive arts team at Craigroyston Community High school. It’s hard to imagine a better partnership with a school.

During the pandemic they have worked incredibly hard in challenging circumstances to make sure that they are doing their best for the pupils at the school and that has included ensuring that the Tinderbox partnership with the school continues.

In March we managed to run another online songwriting project in another completely new setting. In the past we have run these projects in school and in 2020 we ran some of them online via the smart board into classrooms. This time the school was closed to pupils and we ran the project to pupils on individual devices with some pupils at home and others the hub for vulnerable children or children of key workers.

Once again, it was a fascinating experiment with a steep learning curve!

One of the challenges of the project was that there was very little direct online video engagement with pupils for their music classes at the time. Things had been set up so that there was an optional weekly check in to support with work that had been set online, but it wasn’t really being used. Due to problems with access to internet, devices and skills, it wasn’t possible to make any of these sessions mandatory even if teachers had wanted to.

Our challenge was to try to get some enthusiasm out there for the project so that pupils who were able to join would want to come along.

I made a short promo video to advertise the project and sent that around before we started (see link below).

Thankfully we had 18 pupils come along to the first session, which was a great number considering that only 1 or 2 had been along to the support sessions in the past. 

As always it was a challenge to persuade pupils to turn on their cameras and mics, but there was good interaction in the chat. 

We were able to use the chat function to write the lyrics for the song and pupils were involved in all aspects of the recording.

Feedback from their teacher was that she actually saw some pupils participate who would never normally participate in this kind of thing. Once again, the pandemic has thrown up more surprises.

Promo video for project