Supporting the younger generation

Funding level: Up to £1,000


The Test Valley Arts Foundation is an independent charity supporting arts and culture in communities of the Test Valley. Since 1991 they have invested over £1m in the Arts locally and have developed an exciting manifesto for the future.

Part of this manifesto is about embracing the digital age and engaging young people in the Arts. This project is about stretching and challenging young people, adding an extra dynamic to the learning that happens in schools.

Subject ring-fencing often means that whilst pupils develop excellent skills in class, they often don’t get the chance to stretch their entrepreneurial abilities, and put the knowledge they are gaining to practical use.

This is particularly relevant now. The professional world is changing so rapidly and increases in the prevalence of digital technologies mean there is more urgency than ever for young people to gain confidence and skill with these technologies that will feature in their day to day lives.

Recently, every Yr 7 pupil in the country received a BBC:microbit with which to learn and develop new coding and digital technology skills. Sadly, many schools are restricted in their abilities to adopt this new potential, due to lack of resources and experience.

With the support of AVIVA our project would help the new technology be introduced and embedded, offering a cross-curricular, exciting and creative way of embracing this vital technology.

A taster project with one local school has established the potential and appetite for this with both staff and pupils benefiting from new possibilities and creative approaches. Now we are going back to bring departments together and learn through collaboration, experimentation and creativity. It’s not enough to know what a tool does. Tools only work if you understand how to use them.

The taster project has been a success and feedback has been really positive. Funding would mean that the project can be fully rolled out at the school before being offered across the region.

The project has the potential to be far reaching within the community, creating a network of savvy, confident and able pupils, fluent in problem solving and the multiple applications of the new digital media world.

The purpose is to challenge them, shaking off the confines of traditional structured learning, working for themselves, generating their own skilled project team.

The project funds will enable the research and delivery for the whole project, as well as providing the considerable equipment resources necessary. We will be introducing a wide range of applications and devices that enhance and extend schools’ limited provision. Once used, this will be fully-reusable package to be taken to further venues.

The package will be a foundation element of our proposed “Room 13 scheme”. This is a recognised international education model that is largely pupil-led. To begin with, we will be running a mobile Room 13 from our community art bus “The Bus of Many Things” bringing the workshop to participating schools across the Test Valley.

Over the last 7 years, Chapel Arts Studios (who work closely with Test Valley Arts) has established a network of local Schools who are committed to extending their curriculum through valuable creative practices. The AVIVA money will ensure that these ambitions can reach fruition, providing a learning experience that would not otherwise be possible.

In this highly digital age, there is a requirement for young people not just to have exposure to changing and exciting technology but to develop confidence and innovative spirit required to make them work for them as individuals and a society.

Test Valley Arts Foundation

Moment of Pride

Having worked with TVAF before we know how hard they work and their passion for not just the Arts, but the local community.

Funding would mean not just starting this meaningful and valuable activity but create a sustainable project that can continue supporting local children for years to come.

Location: Test Valley District, United Kingdom