HertsCreation Company Report, Tax Year 2014-15
- Summary of Company Activity
Since its formation in October 2012, HertsCreation has been actively engaged in projects in Hertfordshire that benefit schools and the wider community and has gained project funding from local schools, teaching alliances and the Royal Opera House (ROH) Bridge. We identify below our key activities since submission of our last company report in June 2014.
- The Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors (YCA) Programme. After completion of a first pilot-year programme, HertsCreation gained co-funding for a second year of activity for £5,000 from Royal Opera House Bridge (ROHB) in July 2014. The remaining £5,000 of funding was contributed by participating schools and a contribution of £500 from Hertfordshire Music Service.
- In the second year of the YCA programme, HertsCreation worked with 2 primary school partners: Ashfield School, Bushey and Howe Dell School, Hatfield and with 4 secondary schools: Onslow St. Audrey School, Hatfield, Sir John Lawes School, Harpenden, Adeyfield School, Hemel Hempstead, and Samuel Ryder School, St. Albans.
- Evaluation for the programme indicates high levels of success in meeting project activities. Teachers identified the following benefits:
‘The YCA programme has allowed students to develop leadership skills at SRA. It has also widened students understanding of the Arts.’ Samuel Ryder
‘There have been many benefits for our school as a result of participating in the YCA programme. We have raised the profile of some aspects of the arts amongst students who might not usually get involved by inspiring them to work backstage on productions, helping with publicising the school’s radio station and creating competitions for other students to take part in’.
‘It was a very positive experience for me considering the challenging circumstances we are facing. The benefit of participation for the Adeyfield students was that it enabled projects to be student led and organised, empowering the young people to believe in themselves and their abilities and placing them at the centre of the learning experience’. Adeyfield.
The evaluation report also noted improvements in the delivery of the programme, including:
- greater teacher and student engagement in leading the programme
- increased teacher support for the programme, greater participation in our workshops and new partnerships forged between arts organisations and schools.
- Creative Learning Projects. Our Creative Learning programme with Woolenwick Infants and Nursery last year (2013-14) worked with Storyteller, Danyah Miller and trained all staff as storytellers as a means to increase language development and literacy in the early years. Staff co-delivered sessions and were mentored by Danyah during that time. In 2014-15 the Creative Learning project sought to build on and embed staff expertise by presenting staff as lead storytellers and working alongside a visual artist, Jane Glynn. The project was planned prior to April 2015 and delivered in the 2015-16-tax year. Further findings from the evaluation will therefore be included in the 2015-16 report.
At Studlands Rise First School, the Headteacher had been new to the school the previous year and focused initially on building relationships amongst staff to establish a learning community. In 2014-15 the programme aimed to foster creative thinking and learning behaviours in the staff team by offering all staff targeted professional development with HertsCreation and music specialist Angeline Conaghan. Angeline then worked with each year group and teaching team to co-create and deliver a programme linking music and the curriculum.
The evaluation report for this project indicates improvements in staff ability to take risks, and model risk taking for children together with increased staff confidence and a renewed excitement about teaching and learning. Children throughout the school were engaged with the project, were encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and, as a result, have begun to develop an ability to be self-directed, independent thinkers.
This project offered 2 x Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions for teachers attended by 20 teachers and support staff at Studlands Rise.
- For the Wroxham Transformative Teaching Alliance (administered by Wroxham Primary School, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire), HertsCreation lead facilitation of a development day in Early Years Learning in October 2014.
- Encounter. HertsCreation submitted a successful grant application to the Arts Council of England in May 2015 for a research and development project, which explored the links between sculptural practice, art-making and emotional well-being. HertsCreation co-directors worked with two groups of young people from Signpost Counselling Service, Watford and Francis Combe Academy, North Watford in a series of sessions in Summer 2015, which culminated in a seminar and exhibition at Watford Museum in September. The project was co-funded by Watford Community Housing Trust, Watford District Council and Francis Combe Academy. An evaluation report is currently being prepared which indicates significant gains in attitudes to learning and some aspects of wellbeing for participants. Potential partners for a second phase of activity are currently being investigated by HertsCreation.
Additional company activity:
- Attendance at meetings of Creative Hertfordshire
- Leading facilitation with steering group partners to investigate routes for development of the YCA programme (March 2015)
- Preparation of grant application material for Hertfordshire CDA. This agency is co-ordinating a county response to European Social Funded initiatives to combat youth unemployment. This activity has also included discussions with potential partners and consultants in the FE sector.
- Consultations with Person’s affected by the company’s activities
HertsCreation leads evaluation with all of participants after project activity. We have also co-designed all our projects to include consultation with all partners, e.g. on the YCA Programme, as project managers we attend steering group meetings with partners who include representatives of local teaching alliances, and senior staff members of museums, libraries and local arts education departments.
We continue to develop a business plan which has identified priorities for activity in 2015 – 2016.
- Details of Directors’ Remuneration
Full details of directors’ remuneration are set out in company accounts.
At our last business development meeting and AGM, formal approval has been given to all payments made to Directors, including all payments made by Co-Director, Alex McIntyre who is signatory for the company’s bank account.
Other Financial Information
No transfers of assets have been made to the company. No dividend or share structure is in operation.
- Company Procedures – Notes from our last business development meeting.
At our AGM In September the following proposals were adopted:
We have designed a business development template to streamline future strategic development of applications.
We are focusing on a new application building on our work with Encounter as a primary tool of business development. Our plans and systems will be reviewed as and when required following a successful application.
This report has been agreed by Co-Directors.