Young Cultural Ambassadors Programme 2014-15

HertsYCA Programme – Evaluation Summary

This is a summary of evaluation data gathered on the programme.

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3 Teachers completed Benchmark surveys at the beginning where they identified what success would look like in relation to key aims:

  • to encourage a broader and deeper understanding and knowledge of arts and culture
  • to develop leadership skills
  • to develop communication skills
  • to develop confidence and agency
  • to develop planning and problem-solving

This is a summary of key benefits and outcomes in relation to these aims:

‘The YCA programme has allowed students to develop leadership skills at SRA. It has also widened students understanding of the Arts. For instance our dancers now know the role of the backstage team from the WPT trip. We now have a Student Tech Team fully running at SRA which is 100% student led.’ 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’.

‘I feel the programme has increased the confidence of our YCAs in public speaking and in being on stage with others’.

‘Taking part in workshops such as with Joelle Taylor and the Trestle leadership workshop have helped the students to understand how to express their ideas and to communicate them with one another’. Sir John Lawes

‘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.

Teachers identified benefits for their teaching practice including:

‘connections with Arts organisations locally and nationally’ Samuel Ryder

‘There have been many benefits for me as a teacher….. I have found ways of engaging and leading teachers and it has helped me to form stronger working relationships with the students in the school…. You see the student as a whole person, with passions and fears rather than as a piece of data that needs to attain a certain grade….. Sir John Lawes

‘The benefit to my teaching practice was that it enabled me (in my capacity as More Able Pupil co-ordinator) to give those higher ability students the opportunity to develop and enhance their leadership skills’. Adeyfield

Teachers commented, in addition on the supportive role of HertsCreation:

‘Herts Creation has supported our YCA journey this year. The support they offered to both staff and students has allowed this project to really take off and HertsCreation has inspired our students to think about the wider Arts industry’. Samuel Ryder.

‘The role of Herts Creation has been very important to the development of our ideas as YCAs and also the support and guidance that they have given me as a teacher new to some of these issues has been fantastic. I believe I will go on to lead the YCAs in their second year feeling a lot more confident and organised in the role I need to play. I feel that with Alex and Martin’s support I understand how the YCA group works a lot better than previously’. Sir John Lawes.

‘An excellent structure and guidance from Alex certainly allowed me to take risks. Herts Creation were incredibly supportive and acted as a real professional mentor to me, guiding me through the process with a calm and collected manner’. Adeyfield.

Here’s what some of the young people said about the programme:

What difference has being a YCA made to you?:

‘it’s allowed me to be more creative’

‘we’ve had more opportunities’

‘We have gained important skills: confidence and leadership’.

‘I have become more confident in speaking’.

‘It opens up so many career opportunities for young people that I can share’.

‘I think this is an amazing cause, sharing the creativity’.

‘It’s helped us set up so many things’.

What would you like to tell the funders?:

‘Thank you for letting Ashfield being part of the the Young Cultural Ambassadors’.

‘You have given us opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise’.

‘This is the start of the next arts generation and you are the start of it, thank you.’

What have you enjoyed?:

‘all of the activities and the trips’

‘The writing competition and our dance club…’

‘Using I pads more’

‘having a voice’

‘being able to set up things, like competitions and clubs’

‘watching the population of the arts faculties get bigger’

‘having the responsibility for our own things and putting ideas into practice’.

‘meeting so many inspiring people’