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Aspire: The Power of the Arts to Transform Learners’ Lives 24th April 2021

The day included presentations, written and visual submissions to inspire and transform those in schools and beyond. This event was led by Aspire Alternative Provision in Buckinghamshire, UK. All contributions are hosted at As the interface between creative aspects of film/ media and other Arts subjects is a particular interest of mine, I presented as well as attending some excellent sessions and highlight here those with a media theme.

Brian Mulligan – Newsliners – Helping Students to Engage Creatively with Current Events

My presentation looked at responding creatively to current affairs/ ‘hot’ topics of interest to students- eg “Fake News” / Black Lives Matter. I demonstrated how teachers might use techniques such as parody to stimulate artistic work which comments on relevant news stories/issues/ concerns. I looked at the contemporary work of artists Coldwar Steve/ Bull Overman and the short form videos of Rosie Holt/ Michael Spicer/ SarahCooper. (Focus year 11/ post 16)

Holly Powell-Jones – Social Media: 5 Legal Risks All Teens Should Know About

Very tight focus. Holly Powell Jones set a series of tasks based on case studies with a traffic light system - students can test themselves. Interesting introduction to legal/ regulatory constraints (or lack of) upon online content. (Recommend for Year 11/Post -16)

Nicole Ponsford – #SmashingStereotypes in the Media

Nicole Ponsford from Global Equality Collective (GEC) gave an overview of the organisation - outlined how they have created a community. The focus was on Stereotypes and Representation- messages from advertising aimed at young girls/ boys. Moved on to the Film industry - stereotypically film directors are white males (used simple google search) yet much popular content is diverse (eg Fast and Furious etc) The video concluded with a summary of their work in other areas of curriculum including examples of how the GEC bank of resources are used by some schools. (Recommended for all levels)

Christian Mba – The Medium Is the Message: Using Social Media to Teach Timeless Lessons

Christian Mba - his viral Tik tok video cites Marshal Mcluhan. One of his key lessons is the use of intertextuality. He demonstrated how he uses existing beats/ songs (Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood) along with found footage of Christmas Carol to teach Scrooge’s character (Recommended Years 7-9)

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