Leeds Conservatoire has always enjoyed a great relationship with our feeder schools from across the UK and one of the highlights of our school’s liaison calendar is our School Workshop Days held at the beginning of July. This three-day event invites pupils and teachers to the Conservatoire for a series of taster workshops using our industry standard facilities and being taught by our expert professional staff.
The workshop days allow pupils to try out techniques, facilities, instruments and technology that they may not have access to at their school or college and gives a real taste of what studying performing arts courses at a conservatoire is like. The aim of these sessions is to inspire and raise aspirations of pupils and give them wider insight into where studying a performing arts degree may take them. It is also an opportunity for teachers to learn from our teaching staff, share ideas and knowledge and pick up inspiration to take back to the classroom.
Taking it Online
When Lockdown 1.0 hit back in March, Leeds Conservatoire realised that we were going to be unable to run this event and thought hard about how we could provide some of these benefits to staff and pupils remotely. After consulting with some of our Partners in Education institutions we decided to develop a set of resources that were:
Starting by looking closely at the curriculum and finding aspects that we could support in the delivery of, we utilised the talents of our incredible teaching staff to record ‘mini-workshops’ with accompanying activities that could be used by teachers / pupils at home or in school.
This content was pulled together to create the ‘Schools Hub’ on our website, an online repository of bitesize videos and resources that teachers can access for free and share with their pupils online or in the classroom.
The content falls into one of three categories:
Curriculum Aligned Workshops / Activities for Pupils
CPD Content for Teachers
Careers and Industry Insight
An initial response from one of our feeder schools was – ‘I will have my students take a ‘virtual music trip’ in our online school where we all watch the workshops together when they are posted. Thank you so, so much – the kids will love it!’
We are continuing to develop and add resources throughout the year and we see a great future for its use beyond the pandemic. While it is of course no replacement for face to face interaction with pupils and teachers, we hope that it helps offer some ideas and inspiration to schools in these difficult and unpredictable times.