What we have achieved
Our project outputs relate to each other in an organic way, building from initial strategy planning to pilot activity and finally the completed web-based training course. A clear thread links the outputs, as follows:
INTELLECTUAL OUTPUT 1
HANDBOOK: School Strategy Guide for encouraging a reading and writing culture based on inclusion and diversity values:
This outcome, sets out in concise, accessible form the intellectual underpinning of our approach, around the significance of literacy and its relationship with diversity and equality, and good practice (as academically assured) for non-formal learning approaches, signposting practitioners and institutions in a practical way towards the approaches they need to adopt to integrate these interventions into whole school policy and practice.
This work, with its practical focus, was able to inform the development of the second outcome, our pilot curricula and sessions with young people. At the same time, the project’s own experiences in creating these curricula and piloting our approach in schools across partner countries themselves constituted further research which formed feedback assisting in the finalisation of IO1. In this way the outcome also reflects IO2 output learning. The guide is also a resource for schools and NGOs who may wish to develop their own strategies, and a wider template for non-formal learning approaches more generally.
DOWNLOAD the Handbook here
A long document was created by the IO1 Leads and updated throughout the project aimed at contributing to the development of the curricula in partner countries and the online training course (IO3) so that key messages from the strategy handbook could be incorporated in the web-based course and resources.
DOWNLOAD the Extended Strategy Document here:
INTELLECTUAL OUTPUT 2
Creation of the literacy project curricula and piloting creative activities
DOWNLOAD the Output 2 here
This output, the core practical activity of the project, involved all partners researching and developing curricula, planning and running pilot courses in their schools incorporating the strategic approaches in IO1. It both meets the objectives set out as IO2, and also, as set out above, provided further experience to feed back into final strategy development. At the same time, the courses themselves, the curricula developed, practitioner and participator feedback and our own evaluations, including documentation outlining processes, methods and alternative techniques, were important contributions to the process of creating IO3 as a robust resource for schools, NGOs and education authorities.
IO2 co-lead, in collaboration with the partners, also created a paper as a working document, IO2 Towards the online Training course, in order to enable the creation of the web-based Training Course and Resources package, IO3.
This paper was continuously reviewed and updated to incorporate additions and revisions made to the curricula during the piloting of the school sessions.
Download Towards the online web Training Course. “Output 2” here
INTELLECTUAL OUTPUT 3
The online course can be accessed from the WWS Project website, which will be maintained until the end of next year and will be transferred to the Finsbury Park Trust website after the end of 2024.
Online Training and Learning Resources Package
GO TO THE ONLINE WEB COURSE – ALL LANGUAGES “Output 3” here
The web-based training course and pack both meets the objectives set out as IO3, and also reflects the strategic underpinnings set out in IO1 and the learnings from our IO2 working group document Towards the web-based Training course. It incorporates the processes the partnership employed throughout in developing the project, the key strategic messages and the techniques that worked well for the IO1 strategy document and IO2 training course documents.
A key innovative feature of this output was its focus on supporting schools to run these kinds of interventions themselves, at low cost, as well as its application of non-formal learning good practice to the sometimes “difficult” issues of prejudice and discrimination, demonstrating the value of the approach as well as the practicalities required to expand sessions to tackle issues including bullying, climate change, healthy living and so on. In this way the output went beyond what was originally set out.
DOWNLOAD the E-BOOK: Original Creativity Exercises (“Stories and Art Work Created By Young People”) here
Weaving Webs of Stories (Storywebs) is a 24-month project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union which focuses on child literacy and inclusion, underpinned by continuing concerns about low literacy levels across Europe, particularly among refugee, migrant and disadvantaged communities, and concern about the growth of intolerance and prejudice threatening social cohesion and inclusion as well as harming the life-chances of individual young people subject to discrimination.
There is increasing research consensus: low literacy skills are linked to wider underachievement and disengagement, with extensive impacts. It is also now widely recognised that participation in creative activity has a significant impact not only on educational attainment but also on intermediate outcomes such as self-concept and social capital, bringing significant civic impacts and increasing social cohesion.
In an increasingly heterogeneous Europe, and in the context of these concerns and the research consensus, the project aims to bring partners’ experience in non-formal arts learning activities to bear on literacy and inclusion, boosting achievement through the power of the imagination and
supporting whole school inclusion and equality.
Targeting Years 5 to 8 across 20 schools in partner countries, the project will pilot a menu of tailored creative activities, planned and managed in close consultation with schools and school staff working with our tutors. It will extend partners’ existing practice on creativity to address social outcomes as well.
A strategy publication will help schools develop policies and processes to create cultures of reading for pleasure and inclusion, school staff will be supported to continue the programme with further cohorts, and young participants themselves will create resources which will then be used in further activities and made widely available in an open access training and guidance pack.
The project is expected not only to improve young people’s literacy skills but also develop a broader understanding of inclusion and equality, coupled with creativity, self-confidence and motivation to learn and to become lifelong readers. The 20-week course, spread over two school terms, will involve enabling beneficiaries to gain skills in storytelling and creating stories (narrative, graphic or multimedia) as well as short performances. Their creations will be then designed as books or posters that can be used as learning resources by the schools. This project will not only improve young people’s literacy skills and motivation but will also give them a boost of pride and self-confidence.
Schools will have gained both an understanding of strategic approaches to improving literacy and fostering positive attitudes to inclusion and equality, and the expertise to sustain activities and positive outcomes following the conclusion of the project, and project resources will be available for wider use in school settings.
The 8 partners in the Storywebs project are as follows: Finsbury Park Trust and Every Child an Achiever Network from the UK, Scoala Primara EuroEd from Romania, Asociación Cívica de Comunicación y Educación Sophia (ACCESOphia) from Spain, YOU IN EUROPE from Greece, Zinev Art Technologies from Bulgaria, Menu agentura Artscape from Lithuania and Learning for Integration from Finland.
Weaving Webs of Stories (Storywebs) Project
December 2019 – December 2021