The Tongham Underpass Mural was a project that allowed students to gain GCSE level accreditation in addition to their existing school curriculum. This was delivered as part of a public art project.
For the first time in UK, artists at Signal collaborated with curriculum development consultants Beyond Knowledge to develop accreditation through the medium of Street Art. Signal and Beyond Knowledge created education innovation by combining a professional public art project with the school curriculum to enable students from two secondary schools to gain GCSE equivalent accreditation.
The result: a community-driven street art project in a pedestrian subway that helped 16 participants achieve a BTEC Level 2 in Visual Arts in just 10 weeks with a 100% pass rate! And the subway, used by pupils from both schools, is now a graffiti-free space with a vastly improved look and feel.
Our tailored BTEC project is now used as an attractive and practical way for students to achieve accreditation through the medium of street art.
Artists from Signal and Beyond Knowledge staff supervised and taught 16 talented year 10 and 11 art students from two schools. The material satisfied Level 2 qualification requirements, and covered a range of street art techniques, application and history, plus general art and design.
The Level 2 BTEC was delivered over 40 contact hours, after school and during the half-term break.
The learning activities included:
- sketchbook development
- producing written materials
- a 60m public mural, delivered as a group project
While the BTEC could be delivered on its own without a mural project attached, the experience for the participating students was greatly enhanced by providing creative input to a real street art project within their community.
With certain adjustments to the delivery plan, this approach is suited to:
- young people 14-19 of all levels
- students in pupil referral units
- students at risk of being excluded
If within a pupil referral unit, it is recommended the course be delivered over an academic year. Media and ICT components can also be added.
Designed and managed by Signal, this project forged a successful partnership between Beyond Knowledge, Guildford Borough and Surrey County Councils, Surrey Youth Development Service, and Ash Manor and Connaught Secondary Schools.
“The Signal team were excellent to work with. The students were so motivated with the project it was fantastic to see! Working on such a large scale has taught the students not only about this type of artwork, but about their own strengths and capabilities. It has been a great experience for all involved.” Clare Maddision, Head of Art, Ash Manor
“I have now worked with Signal Project on four separate murals… In my experience, the artists from Signal Project have been fantastic at engaging the young people in the whole process of creating these stunning pieces of public art… I would rate Signal Project as one of the best and most professional organisations offering this service.” Gareth Palmer, Youth Development Worker (Arts), Surrey Youth Service
“Thank you for such an awesome experience! I would love to do it again!” Kira, participating student
“I have learnt lots about ‘Street Art’. I gained a lot by seeing this type of art through different eyes. It was great to work with different people, knowing we would all produce one large mural at the end.” Hannah, participating student
Through workshops, small and large public murals, and an unprecedented intergenerational regeneration scheme, Signal has contributed to delivering tangible local authority outcomes, including substantial funding uplift, across a whole county.
Signal has built up a broad portfolio of over 26 projects delivered across Surrey County Council since 2004 working with diverse groups across the community. The projects include numerous one-off graffiti workshops at youth clubs, large public murals and longer term activities that gain participants GCSE equivalent qualifications.
“I am writing to say how wonderful it is to work with Signal Project Limited. The work that you carried out with the council on the Sunbury Cross project as part of the Cultural Pathfinder was excellent. The Council received national recognition for this work and it also helped support young people. I do know that one or two people went on to college to study Graphic Design. The project attracted nearly £500,000 in external funds and has certainly improved this area.
I must also say how wonderful the project in Stanwell has been. It has brought communities together and the art work is outstanding. Spelthorne Borough Council looks forward to working with you in the future.” Liz Borthwick, Assistant Chief Executive Spelthorne Borough Council
Commissioned through various council departments, our work is designed to integrate and meet the Local Area Agreement objectives of multiple agencies working in partnership across the borough.
As a result, our larger projects have been instrumental in securing investment for the area significantly above the Council’s initial outlay. Our work has proved particularly relevant in these areas: Children and Young People, Safer and Stronger Communities, and Housing, Infrastructure and Environment.
We have worked with and/or been funded by:
- Multi Agency Partnerships
- Highway and Street Maintenance
- Fear of Crime Initiatives
- Initiatives to Engage Disaffected and Vulnerable Young People
- Local Regeneration Schemes
- Secondary Education Accreditation
- Local Education Authority Initiatives
- Youth Development Services
- Environmental Planning Services
- Arts and Cultural Events
- Youth Justice Services
- Intergenerational Engagement
- Engagement Initiatives for People with Learning Difficulties
Signal’s working relationship across Surrey has continued to improve and develop over the years, with projects becoming more ambitious and more expansive. The Stanwell Project involved 900 members of the local community, and the Tongham Subway Mural was an opportunity for 16 young people to fast track through a BTEC Visual Arts equivalent to one GCSE, with a 100% pass rate!
“Since we started working in Stanwell the area has attracted a great deal of interest from other organisations and agencies, which has triggered a funding programme in excess of £250,000. …it was the work the Signal Project team did in the community that highlighted the area’s need and many of the issues. I am delighted to report the funding has been directed across all age groups, which is testament to the intergenerational approach of the project.” Mandie Wilde, Project Coordinator A2Dominion Group
“I have worked with Signal Project on four separate murals… the artists from Signal Project have been fantastic at engaging the young people in the whole process… The young people come away feeling excited about the new skills they have learnt.” Gareth Palmer, Youth Development Worker (Arts) Surrey Youth Service
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Street Art incorporates a huge range of creative techniques and transferable skills. We have run educational workshops with adults and young people, primary and secondary schools, young/repeat offenders, at-risk youth, learning disability groups, prisons and hospitals.
There has always been an educational element to the work we do. Our work has fed into Duke of Edinburgh Awards, we are Arts Award accredited and have contributed to schools’ art syllabus.
Our experience delivering projects has found that many participants put in a huge amount of work but do not receive accreditation.
To address this Signal is now working in partnership with Education consultants Beyond Knowledge to develop tailored accredited curriculum projects around Street Art and other creative disciplines. Working either
inside or outside school hours, we can deliver additional accreditation to the existing school curriculum, which benefits both the students and the participating schools.
Our most recent tailored accreditation was the BTEC Level 2 Visual Arts Award (equivalent to one GCSE), which was delivered to 16 art students over 40 contact hours, with a 100% pass rate.
With adjustments made to the delivery time, our BTEC courses can be applied to young people between 14-19 of all levels. For example, if delivered within a pupil referral unit, it is recommended the course be delivered over an academic year.
Beyond Knowledge provide customised curricula, integrating creative digital media technologies with dynamic education programmes.
Contact Adrian Joseph at Beyond Knowledge.
Signal Project is only able to accept large commissions and educational projects at this time. For workshops or small murals please contact the artists.
For educational projects ONLY please contact Adrian, at Beyond Knowledge
Signal has worked with many artists over the years, look through the archive for more information.
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