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Case Study : Accredited Education

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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