Show and Tell cannot thank enough the many people who joined us in this project. Their experience, guidance and enthusiasm were our inspiration:
Lisa M Ward – Art and Photography teacher, Maesteg School
My name is Lisa Ward and I teach Art and Photography at Maesteg School. I am also a Head of House with a whole school priority of promoting positive Mental Health across the school.
Maesteg School is set in the Llynfi Valley and accommodates 1200 pupils aged 11-18. At Maesteg School we use the Motto “Motivated to Strive”. We firmly believe that every child can succeed and we as a staff work hard to promote this across every year group.
The Show and Tell Project has given me an excellent platform to encourage pupils to express themselves through imagery. I started working with my classes and small groups before promoting this on a whole school basis. As part of Mental Health Awareness Day, we decided as a school to have a really big push on promoting positive mental health for the whole week and hopefully beyond that. I set some competitions as part of #HelloYellow and encouraged all faculties to talk about mental health within their lessons.
We have used the Show and Tell Videos within our Creative Art subjects as a stimulus which has resulted in all pupils in year 9 producing Paintings, textile pieces and photographs to express themselves. This academic year with Year 9 we are encouraging pupils to opt for subjects within Creative Arts in order for them to develop the skills they need at GCSE. I have used the Show and Tell Project as a promotion told for pupils to give them an insight of where photography can take them in the future. This has resulted in the numbers of photography students to be the highest in all the Creative Arts subjects and over 100 pupils have chosen this as their first choice.
I have also shared the videos with other faculties who has used them as a conversation starter. This not only encourages pupils to start talking about Mental Health but it is improving pupil’s confidence, communication skills and understanding. Our pupils have been extremely engaged with the whole programme and I am extremely proud of how mature they have been.
The Show and Tell Project has been most successful with GCSE and A Level photography students who are really using the skills they have already developed to the next level. Not only has it encouraged pupils to include emotion into their photography work, but it has supported pupils to develop the specialist vocabulary related to photography that they need for their coursework. Pupils have enjoyed taking on board advice, knowledge and experiences from photographers who in their words are “younger and cooler” than myself and this has really inspired them to look to a future in photography.
I really look forward to working with Cisco and Show and Tell in the future on more projects to help encourage young people to use their creativity to help express themselves.
Jennifer Marker – Head of Art, Green School for Boys
You would not believe the impact you have had. All of the students enjoyed participating in the programme and have learned a lot from the specific feedback given. I think having the motivation of working towards an exhibition was a really important factor. The students were reluctant at first to express their emotions but the project was clear and inclusive and they responded well to the initial videos. The students are keen to improve on their work, they were thrilled to be featured in the feedback videos and are working hard to create work that might be considered for the exhibition.
One of my students is very lacking in confidence overall and he absolutely lit up when Daniel was commenting on their photograph. To receive some positive attention for their creativity is hugely powerful. This project means a lot to us all and we very much appreciate having the opportunity to be a part of it.
James McNulty – Head of Art, Belmont Mill Hill Prep School
To sum up, the project has been a pleasure for me to run with the children. The initial workshops sessions were excellent, really well put together. I will use the workshops as template in the future when teaching photography. Through the project I have had a look at Rankin’s Sky Photography series. He is one cool dude, really intense about his photos!
I am a painter by trade and through the project I have come to embrace photography as “the” medium for the children to explore their thoughts, ideas and world view as it is so accessible to them. The children all seem to have a device to take pictures and the results are so immediate. Until this project it wasn’t a medium that I would naturally gravitate towards in my teaching. But I can now see the value of photography. Lock down and the school reopening has been hard for the children the Show and Tell project gave the children a safe space to explore their ideas.
Giving the children a purpose when making art is difficult. The children were given direction during feedback sessions with the possible future goal of an exhibition in the New Year. I was really impressed with all the entries form all the other schools and the feedback sessions have been fantastic.
I would say the uptake has been brilliant. The children have been chuffed to bits that their ideas were spoken about in the feedback sessions. That photographers and adults outside school value what they have created, this is a really powerful idea and thought. The overall experience has been a really positive one and I would like to thank you and the team involved in making Show and Tell happen.
If there are any future projects I would love to get involved with these.
Robin Warren – Head Teacher, Primrose Hill Primary School
To have the opportunity to really focus on one creative aspect of curriculum is rare in primary schools, given the constraints of other subjects and the Government focus on Reading, Writing and Maths standards. At Primrose Hill, we have always prioritised children, staff and parental mental health, so we were delighted to be involved in Show and Tell. For children to immerse themselves in this media is wonderful at this age; and in doing something which is different, relaxing, gentle and individual compared to other areas of school – win win for me! The children’s early work – going for local walks, selecting meaningful images, choosing their word and mind mapping – have been rewarding activities for them which have enabled them to work in the classroom as well as at home. There has been a real sense of calm and reflective production when the children have been at work. I cannot wait to see the photographic images they have taken during half term and how the follow up workshops will develop their work.
Robin Warren – part. 2
I was so pleased with how it all went – the children always do me proud but today they were exceptional. However, they’re all really motivated by the project so that’s thanks to you and and team and your efforts. Their responses were fantastic!!!
The children and parents have all expressed their appreciation today. One child’s parent said her child was nervous about the filming but came home raving with excitement about overcoming his anxiety and about how much he’d enjoyed the day.
Proves that amidst all this Covid gloom, children can have a positive learning experience and keep moving forward. As Grace says, ‘tomorrow is a new day.’
Thank you for visiting. I’m delighted to have contributed to the project. It was a pleasure to host you.
Marina Nimmo – Teacher of Art, London Academy of Excellence Tottenham
Working with TPM in our first year of setting up a brand new school enabled us to firmly establish the importance of supporting student mental health and to allow all students the opportunity and space to tap into their incredible creativity; we were overwhelmed with student numbers wanting to be involved.
We chose to run the workshops in our hour-long club and society session and this enabled all students to be introduced to a rich understanding of how images and narratives can be created. Supported by fun, engaging hands-on tutorials covering all the essential understanding of the importance of light, depth of field, capturing movement and framing, allowed the students to experiment and ‘play’
Our students greatly benefited from hearing directly from the testimonies of photographers working within the complex subject of mental health and this really set them free to embark on discovering their own voices and enabled them to realise the value of visualising their own feelings and gave them a platform to voice their own opinions. We were overwhelmed with their submissions that they all created in their own time.
These workshops could easily run as an after-school club, a lunchtime activity, within the arts curriculum, a student-led activity or even a completely independent PSHE project to highlight World Mental Health Day. We realised how much the students needed this outlet and are so excited to be working with TPM again this year at a time when all students will need the opportunity to express how they are coping with the on-going effects of the pandemic. Below is a testimony from one of our students who took part in the workshops.
‘I made this image during a time when the stresses of my environment were affecting my mental health, it was a personal reflection of how I felt during my journey through Sixth form and finding my footing in becoming a young adult. This image was part of the photography project, commissioned by The Photography Movement which challenged a group of students in my school (London Academy of Excellence Tottenham) to explore what mental health in youth looked like through photography. I named this image ‘the vanishing face of two halves ‘ because I felt it also expressed a parallel between the exposed and the hidden. This idea that there is always a vulnerable face we show others, how we desire others to view ourselves and what we think we look like at times. Although the hidden side of this same face lurks in the shadows, it represents how we actually feel on a daily basis, the confusing emotions we neglect to show because we can’t explain them. Even still, these two halves of the same face are always inconsistent.’
Valerie Kporye-Gyamfi Y12
Erin Fusaro – Art Teacher Mentor, Fusion Global Academy
My pupil was so inspired by the workshop videos and the project. She especially connected with Daniel Regan’s course as she loves taking pictures of her surroundings and we have been working on keeping a photography journal throughout our class. It was great for her to see that other photographers are doing what she is learning about! Also, we are working in class on how to incorporate meaning into photography, which set her up perfectly for this challenge. I have shown the videos to my other photography students and they too have found them very helpful and inspiring.
Thank you for creating a wonderful and meaningful “How Are You Feeling?” contest! How often do you have contests like this? I want to make sure I stay up to date with this great organization.
David Kirkwood, Arts Team Leader at UNITAS, Barnet Youth Zone
A massive thank you from me, the whole team are dead proud of our young people – we’ve been calling entrants to pass on news and it’s been really evident from those calls just how important this project has been to them. Your Show & Tell project has been a flash of light during an otherwise dark time.
We intend to shout from the rooftops about this – so don’t be shy with links/billboard locations etc, we’re very excited to see the posters.
Robin Warren – former Head Teacher at Primrose Hill Primary School
Hi All, I just wanted to say a big well done for the exhibition.
I spent a happy hour looking at the images on screen and felt really proud of you. What a brilliant thing you have achieved, to give young people such a rich and creative outlet to express themselves during such an extraordinary time. I am so pleased to have been a part of your work and am delighted that some of the Primrose Hill children feature. 22,000 submissions is incredible! What a horrendous task for your judges.
You won’t know the backgrounds for all of these children, but I am sure they have backstories who have inspired their creativity. For those from Primrose Hill, there are some amazing and inspiring tales.
You should all be very proud of your hard work to pull this off.
Rebecca Harvey – Art Teacher at Ffynone House School
Wow- I’ve just seen on the Show and tell Website the first al 83 photos- such skill.
I just watched Sarah Eccleston’s video of her choice and it made me have a little weep. What she said was so beautiful and just wanted to let you know that I think there was a lot of thought that went into it.
Just thanks again for this exhibition and for being so amazing. It has given these students a little rainbow of hope and that’s so exciting!