Director's BIG Review of the Year!
08 December 2009
We are really proud of our contracts with Cumbria Fire & Fire Rescue to work on their road safety campaign. Cumbria represents an important step in the development of our regional reach. This was also reflected in a recent letter from Prime Minister, Gordon Brown who said that the work of Ariel Trust was important in the months and years ahead. The support of the PM illustrates how the reputation of the company is changing.
Some of the projects we have launched have been controversial. Our learning resource ‘Denial’ caused reactions in some schools who said it wasn’t their job to tackle homophobic bullying. However, by mapping Denial against the GCSE English curriculum we are helping move schools up the league table at the same time as teaching strategies of dealing with homophobia.
At Rainhill High, the whole of Year 9 studied Denial during the summer term. 43% of young people in the year achieved grades above their target. This approach to social education aims to make teachers lives easier. The government asks teachers to hit more and more challenging targets in an already crowded curriculum. Last week they announced every school will have to tackle domestic violence. Last year it was gun and knife crime, the year before alcohol.
This approach leads to a cycle of feast and famine where there is lots of money for a particular project at one moment and six months later the agenda has moved on. Our approach is sustainable by developing high quality learning resources. This equips teachers with tools they can use year after year.
Also happening at Ariel…
We are particularly proud of a new apprenticeship programme. For over twenty years we have been training young adults for work in the radio industry. We are now training them to produce high quality education software for use in schools. This approach puts young people at the centre of this process; they create the ideas and develop the concepts. The process allows Ariel to grow its own team of specialists.
We have also begun developing new projects in Sefton and Knowsley. The work in Sefton focuses on a cross-generational theme facilitating communication between young and old people. Knowsley is at an earlier stage but proves to be exciting work in partnership with the borough council.
What’s Next for 2010?
We hope to develop a nationally recognised programme for young people who want to be involved in the development of educational software for authorities across the UK. We will also be working hard to build a substantial North West partnership with Fire and Police services, LAs, PCTs and Schools. This strategic partnership builds on best practice to deliver a coherent suite of resources mapped across the national curriculum.