Weaving Webs of Stories Project
Finsbury Park Trust worked with a variety of partners across Europe, funded by the Erasmus Project, to promote literacy and inclusion. Weaving Webs of Stories was jointly managed with Every Child an Achiever. We worked with five schools chosen from across these three Boroughs – Parkwood Primary School (Hackney); IAMS ( Islington Arts and Media School – Islington); Pakeman Primary (Islington); Highgate Primary School (Haringey) and Rokesly Junior School (Haringey).
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
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.
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 into the web-based course and resources.
Intellectual Output 2
Creation of the literacy project curricula and piloting creative activities
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 in 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.
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
English handouts and voiceovers are available at the link below:
For other languages please use one of the following links:
Stories and artwork created by young people who participated in the IO2 Literacy and creative writing pilot sessions:
The web-based training course and pack both meet the objectives set out in 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 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.
We are grateful to the European Union Erasmus+ funding programme, our partners, and most importantly the participating schools and staff who helped us to deliver the program and achieve such positive outcomes. We would also like to thank our External Evaluator David Evans (of DHE Solutions) for his help and guidance throughout the duration of the program and staff from our National Agency, The British Council in partnership with Ecorys UK for their assistance.
Finsbury Park Trust (Lead organisation) – UK