Cultural Engagement Passport
Back in June, at the Lincolnshire Headteachers’ Conference, we launched our new Cultural Engagement Passport.
We had already been working on this for a while when the Henley Review of Cultural Education was published back in March 2012. This review recommends that school students have a cultural passport so that they can gather evidence of their cultural education in one place and so that schools can track their progress and take steps to fill any gaps. The report can be downloaded from http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/Cultural_Education_report.pdf.
Our passport encourages students, who could be any age, to reflect on any cultural activities that they have been involved in. Half of the entries ask the students to attend cultural events, such as plays, poetry readings or slams, music and exhibitions. The other half of the entries encourage more active engagement in the arts by getting involved in exhibiting a work of art or playing music publicly.
The design of the passport is sophisticated and should appeal to all age groups. The subtle leaf motif links to the idea of culture and growth and hints at a link with the bigger set of Rooted in Reading passports. The passport can be completed by children from 8 to 18 as the depth and sophistication of their responses to the open questions will develop as they become more experienced consumers of and participants in the world of culture. We think that a completed passport could be the subject of an interesting paragraph in a UCAS application. It might also be a good idea to encourage staff to complete one too!
The passports are available to all schools through the National Association for the Teaching of English, in their Virtual Bookshop at http://www.nate.org.uk/index.php?page=11&searchshop=Cultural+enrichment. The cost is just £16 per pack of 50, so you could equip your whole school very cheaply and simultaneously provide plenty of evidence to meet Ofsted’s SMSC requirements.
For more details about the Cultural Engagement Passport or Rooted in Reading, please send a direct twitter message to @stevewillshaw.