The Ilfracombe Academy became a true hive of creativity Monday 23rd June 2014 when a selection of Year 12 students took part in the White Headphones creative workshop up in the school’s Media Centre.
White Headphones is a concept devised by The Ilfracombe Academy’s very own Mr Alvarez (Teacher in Charge of Media) and Adam Playford (Creative/Graphic Designer at Holland & Barrett). Having observed that learning is not linear, one size doesn’t fit all and our most valuable qualities often can’t be measured, they felt compelled to give students an opportunity to free themselves from traditional learning and start breaking the rules.
The result was White Headphones. A workshop aimed at attempting to bridge the gap between school and the real world by removing fear of failure, encouraging creative thinking, play and collaboration. The workshop was designed to encourage students to work without restraint in a failure free zone in order to draw out their strengths, challenge their weaknesses and develop creative problem solving that they can apply to any aspect of life, work and learning.
This is exactly what happened.
Fourteen students took part in the workshop. Their target: to be the difference.
Using a variety of fun, active and creative activities that challenged rules and preconceived notions of teaching and learning, students spent the day solving a series of problems using alternative thinking. How do you fill thirty circles in a minute? Which is better: sticky tape or blu tack? How do you advertise sausages? Or after sun?
Students were encouraged to identify their strengths and weaknesses and work together to change those weaknesses into strengths. There were no wrong answers. Every contribution was valid. They were completely free to think creatively. They were asked to look at problems from a different angle, challenging rules and questions, without the fear of failure. They were asked for quantity, not quality.
“Being wrong and making mistakes, brings you one step closer to the right answer.”
The result was a body of work that was truly astounding; culminating in a series of presentations, print adverts and even a short film to promote the school and 6th Form. Students were engaged and enthusiastic throughout the day, even working straight through their lunch break in order to meet deadline.
Given the freedom to work without restraint our Ilfracombe Academy students showed how truly talented and capable they really are. Most importantly, they enjoyed a taste of what it is they need to do to set themselves apart from the rest of the field and be the difference, wherever they end up and whatever they choose to do in the future.
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