1. Create a positive atmosphere for arts and culture
Be a good role model!
- Remember that the role as head of the school is influential and important. What you say and do can affect attitudes and engagement to arts and culture.
- Encourage teachers and staff to attend and engage when attending performances. We are all role models.
Attend performances and introduce the artists every now and again
- When you introduce the artists you can also use the opportunity to explain why the performance is taking place and why art is important for the school. This will send an important signal to students and staff.
Encourage teachers to have a short debrief with the students immediately following an art experience
- This gives students an opportunity to digest and share their thoughts, which in turn allows them to learn more from the experience. It also makes art and culture a more natural part of the school culture for teachers in all disciplines.
- Devise a few simple questions that encourage reflection and that make it easier for all teachers to take on the task. See questions you can use below.
Encourage teachers to use a Culture Diary/Log as a part of their lesson
- Ask teachers to give students the possibility to reflect, digest and express themselves before and after a performance.
Before: What are your expectations?
Afterwards: What was different from your expectation? How did you like it?
- Depending on the age of the student, ask them to draw a picture, put in a photo or write a text. When students have finished one book, they get a new one and it follows them through their years at the school. Digital methods are also possible, particularly for older students.
Allow teachers from different subject areas to attend showcase events
- By attending a showcase event (such as Marked for Musikk) where you can see performances that are on offer, you can create greater ownership among teachers at the school.
- Consider teachers in disciplines that don't immediately present an obvious link to art experiences.
2. Focus on good communication
Make a cultural calendar for the school
- Plan in advance and plot cultural events in a calendar that is available to everyone. Make the events a permanent feature within the school year.
Share information with your staff
- Inform all parties well in advance and delegate duties.
Share information with the parents
- Add cultural activities to the annual working plan and inform parents when school starts of the performances that the pupils will attend that school year.
- Share video clips if there are any available.
3. Recruit a member of staff to the role of Culture Contact
Recruit a willing person to take on the role
- The Culture Contact will be responsible for planning and coordinating meaningful art experiences in the school. Make sure the Culture Contact has enough time to do the job and consider offering compensation for the added responsibility (small payment and/or free time).
Consider giving the role to a social worker
- It is common that the role is filled by a teacher, manager or school librarian, but you can also consider giving it to other members of staff, such as a social worker. The benefit is that the social worker’s goal is to create a safe and socially inclusive school environment and that the use of art experiences can create new opportunities to reach this goal.
Put together a Culture Team consisting of students, management, and teachers with different backgrounds
- Use the group to make plans around the school’s art programme. And when possible, allow them to participate in making selections on behalf of the school.
- Put the Culture Contact in charge of the Culture Team.
- Read more about the Culture Contact below.
4. Form a Culture Crew
- Form a group of students, make them a team and give them tasks in organizing events. You can also delegate this task to the Culture Contact.
- If other schools in your municipality do not have a Culture Crew, explain the meaning of the concept to the school owner and encourage them to form a Culture Crew in all schools.
- Encourage the Culture Team to work together with the Culture Crew. Being able to draw on different experiences and perspectives gives a better result – and doing things together makes it more fun.
- Read more about the Culture Crew below.