Thursday, 29 April 2010

New enthusiasm in Swansea

Today, Cheryl and I have been to two schools in Swansea to start new projects and were met with great enthusiasm from everybody at both.


This morning we were at Ysgol Penyrheol, where children from year nine were eagerly waiting for us. As has become normal for us starting a new project, there was lots of excitement being held back while we introduced the ideas behind what the kids will be doing and experiencing. Once we had done the 'chat' and the primary assessment forms had been completed by the class (this helps us to get some sense of how much skill and experience with digital photography the children have at the beginning), the cameras were distributed. This is the time everyone feels like it's Christmas again!

Above: Penyrheol class and staff in the school grounds

The part where the kids began using the new cameras by taking pictures of each other was fun for them. Soon we went outside to the school grounds, where the basic principle of holding the camera steady in two hands was practiced and the self discipline of looking at the landscape through it explained. Also as usual, we took group shots to commemorate the beginning of the project. Looking at the best three photos from each kid was very encouraging. It was clear that they all had grasped the big idea and also had done some very promising work. I look forward to the next session when we have our first field trip.


After lunch we set off to our other school in Swansea. At Pen-y-Bryn special school Cheryl and I were made to feel very welcome by pupils and staff alike. Everybody was waiting patiently for us and we were only too delighted to get started with the programme. Just as in Penyrheol, the kids at Pen-y-Bryn were very keen on the idea of getting a camera and going out in the landscape with it. They were lightning quick at learning how to use the cameras and the whole school was soon fair game for these budding photographers. Everybody joined in the fun.

Above: Pen-y-Bryn students with new cameras

It was raining, but that didn't put these young people off. Out we went, snapping away at the trees, play ground, surrounding houses, everything in the landscape close to the school. Back in class, I looked at their best three shots and was very pleased with the results of the first session. Next time, we need some good weather for our first field trip.

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