An educational entrepreneur has pivoted her national performing arts charity into a creative online learning community in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and enforced school closures.
Leamington Spa-based actor and educator Laura Berridge, founder of Arts Insight, has built a remote teaching platform “Arts Inside” within three weeks and is launching the national charity’s new virtual classes and live streaming sessions from Monday (April 20) for the start of the “homeschooling” summer term.
Parents will be able to subscribe to the online community for a nominal fee and access a range of virtual resources, challenges and lessons with their children, designed to promote life skills through creative learning. A comprehensive timetable has been designed in the form of interactive teacher led sessions, live streaming activities and stimulus for independent learning, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
Arts Insight normally offers unique musical theatre workshops to primary and SEN schools across the UK. The charity was poised to enter a very special tenth anniversary year with a recent fundraising boost from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
When the coronavirus closed its doors, Arts Insight turned disappointment at having to pause its plans for 2020 into decisive action. At a time when school children were more in need than ever of creative stimulus due to school closures, the charity has devised a plan that would also give home schooling parents a break.
Founder Laura Berridge said: “Just because we’re in lockdown, it doesn’t mean children should miss out on an essential arts education and our aim is to deliver this service to as many families as we can across the UK for as long as they need it.
“In this unprecedented time of uncertainty and disruption we want to utilise our skill sets, contacts and passion to help. As families are forced to navigate this new and challenging environment of home schooling, we believe Arts Inside can bring support and positivity to every household we work with. One of the strengths of our new online platform is its ability to creatively connect children with each other – whether they’re in Salford, Belfast or London.”
Her web team alongside law firm Harper James, who have provided their services for free, have been working flat out since the start of April to ensure that the new platform is watertight legally, and has all the necessary terms and conditions, privacy and cookie policies in place to protect the organisation and its users.
She added: “Arts Inside wants to use creativity to unite as many people as we can in isolation. By giving people a virtual community during this time we can support each other, provide resources, structure, routine, stories and hope, all driven by the arts.
“We will support those families who are following a strict academic timetable. We will also support those families who are choosing a more informal way of home learning. Our goal is to compliment everyone’s shared mission of keeping family communities safe, well physically and mentally, then ease the transition back into ‘normal life’ when that day presents itself.”
Harper James CEO Toby Harper commented: “Arts Inside is a fantastic example of the creative thinking we’re seeing from clients across the UK as they pivot their services and products to meet new customer needs during the coronavirus outbreak. It’s important to remember that as your business adapts, your legal position may change too. We are very pleased to give a dedicated founder like Laura the legal helping hand her charity needs at this time and wish her the very best with this new online chapter.”
Arts Insight has promoted the value of an essential arts education for every child since 2010. The national charity provides performing arts workshops to primary schools in disadvantaged areas across the UK. The most popular workshop creates a full-scale theatrical production that sees all normal lessons at primary schools suspended for a week, giving pupils the unique chance to learn life skills through becoming part of a theatre company. The five-day workshop lets pupils get involved in acting, singing, costume design, technical roles and even film production, thanks to a ‘making of’ documentary that records the whole process.
Arts Inside is a remote teaching platform, designed to offer children and their families, resources and support via a creative online community. Harper James Solicitors has helped create all the necessary safeguarding and policy documents to protect the charity and every user of Arts Inside. Web design team Watchthisspce has created the online platform.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in