Langlees Primary School is in Falkirk and I have been working there for around 4 years. The school had received funding directly from the Scottish Government as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge in 2015 which aimed to improve literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. I first started there working on a project with the children to help them get their first Rights Respecting Shcools Award. I have been there ever since! I mainly work with smaller groups from mixed classes on medium to long term projects. I do a lot of drawing with the children, and then digitise their drawings and colour them in either in Photoshop or back on paper. This allows me to work with several drawings from several children at one time before stitching them together. We have designed the visual timetable, visuals for outdoor learning, school values, Learning Powers, Green Award visuals and signage for public spaces in school. The largest project I worked on with the children was the Rights Respecting work which has been intergrated in to lots of the school’s visuals as we try and tie up their learning with ‘real world’ places and activities.
The HYPE Programme
The HYPE programme is a skills-based programme in West Lothian. My role is as photography tutor. I build relationships with the Young People through walking and talking and sharing ideas. The photography helps them to express themselves and their world view.
Since the outbreak of Covid last year like most people working with children and Young People my work has had to adapt. We managed to start one to one sessions with the most vulnerable of participants last June which felt great to be back to work – seeing them in person and being able to check in with how they were doing. We undertake strict guidelines as set out by West Lothian Council and for the most part have been delivering these one to one sessions outdoors. This has proved to be very successful for some participants who struggle with the social side of group work. For others, being able to return to group work is absolutely the best thing for them. We have explored various places in West Lothian and I have enjoyed roaming old industrial sites with cameras, looking at and being inspired by these places and making photographs and art in response.
These last few weeks the Young People have been creating cyanotypes in the park made from digital negatives of their photographs shot using the DSLR cameras. Taking full advantage of these (cold) sunny days and short exposure times!
At the end of each session, i ask my participants to take a picture of their shoes and give me the SD card from the camera. Once home and faced with several SD cards in my pocket, I use that last pic of the shoes to identify their pictures. Since last June i have amassed a number of shoe pictures.
This week the weather has been too unreliable for us to work outdoors so we made use of the community centers we are allowed to use. I printed out their images using the little Canon Selphy printer and then they drew over their pictures with paint pens. As inspiration they looked at the work of Marcelo Broadsky, Keith Haring and the late, great John Baldessari.