22nd May 2019

The V&A has launched a fantastic schools programme available to every school across the UK, for students in years 7,8 and 9 (KS3).

With creative subjects seeing reductions in government funding there has been a dramatic decline in students pursuing the arts at GCSE and A-Level prompting fears that creative industries may be in danger of dying out. The V&A Innovate programme aims to reintroduce students to D&T as an important and valuable core subject, engaging career path and spark a new interest in pursuing creative industries.

What is V&A Innovate?

In short, Innovate is a free programme that aims to equip students with the skills needed to harness the power of design led thinking, essential skills, confidence and resources to tackle real world issues in creative and non creative industries. Benefitting from the V&A’s established background in exhibition research, industry experience and extensive design collections, it has been developed to include each of these elements throughout delivery. Designed and developed alongside both teachers and designers every aspect of the programme is rewarding, accessible and engaging from content to delivery. The flexibility of the programme allows teachers to deliver the content and run the programme however they see fit, during D&T lessons, running after school and lunchtime clubs or even over a day with an intensive project.

The programme looks set to follow annual themes, inspired by current V&A exhibitions and up-coming programmes at the museum in London. The themes for 2019/2020 are:

GO: How we travel, why we travel and where we go

EAT: What we’re eating, how we’re consuming produce and where it comes from

WEAR: What we’re wearing, the production process and the environmental impact these processes have

These themes give students the opportunity to think about the bigger issues within these areas such as sustainability, health and wellbeing, affordability and generally building a better world to live in.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of V&A innovate extend long past the creative subjects, giving students of any subject the opportunity to tackle issues, solve problems and develop the skills to harness the power of design which they can transfer to each subject, no matter what industry they have their sights set on. The timing of the programme comes at a crucial point in a student’s educational career and allows them to utilise the skills developed in their own work in GCSE and A-Level, maximising the reward of their educational experience. The programme introduces KS3 pupils to processes, techniques and models used in industry, enabling them to familiarise themselves with these well before entering the workforce. Featuring these current industry practices students will be encouraged to work in 3 stages; Collet, Make and Share. Collect enables students to think critically and identify viable solutions to issues and explore this idea through collaborative research and teamwork. Make continues to develop the problem-solving skills introduced in stage 1 and encourages students to test their ideas, overcoming problems as they arise. Share is the final stage in the process and allows young people to present their findings, articulate their work and promote their solution and achieve the change necessary.

How can we get involved?

Registering your interest, accessing the resources and kickstarting Innovate at your institution is quick and easy! Visit the V&A website and sign up, there you can register your school to take part in the Innovate National Schools Challenge too! Once registered the free resources and information are available instantly, meaning that delivery can be organised straight away, and your students can start to benefit from this great programme!
National Schools Challenge

This competition allows your students to take on some of the world’s biggest problems, and use their new skills, creativity and problem solving to conjure up, implement and present their design ideas. Competing in groups of 4-6 your students can choose one of the 3 themes to explore and working with inspiration from V&A collections and exhibitions begin to formulate solutions for some of the issues currently shaping and affecting our world.
Entries are submitted digitally are then judged by experts from a number of industry fields, finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions at the Innovate Pitching and Awards Day at the V&A in London and could win some fantastic prizes for their schools or institutions.

To register your school for the National Schools Challenge, visit the V&A website.

Adaptable Travel offer great Design and Technology trips to London, where your students can explore the V&A, get first-hand insight into the collections and exhibitions which influence the Innovate challenges and benefit from inspirational examples of global design. As well as the V&A we also offer other incredible excursions such as Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture and the Design Museum. If you’re interested in delivering the Innovate programme to your students and want to hear more about how our trips to London may help inspire your students contact Adaptable Travel or request a quote today.

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