On the 25th June, we celebrated our 5th year of the TICE programme at Northumbria University. Parents, TICE students (past & present), schools, mentors and project sponsors were welcomed to share the achievements of 105 students from 5 North East schools: Longbenton Community College, Burnside Business & Enterprise College, Heaton Manor School, St Thomas More Catholic School and All Saints College.
Our Final Show is a major event in the TICE calendar, not only does it provide an audience an array of creative talent to be viewed and heard it also gives more schools and companies an opportunity to hear what TICE is all about. This year we had opening the show Gill Rowe, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Art, Design and Social Sciences from Northumbria University, not only did Gill welcome everyone to the university but also helped in supporting our cause by further highlighting issues and topics that TICE has been aiming to achieve.
This year the aim was to tackle (my own quote) “the ridiculous notion of creative subjects being a soft option”. As I keenly discussed the fact that many (too many) students are discouraged from taking a creative subject such as photography, textiles and music as they are seen as too ‘vocational‘ for ‘intelligent‘ or more ‘academic‘ students. It seemed to strike a chord with many in the audience as many parents, students and company professionals came after my speech to relay their own stories and experiences. Possibly I was talking to the already converted but there were still quite a few that openly admitted they hadn’t thought of where their children could go onto if creative subjects were in their future. I may have had a small victory (hurrah).
As I continued to discuss it’s extremely hard work to get into schools to even discuss the endless possibilities this programme can cover. Yes, we have subject titles such as Fashion, Film, Music, Graphics etc… but some still fail to connect the dots to what else this programme includes, starting with… communication, digital technology, media, ICT, creative writing, project management, business studies… I can go on. Yes, all creative subjects which students will need access to if they are going to enter the largest most successful sector in the UK, yes you’ve guessed the Creative Industries.
I’m not going to preach too long this time, but there seriously needs some changes in the choices of subjects that young people are advised to take. Creativity is the core of ALL successful companies and organisations and if the ‘academic‘ or ‘intelligent‘ students are not made more aware of the importance of dealing with issues creatively or being put in charge of creative projects then we may be in a bit of trouble, yes push them towards the financial sector, obviously very clever sector which is deemed more acceptable and won’t lead this country into any difficulties… oh hang on (but don’t worry we’ll help you out and put a creative spin on it)…
Rant over… take a look at our Final Show photos:
The Final Show 2014