WREXHAM pupils are undertaking an exciting project that involves them working with a number of schools across Europe to look at better ways of enthusing their students.

‘The Big Bang project’ recognises that sometimes it’s difficult for many subjects (particularly non-arts ones) to engage or enthuse students, and will look to find creative and active ways to tackle this.

As part of the project, a number of Year 9 pupils from Ysgol Bryn Alyn visited Arrhus in Denmark this month, staying with host families and attending school. Their trip also included a visit to a theatre, where they received a back stage tour and took part in a technical theatre workshop.

Headteacher at Ysgol Bryn Alyn, Adele Slinn said: “This is an innovative project as we use an arts approach; using arts content as a way into the non-arts subjects on the curriculum.

“We use famous and influential works of arts to explore and respond to a variety of real issues that affect our partner countries around Europe. Our students can develop through practical work, face-to-face meetings as well as through online communication for different purposes.

“This can help them to develop many new skills; particularly their interpersonal skills.”

Ysgol Bryn Alyn has partnered with four European schools, situated in Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Demark for the Big Bang project.

An integral part of the project is staff continuing professional development (CPD). Staff have been on training courses in Liverpool, Poland and Athens, working with lecturers from Manchester Metropolitan University to develop innovative teaching and learning methods.

This is part of a process to widen staff awareness to the strengths and benefits of using the arts, no matter what the subject discipline is.

Students aged 14-18 will get the opportunity to attend the partner schools, as they did with the recent visit to Arrhus, with emphasis on developing their enterprise skills.

Mrs Slinn added: “Students will be asked to budget, work out costings and plan a programme amongst other things. We want them to be enterprising and develop skills which will serve them well in the future. This skill based approach aims to develop independent learning opportunities and equip students for lifelong learning”

Students will work in mixed multinational teams, who they will remain in contact with after the project, and work as Global Ambassadors within Ysgol Bryn Alyn on their return.

Another part of the project will see teachers working with university staff to acquire new skills and approaches by using drama strategies and techniques.

In a second project, developed by secondary students for primary students, the school are looking to promote the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, which will be showcased through four drama performances, toured to local feeder primary schools.

This project is in partnership with organisations in Poland, Italy and France. It will involve 60 staff, 270 pupils and 12 schools.

Amanda Noon, head of the YBA Expressive Arts Faculty and leader of both Erasmus+ Projects, said: “We’re very proud to be part of this very exciting project, one that will truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students involved. We are excited to work with all seven partner countries and look forward to seeing how the innovative teaching and learning approaches can benefit all our pupils at Ysgol Bryn Alyn.”