S Factor 2015: Into Eurovision
Start date: Jan 1, 2015,
End date: Dec 31, 2015
S Factor 2015 Into Eurovision was a non formal education project promoting social inclusion of disabled young people through the use of performing arts and film making. This was a cross-sectoral project relating youth work and non-formal education to school education.
The aim of the project was to build on the success of the amazing “S Factor” talent show organised by Kelford Special School, Rotherham, UK, during its 10th anniversary year. Each year. this event adds enormously to the social and learning development of severely disabled young people but although it is run by staff from the school, this is on a purely voluntary basis out of school time, and the event receives no statutory funding or support. What has been developed is a shining example of inclusion and non formal education which deserves to be more widely known and replicated.
In 2013-2014 an international collaboration began with the Special School in Zirl, Austria. Our new project extended this international collaboration to several more countries, promoting the “S Factor” concept around Europe, benefiting young people with disabilities and the organisations that work with them in several countries, inspiring new audiences and creating the foundations for future links.
The project began with a training course for special needs youth workers and teachers from 6 countries including the UK. The training was about the way performance adds value to learning and development of young people in special education. Participants shared examples of their own experience and good practice. The training focused on the use of video as an inclusive learning tool, and participants learned enhanced film making techniques particularly for music videos.
On return home, participants worked with groups of young people with special needs in each country, to produce music videos. These videos were then viewed at showcase events in each country, and also judged competitively through a Eurovision style audience and panel voting system, through a website set up specially for the project, plus live link-ups with the team in the UK. The 3 winning entries then went forward to the S Factor final in July 2015, with project participants returning to the UK to attend the show as part of a second-stage training course. This enabled the learning from the project to be captured and validated through the Youthpass process. The final phase also included a policy and action planning workshop.
Follow up and dissemination took place in each country through a public event led by the participants. This was an opportunity to influence policy makers, opinion formers and potential sponsors so that ultimately many more young people can benefit from similar kinds of activity. Numerous proposals were made for follow-up projects and in particular, partners in Greece, Austria and Slovenia have taken initiatives to implement these.
The methodology of the project was non-formal education and its impact was enhanced learning opportunities for young people with special needs, and support from policy makers.
The project involved 23 teachers, youth workers and volunteers from 6 countries (Austria, Finland, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and UK) working with over 100 80 young people in special education. The S Factor show itself was attended by a live audience of 1000 people. Wider coverage was achieved through social media and public promotion, in particular the voting process for the films in the competition. Follow-up and dissemination activities have reached an estimated 500 people directly and 5000 indirectly.
We intend to take this exciting and creative approach to international inclusion further through an Erasmus+ KA2 strategic partnership, and we are currently in discussion with partners on how to do this.
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