Wednesday, 17 September 2014


I was at Firth Park Academy in Sheffield again this evening to attend a session with the ambassadors, their parents and carers and other stakeholders and partners working in the cultural sector.

For the last three years Firth Park colleagues have worked on the Cutlers' Made in Sheffield programmes, leading and shaping the work in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust project.  The Cultural Ambassador pilot has been an extraordinary initiative brilliantly led by Zeena Rasheed working with a group of stockholders and partners who are all passionate about getting young people involved and participating in cultural activity.

We know that the arts and sport are critical elements in developing skills like teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking and that at their heart they have developing character, resilience, determination and hard work. We also know that no single organisation can deliver the breadth and richness of the cultural sector in Sheffield on their own and Zeena has been keen therefore for arts, culture and sports organisations to team up and work with her to deliver an ambitious ambassador programme. 

The Firth Park Cultural Ambassadors programme has been co-created with partners using the 'Made in Sheffield' approach and skill set and this evening we watched some wonderful videos of the work that these young people had been doing on the programme and listened to some of their ambassadors talking passionately and confidently about the skills they had been developing.   In a world controlled by the DfE and OFSTED it is wonderful to see a school that is striving for excellence in everything they do and being really ambitious by providing programmes that include music, film, theatre, comedy, heritage, museums, art and design, literature and sport. 

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