The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on Robots aimed to provide year 6 children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their work in Literacy, Numeracy, Science, ICT, History, Art, DT, Music, PSHE and P.E. lessons. As part of the project, Bolton Library lent fiction and non-fiction texts based on the theme of “Robots” and they also delivered a KIT quiz based on the texts. In addition, Artists in Schools supported the children in creating a robot mural and Rhythm FX supported the children in creating robot music using music technology. Furthermore, The Phoenix delivered a robot dance workshop using the music created with Rhythm FX and Bolton Museum delivered a workshop based on creating a classroom museum. The Phoenix created a film of project.
The teacher expressed that the project kept the children engaged and focussed during the second half of the summer term, adding that this is a period when children can easily become difficult to motivate as they have completed the SATs. She also stated that the fact that specialists came in to work with the children gave their self-esteem a boost as they felt important. They were also proud of the work they produced and the activities gave a purpose to their writing. The fact that the writing tasks were linked to actual experiences helped to inspire the children: for example the piece of fiction writing based on the theme of the robots turning bad and destroying the school was based on the mural created with Artists in Schools and this fired up their imagination. The teacher added that she had seen reluctant writers engage fully and enthusiastically in the writing tasks and she had observed the children create and program 481-piece lego robots. She also conveyed that children who usually struggled to work as part of a team sat and worked together to build robots and worked cooperatively to create a mural.
The teacher also expressed that the project made her realise the importance of having high quality stimuli to motivate and inspire the writing process. Thus, she acknowledged that the writing process can start with a dance or a piece of art. The teacher also stated that the fact that she has seen specialists deliver sessions in areas of the curriculum in wich she did not feel confident has increased her confidence, especially with regards to the teaching of dance and art.