• Ralph McBaiden

Getting artistic with the Royal Academy of Arts to support two secondary schools



With the backing of our partner Charles Stanley, we teamed up with the Royal Academy of Arts to run two arts workshops for Year 10 students at Harris Girls' Bromley and Haggerston secondary schools. The full-day workshop was run by a professional artist who guided the GCSE Arts and Textile students through the sessions.


“These learning activities are designed to be used by young people inside or outside of the classroom. Each focuses on a theme found in our collection and the activities are designed to inspire young people to look more closely at works of art and, in doing so, to access new understandings of creativity, based on feeling, history, instinct, technique and observation.” – The Royal Academy of Arts

Take a look at some of the fantastic work produced by the young people in Bromley.



Students from Haggerston were able to learn about ceramics and different styles. For many students, it was their first time.


Improving access to opportunities


Our mission is to create an equal start line for young people so that no one is left behind because of their racial or social background. External workshops tend to attract a cost and many schools who are already under-funded have struggled to access these opportunities for their students.


It's widely reported that socio-economic disadvantage is higher amongst students from certain ethnic minority backgrounds compared with White British pupils. Students from Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Black African, Black Caribbean and Mixed White and Black Caribbean backgrounds see the highest levels of disadvantage. Free school meal eligibility for students from Black Caribbean and Mixed White and Black Caribbean backgrounds is double the rates compared with White counterparts. Therefore, opportunities that carry a cost can create barriers for large numbers of students and disproportionately impact ethnic minority students.


We were delighted to have been able to facilitate these workshops, which were donated free of charge to two secondary schools.

"These were really engaging activities and the students thoroughly enjoyed making ceramic sculptures" said Luda, Head of Art at Haggerston School.


Many schools in England are seeing the impact of long-term under-funding and are recovering from restricted opportunities


"Some of our students have never used clay before and they produced fantastic outcomes which later will be used for their GCSE coursework. Thank you so much to Charles Stanley, Open Palm and the Royal Academy of Arts for introducing our Year 10 students to the new kind of ceramics!" - Luda - Teacher, Head of Art

People from ethnic minorities have historically been under-represented in the arts sector in England. The gap in arts engagement has also widened over recent years. Workshops such as these boost young people's confidence and provide access to environments that they may not have been exposed to before. The impact of these opportunities cannot be overstated.


We're committed to tackling ethnic under-representation and helping to create an equal start line for young people.


If you'd like to discuss how we can support your school or young people, please email us at info@openpalm.org.uk