LEAN London Festival of Education Workshop

Project Type: 

Resilience, well-being, and the arts with children and young people

LEAN London Festival of Education Workshop

Saturday 28th February 2015

Resilience, well-being, and the arts with children and young people

The workshop:

LEAN (Lewisham Education Arts Network) with Elizabeth Murton and Jane Hendrie

Using lessons and ideas gained from LEANs annual education event on 11th February, this was a creative activity where participants engage with ideas and discussion on the arts, well-being and resilience. The workshop produced thoughts/questions/comments on paper and a ‘washing line’.

#LFE2015 @LEANarts


Our guests, showcasing the range of arts projects, which address the above, in South East London:

Adam Annand, Associate Director Creative Learning, London Bubble Theatre Company.  London Bubble delivers a drama project that supports children’s communication development 'Speech Bubbles'.

Sally Donaldson, Tea Dance for Little People/ Creative Homes. Creative Homes is an experiential home visiting service that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of families with young children through creative play.

Helen Tanner, Psychosocial Consultant, Manager and Arts Psychotherapist has worked nationally and internationally (Botswana, New Zealand and post-conflict Libya, (Kosovo and Belfast) and a Rotary Peace Fellow.

Dr. Richard Corrigall, Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley Trust is involved in a number of arts based projects, including curation of The Art of Recovery exhibition of teenage art therapy and is linked with the CuesEd project for Primary aged children.


We asked people to write on Postcards: what well-being and resilience might look like in their work. Some examples of what they said:

Supporting young people from a range of levels of wellbeing through heritage and their local surroundings. Providing safe havens for all backgrounds, and an opportunity to engage with heritage.

Resilience= being able to cope with stress – not by clarifying or awaiting, but identifying problems realistically and wisely  helpful strategies to avoid being overwhelmed.

Resilience- economic resilience to ensure that we are all able to continue with our education work with young people.

Resilience: being challenged. Feeling that I'm growing/developing and that there's no one 'right' answer. knowing that mistakes are learning opportunities.

Wellbeing = being happy, being comfortable, being healthy, being positive


We asked them in pairs, to devise a question to ask our guests. They said:

Creative interventions sounds great - how do we make them more widely accessible?

How can help become available to everyone?

What happens so that children stop seeing?

How do you build resilience?

How do we ensure economic resilience to allow the creative work with young people to continue?

Do you find perfectionism in individuals can stop/hinder their resilience?

How as teachers/adults can we model resilience without over sharing/exposing our vulnerabilities?

What is the balance between intervening early for people who need help versus prevention?

How would you introduce creativity/arts to a group of very disengaged 16 year olds? (any practical ideas)

How do we use creative arts to support teachers to look beyond outward signs of behaviour and understand issues of wellbeing that might be at the heart of the issues?

How to develop new approaches? How to 'cross-fertilise' work?

How is resilience best developed in young people?

Can you still lead a fulfilling life without having 100% wellbeing?

How do we give children and young people the confidence to fail and try again?

How do we create an environment in which children feel safe to fail? Particularly in constructive peer assessment?

How does well-being and resilience connect with 'character and grit'?

What happens afterwards?


Our final comments are from a child who came to our session:

Believe yourself

Help Others

My study is to help childhood and help my mum do her work and if something is hard and you never done it- just go for it!

Good advice for any age, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Thank you to all those who took part and everyone at London Festival of Education. We hope to continue this discussion and will look at ways to run a longer evening with our guests- so if you want to reply to the questions or comment yourself, please email elizabeth@leanarts.org.uk and I will add it to the conversation.