Since 2000 The SummerSchool Project has been key to Ultralab's research into Digital Creativity.
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....and welcome to Ultralab's SummerSchool weblog. Ultralab is the leading learning, technology and research department of Anglia Polytechnic University. SummerSchool is one of Ultralab's many projects which explores how technology can be used to improve and encourage delightful lifelong learning.

This is our Digital Creativity, SummerSchool Story....



Ultralab will be joining Film Education, South Street Studios, Media Education Wales and Solutions on the CREATE AT BETT stand, funded by Apple, at The BETT Show run by eMap Education in January 2005. This is the 4th year (since the birth of the stand) that Ultralab have been involved. As ever, Ultralab will be brining young people to the show to 'show how digital technologies can be used for creative purpose'. Young people from Ultralab's 2004 digital creativity projects with The Rural Norfolk Federation and SEEVEAZ will be spending the 4 days at the event.

2004:This year has by far been the most interesting for all involved in Ultralab's SummerSchool projects. At the moment we are building one big DVD containing all the work from around the world. We are also in the process of re launching this website, to become far more interactive and also be home to many resources and research findings associated to digital creativity.

January: each year eMap, organisers of the BETT exhibition in London look to Apple, Ultralab and Film Education to run the 'BETT Goes to the Movies' feature stand, demonstrating the potential of digital technologies. No children are allowed at the education show, except the Ultralab Summer School children. This is the third year in a row Summer School has been represented at BETT. 22,000 visitors visit the show each year.

Click for pictures of the 4 day event.

2004's first SummerSchool kicked off in New Zealand with Ultralab North's sister lab Ultralab South running the project

On 22nd,23rd and 24th January students from three locations in New Zealand were invited to take part in our first Summer School in New Zealand.

Groups of children in Auckland, Rotorua, and Christchurch were invited to participate, approx 70 students in total.

The results were outstanding, with the final films tackling a wide range of themes. Running Summer School in three different locations across New Zealand simultaneously was a real strength. The students (and parents) from Rotorua were able to video link up with the Christchurch group based at Ultralab.

Mike Anderson ran the Christchurch days, Indira Neville facilitated Auckland and I ran the Rotorua shindig!

Interestingly even though we all used the theme of POV, same age kids at the same time, the style of the films were significantly different from the three locations (more on this later………..)
POV themes included Asbergers' syndrome, a lion, a pair of teeth braces and Te Waipuketanga (Flood) to name just a few. There was enormous support from parents, teachers and care givers. 80 parents turned up at the lab on Saturday to watch the students present their films similar numbers came to the Rotorua and Auckland presentations.

The children also displayed great initiative in using all available technology, with one group in Auckland including flash animation in their film.
We are looking forward to seeing how the Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England Summer School events go and maybe link some of our NZ students with those in the UK.

Roll on next year!! (NZ Report by Lorraine Taylor)

In February 2004 Summer School researchers from the 2003 SEEVEAZ Summer School project will be attending and demonstrating their achievements at 'Be Very Afraid', a celebration of children's creativity at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London. The exhibition will be made up of children from Katherine Semar Junior School and Greensward High School, the children were selected for their outstanding work in the 2003 SEEVEAZ Summer School project 'Points of View Squared'. Children from other Ultralab projects will also be participating. The event is hosted by BAFTA the DfES and Ultralab. Here's the website for the event.

July in Derry, Northern Ireland Martin, Anthony, Hamish and Tony of Ultralab set out on 'SummerSchool Derry', in partnership with the very cool organisation: 'The Nerve Centre' who hosted the event which was staffed with support and thanks from Co-operation Ireland. The objective was to build on the groundbreaking research undertaken in 2003 at 'SummerSchool Belfast'...bringing together people from communities who generally do not mix with each other to undertake digital creativity projects. ISH-YOUS became the project where young people were challenged to make films addressing important issues to them. Almost forty young people from four cross community groups gave three days over to learning about and using state-of-the-art video creation and editing tools to make their own co-operative movies. Most of the participants had not used any of these tools before. The experience was hectic, exhilarating, emotional and tiring. but most of all fun, hugely creative and life-enhancing. The movies produced can be seen in the Foyle Film Festival 2004, the Ultralab Event at the Victoria & Albert Museum and form part of the body of work from the young people of Australia, England, New Zealand, Singapore, Scotland and Wales that go to make up the Ultralab 2004 Summerschool DVD.

In Scotland Ayr College and Ultralab worked together on a week long project for prospective students to find out the potential of college education in Ayr colleg. Ayr College stands out as one of the best users of technology creatively in the North of the UK. Ultralab worked with the staffing team from the College in 2003 to learn together how the very latest technologies could be used in education.

The 2004 SummerSchool event introduced prospective students to the latest groundbreaking technologies and Ultralab's 'Points of View' project was challenged to the young people attending. The output from Ayr College is remarkable.

Animation, Sound, Video and Still Photography were all explored and some incredibly creative content was produced with very little tuition on how to use the software.

Ayr College Summer School became one of the most successful SummerSchools associated to Ultralab ever with new students signing up for a college education, including applications from new students from a variety of backgrounds.

Sarah, one of the Ayr College Summer Schoolers said: Hey, last week, the 19th to 23rd of july, I went to summer school at ayr college in scotland. All the Ultralab people were really cool and helped you when you needed it, which was quite a lot! Everyone I was there with enjoyed the week and we wish we could go again. It was a great experience and I'd love the opportunity to do it again! From Sarah in Ayr.

July was a very busy month for the Ultralab team who arrived in Cardiff in Wales to work with schools. This was a two week programme in both English and Welsh speaking languages. Ultralab's Geraint Lang speaks Welsh and was essential to the tremendous success of this project along with English speakers Neil, Hal and Manoah.

Together we revisited our 2002 '24 hours' model, challenging the young people of Cardiff to make 60 second movies about Cardiff through the day. Once again some truly spectacular output was created despite the trying circumstances surrounding the lack of available technology for the two week event.

Jodie, one of the Researchers said: "Hiya everyone, we enjoyed doing the iMovie, and enjoyed using the equipment, thank you Ultralab!!.

Geraing said:
Bu'r profiad o gydweithio gydag ysgolion Cymraeg yn un unigryw, a
chynhyrchwyd fideo digidol yn y Gymraeg am y tro cyntaf gan y disgyblion!
which means in English: The unique opportunity of being able to work in conjunction with
Welsh-medium schools resulted in pupils producing Welsh language digital

BBC Blast! arrived at Ultralab to film the start of the 2004 SEEVEAZ SummerSchool project. Ultralab has had a very close working relationship with the BBC since Ultralab and Children's BBC embarked on the Input CBBC project, which was a joint collaboration project to explore what television made completely by young people could be like. The 'researchers' on the project were followed by the BBC
and will make their screen debut in November.

All movies produced from all Ultralab SummerSchool projects have been submitted by Ultralab to Blast! for broadcast, so far we are aware of 7 animations which will make it to transmission. Professor Stephen Heppell, Hal MacLean and Matthew Eaves will also provide advice and comments throughout the Blast! programme schedule.

2004's SEEVEAZ project is called IF?THEN: (?: = Computer programming code for 'if' and 'then'). The objective of the task was for the researchers to make an animation which is no more than 100 seconds long and has two alternative endings. The animations we have seen so far are excellent, every single one of them, in their own unique way.

July got even busier with the APU SummerSchool. APU (Anglia Polytechnic University) is the University in which Ultralab is a department. The APU SummerSchool is run each year by Ultralab with a vision to engage young people early in life with the potential of a University education. The five day event covered film, sound and animation and, as ever, was a tremendous success.

Points of View Squared, our 2003 project was also started by the Rural Norfolk Federation in Norfolk, with the aim to bring rural schools together to be creative using new and emerging technologies. Online communities will later be explored as a place for young people to communicate together. We are very excited at the potential already evident in the creativity we've already seen from Norfolk.

Also working with us this year we have, two schools in Australia, and our friends at the Ministry of Education, Singapore.

This years DVD production, the research output, the BBC2 broadcast, and the event at the V&A was more special than ever.

Here is the news article I wrote fot my blog which can be found at:

(right: (picture care of Jonathan Furness of Jonathan's Blog) Richard Millwood and young people from Derry, Northern Irealand (more pictures care of Shirley)).

2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 have all been pretty special for Ultralab's team of people who under the banner now known as 'Digital Creativity'. We should not forget the 'SummerSchool' banner, but it no longer fits with all the stuff we are doing now in the digital creativity field, we're growing all the time. Together as a team at Ultralab we've worked really hard over the past five years to challenge and empowered people worldwide with the potential of digital technologies for creative purpose. Together we've had a lot of fun, made some great friendships and we're hearing all the right noises from all the key people who push us, and challenge us to take our research further, and deeper.

Friday, the final day of the 2004 projects was probably one of the highlights of my time here at Ultralab.

31 Ultranaut's have been involved in SummerSchool / Ysgol Haf / Digital Creativity this year....from Graham and Greta checking the DVD structures, to Claire managing the guest logistics and school liason, Neil cleaning audio, Tony Browne working close with young people in Derry, Michael Hartley in Ayr College, Alex doing the SMS and Graphics, Jonathan liasing with visitors, and Geraint running around the V&A with a microphone interviewing the would be impossible to say thanks to everyone without missing someone out.....

This year we've been followed, broadcasted and exposed on BBC Television, we've built up a reputation that we're so key in this area that we're now advisors on panels which were previously places you found historical film industry experts, we've proved others are now looking in our direction, these days, we sit next to them, and genuinely have the coolest ideas.

Our teams have worked in Derry, with communities considered divided, we've worked with prospective University and College students, and young people who live in Rural communities, we've been focused, we've been efficient and we've been brilliant at bringing people together to be creative, share ideas and we've been enabling, critical and supportive. We've met nice people, we've met some dodgy rogues, and we've had our fair share of bumps and smiles along the way. We're still chasing some outstanding money, this was the first year where we met and worked one of those people you meet in life that you wish you had not met, but we've learned from that, and we'll build and develop from our learning.

On Friday over 500 people attended the V&A from all over the UK to witness and celebrate the special event held to showcase the creative output from our 2004 portfolio of digital creativity projects. Each year we've tried to spread out which Ultranauts attend, and no matter what year, and what team work the V&A, it always goes like clockwork.

For me, it was not the event that was special, it always is. My highlight was being one of the Ultranaut's who worked in a team which was so close nit. Everyone knew what they were doing, and everyone did everything they could to make the 2 events in the lecture theatre run without hitch. All Ultranaut's performed and delivered one of the most amazing celebrations I've ever attended. Imagine two Ultralab teams working together on different floors with 10 groups of people who all want to know what is going on, want a t-shirt, want to know where the toilets are, want to know what they have to do, or where to store their bag, or how long they have got to eat, or where they can buy tea or coffee, or what time the performance started.

So, a huge well done to all the team at home, and at the V&A who did so much to make the 'Digital Creativity' (new name for SummerSchool) project end with such a bang....

....and not forgetting everyone involved in a SummerSchool based project, or involved in the production of the DVD set, which is a pretty special achievement in its own right....

Well done everyone :-)


On Friday 10 December Ultralab, Anglia Polytechnic University's (APU) groundbreaking learning technology research centre brought together project partners from around the globe for the 2004 Digital Creativity celebration. This event, run by Ultralab and hosted by the Victoria & Albert Museum in the prestigious lecture theatre was being held for the fifth year in succession (year one, and launch were hosted at the Millennium Dome).

During the whole day event, over 500 people attended to watch young people from around the UK present their work to the audience. Ultralab's digital creativity projects spanned Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England as well as the APU Summer School, which Ultralab hosted in July in association with APU's DACS and the APU Regional Office. Also represented were projects from New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, and young people from Tasmania chatted live through the Internet to explain the story behind their work.

BBC television, who have been broadcasting Ultralab's digital creativity projects over the past few months were on hand to give careers advice (and free giveaway stuff!) to the audience of researchers, parents, nans and the press.

Ultralab provided on screen expert advice and creativity critique for the BBC Blast programme, which is a place for young people to share their creativity. In 2002 Ultralab undertook a key research project with Children's BBC (CBBC) to find out if and how children coped making their own short films (young people were challenged to produce content for BBC channels themselves (Input CBBC))

This was the fourth time the V&A had hosted the digital creativity event, which was launched in the zone designed by Ultralab in conjunction with Tesco at the Millennium Dome back in 2000. Next year Ultralab's pioneering project with Creative Partnerships to build a qualification around digital creativity will build on lessons learned, and strive to create a certificate in creativity for everyone (more information at:

During the performance, Ultralab used the latest digital communication technologies to beam in a school from Australia who are respected for their creative edge who had taken part in the celebration of digital creativity:

Peter Lelong technology director at Fahan School, Tasmania, Australia reflects:

"Having the opportunity for my students from Years Nine and Ten to work so corroboratively with the Ultralab was an empowering experience. Imagine asking students to work through their holidays on a class project and then to turn up at 5.30 am during the first weekend of the holidays to be part on an online conference?

Each of the girls have gained so much from the opportunity to work with the team at the Ultralab. The proof of the pudding is in the fact that each of the girls in Year Ten involved in the project has now enrolled in the Certificate II Multimedia course for 2005.

Normally I have two to three girls enrolled. Following work done with creative media activities such as the 'Digital Creativity DVD project', students are now much more engaged with ICT as it is now taught at Fahan school.

In 2005 we are working on a State wide (Tasmania) project, linking students together around the world as part of the Ten Days on the Island cultural festival. The innovative work being done at the Ultralab has been the catalyst for change in a number of our schools here in Tasmania."

David Anderson OBE, Director of Learning & Interpretation at the V&A said: "At the V&A we only show the best and if Ultralab do not come to us and use another venue to show the creativity of young people, I'll personally want to know why".

Since 1990 Ultralab has been pushing the boundaries of digital creativity in projects in all sectors of education.

Ultralab has been working hard over the past few months building a DVD containing all the work from all the digital creativity projects, the double dual layer disc set DVD was given to every young person that took part in the project.

(report by: Richard Millwood, Ultralab & Matthew Eaves, Ultralab )

Shirley Pickford says:

Hot off the press - some pics taken at the V&A

I had a wonderful time, there was an amazing atmosphere. Special thanks to Matt and Claire, I've never seen anyone quite so exhausted yet still functioning brilliantly!

Graham Hart says:

Thanks for such a wonderful report.

I did not know what to highlight and comment on, so in the end I did not highlight anything, but I was greatly enthused and as always full of admiration for those who guided the projects. A real privilege to have been a very minor cog in the scheme of things; Graham Hart Ultralab at APU

Ysgol Haf 2004's Geraint Lang said:

Everyone from the ‘Lab played their part to the full-yet another demonstration of why the Lab is so successful in its undertakings!

For me, the Ysgol Haf 2004 project was properly concluded when each pupil received their individual DVD copy-following a true and public celebration of their achievements!

I said to a couple of you at the close of proceedings, Friday’s ‘do’ was the most professional show of its kind I’ve been a part of-and I have been to or involved in several before!

Massive thanks to Mairin Murray, Rebekka Campbell, Robert Nicolaides, David Anderson, Hayley Restall and Oscar Stringer for all you did and gave to the celebration event.

So that ends the bumper year of 2004! :-)

But where have we come from to get where we are today?

Summer School has become a very significant project at Ultralab, now in its 5th year, Summer School has exploded into a variety of projects worldwide and has had an impact at the BBC, and also worked as our contribution to the communities of Northern Ireland, using digital media to bring people together.

It all started in July 2000 when Merril Haeusler from SEEVEAZ (South East of England Virtual Education Action Zone) approached Ultralab to 'do something creative' with children during the month of August.

The first project 'Transformation' saw children creating movies made of still pictures telling the story of transformation from one state to another.

The completed movies were exhibited at the Millennium Dome, where Ultralab worked with Tesco to design 'The Learning Zone'.

One of the seven movies, 'A Century of People' is based on the ageing process in humans.The movie starts with a pregnant woman, then a newborn baby, then a one year old right through to a one hundred year old person. The movie points out the differences between the ages that you would not normally notice. There are a hundred photographs, one for every age.

The movies produced by the children from the SEEVEAZ schools in Essex and Kent were so exceptional and led to the 2001 project 'Emotions', which budget was allocated to for the purchase of equipment schoolwide.

Click here to view the 2000 project website and see the finished films.

2001: In January 2001 the very creative Summer School researchers came together at Burnham-on-Crouch Lifeboat Station to assist with Ultralab's joint project with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) to come up with ideas how the lifeboat service could be made 'cool' in the eyes of young people. The Summer School researchers came up with a variety of ideas which led to the launch of Lifeboats.TV, the biggest video based website on the Internet, and home of the 'Virtual Lifeboat Station'. Click here to visit Lifeboats.TV.

Prior to the arrival of the Summer School children for the first Digital Video project for 2001 we experimented with a 'One Hour Film School' assisted by children from White Court School in Braintree, Essex. The plan was to find out if it was possible to teach how to use Apple's iMovie software and Canon cameras in 30 minutes and for the children to then make a film without any adult help in a further 30 minutes. It worked, and here are the 30 second films, completely planned and made by the children: Watch Top of the Pops, Wonder Water, The Mummy Returns and Friends. The lessons learnt from the pilot activity went forward to create the hour and a half training sessions for all future Summer School events.

In June for the next Summer School project called 'Emotions' the new batch of 'Researchers' had to 'tell an emotional' story about a word. Each child picked one word out of a hat out of a possible 100 words. The first challenge, in groups of 4, was to decide which of the words picked out of the hat by the groups members should be made into a film.

The film had to last for no more than 3 minutes, have a suitable soundtrack, loop and contain the word and names of the Researchers involved in the movie.

The results are amazing, with 17 excellent movies which were turned into a DVD and exhibited at the V&A (Victorla and Albert) museum.

'Tacky' stretched the possibilities of iMovie 2, 'Tragedy' was partly filmed at 4am, and the girls from 'Ordinary', a movie containing lots of face painted children defended their movie exceptionally well infront of a live audience at the V&A...

Teacher in Audience: Why have you got your face painted throughout the movie, face painting is not ordinary.

Girl from 'Ordinary' Film: To a face painter, face painting is ordinary.

December's event at the V&A was attended by the DfES and the press, a spectacular achievement for all involved. The very first DVD to be produced by Ultralab was built and presented to every child who took part in the project.

The movies have since been showcased at conferences and presentations worldwide. At one conference the BBC saw the work and began discussions with Ultralab on a potential project where Children make their own television.

Click to watch Tacky or Tragedy or to watch the V&A event highlights for 2001, or click here to watch all the other movies from 2001. Here also, are the pictures taken throughout the year for the Ultralab~SEEVEAZ 2001 SummerSchool Project.

2002: 16 of the researchers from Summer School 2001 went on to be the only children at the BETT show in London, a teaching and trade fair held at Olympia in January with 22,000 visitors over a four day period. The researchers worked on the 'BETT Goes to the Movies' feature, demonstrating to the visitors at the show the potential that can be achieved with digital technology. The Researchers made films which were broadcast on screens all around the show. Check out the show report here. and click here and here to watch two of the movies created by the researchers at BETT 2002.

In July 2002 the project got bigger, once again the event was hosted at the V&A museum in London for the presentation of 24 movies. We figured that if the Researchers from 'Tragedy' were prepared to get up and film at '4 am' in the morning for the 2001 project then all the Researchers could get up and film around the clock!

The challenge was to film during specific hours of the day, and make a 60 second movie about British life at that time.

As ever the groups of researchers only had one and a half hours training at Ultralab on how to use the equipment and software.

Once again, amazing films were produced, ranging from death at 3am (the most frequent time most people die) right through to dreams and early dawn. The result was 24 movies, each exactly 60 seconds long. While Summer School 2002 was running, Ultralab also began roll out of the Summer School model with Children's BBC on a joint collaboration project, 'Input CBBC'. Children's BBC had seen the Summer School work and approached Ultralab to find out together what television made completely by children would be like. 'Input CBBC' ran in Sheffield and Hull following the 2001 Summer School challenge, making a film about a word. The movies provided some interesting insights of what television created entirely by children could be like. Click to watch 'Success', one of the movies produced in Sheffield. Click here to visit the project website for Input CBBC. It was planned that the movies would be broadcast on BBC Television's xChange programme and would also link between other shows on the network.

In June 2002 some of Ultralab's digital media crew went to try the Summer School model on adults. The event, held as part of a training day (branded as a 'Fun Day') in digital video was run to help with training for the national rollout. The one day event in Corby saw grown adults dressed as babies, pretending to be pop stars and reading the news, amongst other things, all while undertaking the 2001 Summer School 'Emotions' project. Click to watch the adult movie 'Explorer in a Make Believe Country'. is Ultralab's online research project looking at ways of re-engaging young people of school age into an environment in which they are able to develop new ways of learning.

Ultralab also started another branch out of the Summer School with parent University APU. The week long event followed the Summer School model to
introduce sixth form aged young people to what life at University is like. The challenge was to make movies about the environment. Ultralab's APU Summer School was a huge success.

By December the second annual Summer School DVD had been produced, and for the first time the DVD contained all the work from the past three years. The V&A event was arranged and this year the audience were able to text in their thoughts and questions throughout the event to Ultralab's SMS Wall. 200 Texts were received throughout the presentation.

The movies for 2002 were once again excellent and the third generation of Summer School researchers defended their work to questions posed by the audience at the V&A.

Children's BBC's head of 'Future TV Department', Greg Childs, and former producer of Blue Peter, Cathy Derrick, were in the audience with press and key personnel from the DfES.

24 movies were shown in total, and for the first time another group of researchers had created a movie called 'The Making of Summer School'. Greg Childs also gave a presentation on why the work of the children was having an impact at the BBC with the rollout of 'Input CBBC'.

Click here for the event pictures. Click here to watch 2am, one of the 24 movies produced.

2003: Once again the project grew, with some researchers at BETT, this time for 4 days instead of one. Once again the researchers spent the days demonstrating the potential of digital technologies interviewing the public and broadcasting live across the show. Children from Greensward SEEVEAZ school were beamed into the show along with other children from Sheffield's 'Input CBBC' to demonstrate live broadcasting technology. 'The BETT Goes to the Movies II' feature was sponsored by Apple Computer UK. In the evening of the Friday the researchers joined Ultralab and the Apple staff at Bill Whyman's Sticky Fingers celebrity restaurant for a celebration meal.

In March at the end of the Input CBBC project all the children from the project travelled down to BBC Television Centre to show their movies to producers, meet children's television personalities and tour the studios. Two of the children were interviewed live on television to talk about the project.

The team from Ultralab plan to revisit the Input CBBC children in the near future to find out what happened to them after we all went away.

Click here (QuickTime format) to watch some of the Researchers talking about the project on national BBC television's xChange programme.

2003 was the first year for Summer School to go international. During the year three countries would participate in the project creating the very first international collaborative DVD. The task this year was to be much harder that ever before....and the DVD became our best ever!

The challenge was unique from anything previous: Make a 100 second movie, the movie has to be a Point of View of an object, animal, thing, person or place and then filmed from the Point of View of that object, animal, thing, person or place.

For the first International Summer School of 2003 the project went to Northern Ireland, working as part of the peace process with Catholic and Protestant children to see what could be created using the Summer School model over a three day period within a community environment. The results were excellent. The group were the very first to undertake the 'Points of View 2 (Squared) challenge.

Five excellent movies were created in just three days. The majority of the Summer School Researchers in Belfast had never used video equipment and Apple computers before. The movies are fantastic, the films being about bullying, being a young child, the view of a motorcyclist, a mouse and a blade of grass.

"As youth leaders from across the community divide we knew each other but we had never worked together. Ultralab's summer school gave us that opportunity." Stuart (Youth Leader)

"The kids were together, focused on making films rather on what divides them" Kelly (Youth Leader).

Click here for the Event pictures

In June, the Summer School Researchers of Essex and Kent came together again to attempt 'Points of View 2' after the standard had been set by the first Summer School in Belfast. Sixty five Researchers and two 'Diary Group' teams were ready to take up the challenge, the V&A began preparations for hosting the event once more in December. The schools arrived for their hour and a half training at Ultralab before setting off to their respective schools to undertake the challenge over the summer. also set the challenge online with the first Summer School project based on the Internet.

Meanwhile, in Scotland some of the Summer School team worked on a 3 day collaborative event, hosted at Ayr College to develop skills in New Technology, for full-time and part-time staff within the Dept of Art & Design. In November, over in Madrid Ultralab's Graham Hart showcased some of the Summer School movies including 'Out of Step' (a movie about disability) at the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) Conference in Madrid. It was used, in a workshop, on assessment criteria, to show that a single piece of work, when presented with accompanying reflective writing at an appropriate level, may form the basis of assessment in more than one discipline and at more than one level.

In August the second Ultralab APU Summer School took place following the Summer School model, this time with a theme entitled 'The Future is Blue'.

In October Ultralab's Summer School model was rolled out in New Zealand, at Ultralab's sister lab, Ultralab South as part of potential pilot with TVNZ's TV2 channel. The project was to find out what children's television made by children could be like, using some of the research findings from previous Summer School's and the Input CBBC pilot from 2002/3. The pilot was also to show Ultralab South how the Summer School model works ready for the big Summer School event right across New Zealand in January 2004.

Some excellent movies were created by the pilot, all 'Points of View Squared' and all included on the DVD. Click here to see the challenge we set on the pilot. Click here to see the pictures taken over the two day period.

In December 2003 an audience of three hundred attended the 4th annual Summer School creativity celebration at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. The event, which showcases the movies by the children is projected in the V&A's prestigious lecture theatre, which they then defend from questions from the audience was an amazing experience, as ever, for all involved.

The event, run in conjunction with SEEVEAZ was broadcast internationally over the Internet. Neil Boughen, technician at the event and his team put on exceptional technical performance made perfect by the input, interaction and positive comments from the audience.

Prior to the presentation, hosted by Professor Stephen Heppell was the work from around the world, including the project in conjunction with TVNZ (New Zealand), the Belfast peace project and a movie from our friends in Singapore was shown and well received by the audience.

Once again Ultralab's SMS service accepted over 400 text messages from the audience, who were able to text to a big screen throughout the event.

For the first time joined the project, producing three excellent movies.

Greg Childs, from Childrens BBC, guest speaker at the event commented on how the work the children were doing really did matter to the future of British Television.

Ultralab and SEEVEAZ would like to thank once again the team at the V&A for their support in the project, and to the Children for their once again exceptional, head turning, internationally renowned creativity.

Each child went home with a certificate, DVD containing their work, a Summer School branded hoodie, and the memories. The Ultralab team enjoyed a Pizza Hut on the way home! :-)

This year also saw the 'SummerSchool' and 'Input CBBC' projects quoted in a chapter written by Professor Stephen Heppell in Whither Assessment?, a QCA publication addressing how the educational community could improve the ways in which it assesses students. An extract coving the creative wins from SummerSchool:


This annual feast of creativity confirms several key lessons for assessment. Firstly, it is clear that the entirely new tasks set annually do not map easily, if indeed at all, onto any pretence of criterion referencing. There is not even an existing genre to pastiche; this is entirely new work, yet technology has allowed the summer school students into the domain of experts very early in their learning lives. It is also clear and valid judgements about quality to the extent of being clear about what is 'good enough'. Beyond that , however, the key feedback from students reporting their processes (for example in the formal interview and 'crit' that is a part of their V&A show) is criical to injecting any granularity of judgement beyond that 'good enough' hurdle. The product in every case was engaging, but the reported processes offered a fresh perspective, often stunning, always moving our understandings forwards.

Describing the construction of the final pieces enabled the deconstruction and critiquing to be a much more subtle affair. Finally, the clear sense of impending audience served not only as a prime motivator, but was a useful adjunct to the learning process. (page 111)

Whither Assessment? (Chapter 9) ~ Assessment and new technology: new straitjackets or new opportunities? ~ Professor Stephen Heppell
ISBN 1858385016, Paperback 176 pages (January 31, 2003)
Publisher: Qualifications & Curriculum Authority


Your messages, comments and enquiries are welcome....

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Summer School

Page by: Matthew Eaves,, Ultralab, Project Co-ordinator.