Croydon London Borough of Culture 2023: School Engagement Strategy & Content

The brief:

As the 2023 London Borough of Culture, Croydon Council wanted to engage their local school community across both primary and secondary age groups. They worked directly with Social & Local MD, Holly Greenland, to identify the opportunities local partners could offer schools, build an engagement strategy with legacy at its heart and develop school resources to support engagement in the classroom.

Our approach:

We led strategy development in close consultation with stakeholders across multiple teams within the Council, and approximately 15 core local arts and culture organisations. Collaboration took place through a range of mediums to suit stakeholder time and locations, including face-to-face meetings, Teams sessions, and an online survey to audit local partner activity and plans. This survey mechanism was also utilised throughout the campaign to monitor engagement levels. 

The resulting insight led to a strategy with a ‘This is Croydon Arts & Culture’ mark for participating schools at its centre. This included providing school reception acetate stickers at sign-up; digital badges; regular school e-newsletters; and new primary and secondary resource packs. 

School print and PDF packs, with supporting PowerPoint resources, were written and designed by our team, utilising themes and activities from across the wider programme, including local artists, to inspire engagement in the classroom. From drama workshops to logo design, school murals and spoken word performances, the resources offered flexible, curriculum-linked options to teachers of all ages. 

The Results: 

Evaluation is ongoing, but it is anticipated that over 90% of schools in the borough directly engaged with the programme. Based on the success of the activity, a new tiered arts and culture scheme for schools is now in development to embed the programme in the local area for good. 

Shaniqua Benjamin, Poet
Shaniqua Benjamin, Croydon-Based Poet

This is Croydon School Resource