The Global Routes Project is open to any primary or secondary school around the World. The more schools that take part, the greater the bank of images for children to research from. The vision is for school children to be able to place themselves both within their local community and within the wider global community through reflecting on their own work and the work of other young learners.
Stage One: choosing a camera
The camera you choose will depend on the budget that you have. Polaroid cameras can be bought second hand relatively cheaply, as can manual film cameras. Your school may want to invest in a DSLR that can be used for many other purposes. Disposable cameras are also fun to use and economical. As this is a photography project, children should be taught beforehand how to use the cameras effectively; it is also important that children are advised that they should not take photos of individual people without prior consent. ipads or smart phones must not be used for this project.
Stage Two: Working with a group of children and planning the project.
You will need to work with a small group of children, no more than eight at a time. These children will need to be worked with over four consecutive sessions (between one and two hours).
During the first session, children should be introduced to the photography project. The children should then decide, autonomously, with no influence from the educator, which places would be interesting to photograph in their area. Children will be informed that the photos must not include photos of themselves or of other children. In the second half of the session, you may move on to stage three.
Stage 3: Taking photos
Children decide which direction to walk. Make sure you have undertaken any neccessary risk assessments of the local area prior to the project. On day one, they may choose to walk left out of the school. Then you can walk around and stop at any areas of interest. This should be decided by the children. It is tempting to direct, but it must come from the children’s perspective in order to have meaningful dialogue after the event. Children and adults should take notepads to make notes about any discussions or ideas that have taken place.
It is important to set out ground rules before you leave. For example, no photos should be taken of individuals without consent. Consent for a photo must taken by the adult and any interviews overseen by an adult. It is a good idea to get written consent in case you plan to use the photos publicly at a later stage. A discussion on safe adults is essential; for example, shop keepers and people who are working are generally safe adults.
Stage three is repeated over two more sessions, taking alternative directions out of the school each time and directed by the children.
Stage 4: Discussion and Review
A short follow-up discussion should take place at the end of each photography walk: what went well? What else should be considered? What did people say?
During the follow up discussion, certain issues or themes may begin to arise, which the educator should take note of and or address where necessary. If difficult topics arise, ensure you give yourself time to reflect before moving the discussion forward. Follow up discussions can be recorded for teacher and pupil reflection or you may ask children to take notes. Recording the conversation enables a more fluid approach and is great for reflecting upon later on. You may choose to reflect on the images of the previous session at the start of each session.
In the final session children should choose which images they wish to present. Children should be asked to group images in to themes and explain their choices. Suggested questions:
- What/ who is in the image?
- How is the image constructed?
- Describe the image.
- Why did you choose to take this photograph?
- What does it remind you of?
- Why is it there?
- Who is affected by the themes/ ideas in this image?
- What questions do you have about this subject?
- What could you do next?
Stage Five: Presentation of work
You may choose to present the work in the school hall, foyer or as part of an assembly. Alternatively you may choose to ask a local library, shop or exhibition space if they would like to take part.
Using the photos children presented on session four, children should prepare what they would like to say about the project, what they have learnt and the narratives they have developed of their local area.
Be creative with your exhibition display!
Stage Six: Follow up in the curriculum
During the project, children have developed their own research questions. For example, the children in Stamford Hill discussed the moral issues surrounding memorials and racism in their community; particularly around the Jewish community. Now there is the opportunity to link these questions and themes to global topics and histories. Why is there a big Jewish community in Stamford Hill? What other memorials exist in society?
It is up to the educator and school how this research can take place within the school’s curriculum, but making links with other subject leaders and with the local community can ensure success.
Stage 7: Send us your work!
We would love to feature as many school projects as possible. In order to have a feature page for your school please send in the following:
- 4-5 small galleries of images under a theme name created by the children
- Quotes about the galleries from the children (please include year group and date / child’s name is optional)
- Any written accounts of the project from the children including their reflections and questions
- Photographs of any exhibitions
Have a look at the other projects on this site for ideas about what to send. We would love to hear any new ideas, so please add to the comments page or send in any additional work that has taken place as a result of the project.
Photos that include children will not be considered.
We look forward to hearing from you!