Online arts-based educational resources for children in hospital: the Rocket-Arts project in response to COVID-19

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Sextou, P. 2021. Online arts-based educational resources for children in hospital: the Rocket-Arts project in response to COVID-19. United Kingdom Arts & Health South West in association with The University of the West of England (UWE), Tampere University Finland, University College London and Nottingham University.
AuthorsSextou, P.
Abstract

Since March 2020, artists have lost their access to patients on NHS sites in the U.K. causing arts-based projects to pause indefinitely across the country due to Covid-19. Creative ways had to be implemented to help young patients access the arts during isolation. This presentation focuses on children-patients as audiences and introduces ‘Rocket-arts online’ at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH). Rocket-arts online is an innovative variation of arts-based theatre practice for children in hospital that has been adapted as a result of the pandemic. The paper reports of original empirical inquiry (case study) that investigates children’s engagement with learning through digital arts-based activities as a phenomenon within its real-life hospital context.

It is expected that children that miss curriculum work while being in hospital face difficulties in catching up with their class peers upon their school return. The Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe (HOPE) met in Barcelona in May 2000 and recommended the integration of pleasurable, playful, extra-curricular activities in the school curriculum to reform hospitalised children’s perceptions about learning during their stay in hospital. This presentation focuses on the provision of digital extra-curricular arts-based activities for children who are isolated at home or in hospital due to the pandemic. It aims to delve into its potential within learning opportunities for hospitalised children.

More specifically, the Community & Applied Drama Laboratory (CADLab) at Newman University followed advice and guidance from the government, the World Health Organisation and Public Health England and NHS to enable sick children access the arts remotely during their time in hospital. We adapted the mode of delivery of Rocket-arts from a bedside face-to-face object theatre with storytelling intervention to a digital film-based project. We produced child-friendly online resources based on the initial story such as animated cartoon films and interactive worksheet literacy activities.

It has been chosen as a case study because of (a) the inherent interest of the covid-19-related circumstances of isolation surrounding it and (b) the researcher’s in-depth local knowledge of context, setting and circumstances. The paper aims to offer reasoned lines of explanation about the importance of accessing the arts online to child wellbeing and engagement with learning when face-to-face interaction with artists is prohibited.

KeywordsArts; Health; Paediatrics; Children; Digital arts; Education
Year2021
Publisher Arts & Health South West in association with The University of the West of England (UWE), Tampere University Finland, University College London and Nottingham University
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print08 Jun 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Aug 2021
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Official URLhttps://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdocumentcloud.adobe.com%2Flink%2Freview%3Furi%3Durn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A3c259e88-7bd7-46dc-9e5c-d2786698621c&data=04%7C01%7Cpersephone.sextou%40canterbury.ac.uk%7Cea1fb990900f4f5f982108d94cc43992%7C0320b2da22dd4dab8c216e644ba14f13%7C0%7C0%7C637625227938802460%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=X3ZSVt7mFM75I%2BP8LrZExRACQFxlpX2OXSbbBl8A6YU%3D&reserved=0
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