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Daydream Believers gives pupils access to the ‘real world’ experience in a teaching context which leads through to practical applicable skills that span the breadth of many more areas of their education. Our programme has been cited as an example of Best Practice by the SQA.

 
 
 

Where it all started

Edinburgh College Design Course connection to Industry has always shown benefits.

Our Visual Communication course in Graphic Design at Edinburgh College is an award-winning studio-driven course with a substantial amount of employer engagement and industry collaboration. The aim of our course is to produce industry-ready graduates who can think and execute across a wide range of print and digital formats.

During their studies, our students get to grips with live briefs, and this involves pitching to clients and tackling a broad range of commercial projects. To support this, we run a ground breaking and sector-leading Mentoring Programme, where the students get to work closely with a select group of industry professionals. In 2013 the design team picked up a Highly Commended Award at the SQA Star Awards in the “Innovation Category” for this employer engagement strategy.

We felt that more emphasis should be given to providing school pupils with inspiring and creative learning experiences at a critical, and career defining stage in their schooling.

 
 
 

The first steps

In June 2017, 20 pupils aged 12-14, from schools across Edinburgh became our first ever Daydream Believers.

These pupils had won their place on the project as a result of their submissions to an online project supported by our College Ambassadors. Initially our students visited their schools and delivered a taster session of the Daydream Believer experience and then pupils submitted the work they produced. 

The overall aim of the week- long project was to introduce 12 -14 year olds to a creative process, similar to that taught at College, and thereafter applicable to the work environment. By building the project around the concept of Day Dreaming the project focused on how their own creativity could be applied to a learning experience. Throughout the week our College students worked alongside the pupils on various challenges, sharing their insights and skills. Promoting creative thinking and guiding the process.

We looked at ways that we could develop the Daydream experience and use some of our partners from industry to have a more direct input and influence on the curriculum and to help support the work that is already being carried out by our teachers in schools promoting creative thinking, as a necessary multipurpose ability.

 
 
Above: Holly McNie and Niamh Curran as our College Ambassadors and our first ever Daydream Believers. They have been a huge inspiration to all of us involved in this programme.

Above: Holly McNie and Niamh Curran as our College Ambassadors and our first ever Daydream Believers. They have been a huge inspiration to all of us involved in this programme.

 

Our First Promo made by Daydream Believers

 
 
 
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We gained believers

In September 2018, we were joined by partners from Whitespace, Skyscanner and AmazeRealise.

We launched a pilot programme of engagement involving a weekly one-hour timetabled class for S2 pupils (12-13-year-olds). Six schools in Edinburgh and Lothian signed up to be part of the pilot: Drummond Community High School, Tynecastle High School, Liberton High School, Balerno High School, Ross High School and Royal High School. Each school was teamed up with an industry partner and an Edinburgh College Creative Student Ambassador.  

With the support of Education Scotland, we reached out to colleagues working in Universities across Scotland and in January 2019 we were delighted to welcome partners from Edinburgh College of Art, Glasgow School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Napier University and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. We are united by a common aim of supporting our teachers to change the curriculum so that it supports our young people to progress and develop essential skills.

The pilot programmes helped to shape the resources you find on our website today. At its very essence Daydream Believers gives the pupils access to the ‘real world’ experience in a teaching context which leads through to practical applicable skills that span the breadth of many more areas of their education.

 
 
 
At school, I was not particularly interested in academic work and struggled grade-wise, but what I wanted to do was make stuff up and see what happened. I was definitely a Day Dreamer and I think that daydreaming is important in school. Schools need to change, it’s not all about ticking boxes. We need to teach children that failure is ok, they can learn from it and it is part of the industry we are in. It’s the ones that are willing to fail that change the world.
— Chris Davey, Head of Creative, Whitespace
 
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We all need to continue dreaming

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2020 the top 3 skills that employers will be looking for are complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity.

It still is a challenge to persuade educators, pupils and parents that something as intangible and subjective as “creativity” is going to lead to a fulfilling career to rival the more traditional alternatives. But ask anyone with an insight into how technology, computerisation and artificial intelligence is going to effect the labour market they will tell you that the need for a work force is diminishing and fast. In theory computers, Ai and robots can do just about anything we want them to do. Ask the same people which part of the labour market cannot be readily be replaced and you will be told anyone who invents, creates, and dreams for a living.

 
 
 
 
When I was at school I really wasn’t aware of what jobs lay beyond pursuing a degree in a creative subject. My parents said I wouldn’t get a job if I went to art college so I ended up at university. I hope that by introducing pupils to the possibilities of a broad range of careers in creative industries we can inspire them to keep studying creative subjects and develop rewarding careers.
— Anne Grieve, Creative Director, Realise
 
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