Campaign case studies

This page contains examples of creative campaigns run by previous Campaign! Make an Impact project partners.

1. Starting with history

Cape Cornwall School

SchoolCape Cornwall School
LevelYears 8-10
Museum PartnerGeevor Tin Mine Museum
Subject StudiedViva Geevor campaign from 1986
CampaignsFree parking in town carparks over Christmas period
Creative MediumBadges, banners, petition to local councillors

For our campaign study we decided to use the Tin Miners’ Support Group campaign of 1986 that was organised to save Cornish tin mining.  The children of Cape Cornwall Secondary School who took part volunteered their time and gave up two weekends in order to take part in the project.

The school visited Geevor where they had the opportunity to visit the museums and meet with two former miners involved in the original campaign.  Ian Davey worked for 16 years at Geevor and has written several books about his experiences.  He explained what daily life working underground was like and how the men felt about their jobs and the prospects of losing them.

Former miner Mick McArdle, who was Geevor’s Transport and General Workers Union Branch Secretary in 1986, spoke to the group about the campaign’s organisation and offered advice for the group’s own campaign. 

The group chose their campaign topic whilst onsite at Geevor and began to formulate a campaign strategy.  The decided to campaign for free parking in the town’s car parks over the Christmas period.  This seemingly simple campaign turned out to be a highly emotive issue. 

The school’s second visit to Geevor provided space and materials for the children to produced badges, banners and to plan their own campaign.  Taking the advice of Mr McArdle, the children contacted local politicians, members of the council, the press and local businesses in order to drum up support. They also took to the town centre in order to collect signatures for a petition.  Over one thousand signatures were collected and the campaign did receive the support of the local Chambers of Commerce, a letter of support from our local MP and extensive coverage in the local newspaper.  

The children took their signatures to the Council Offices and had a meeting for two hours with officials to state their case.  Although they were not successful in gaining the outcome they wanted the students said that they felt empowered by the experience.

Clint Hosking

Learning Development Officer

Geevor Tin Mine

Museum of London

SchoolVarious from Surrey, Hackney and Tower Hamlets
LevelYear 9
Museum PartnerMuseum of London
Subject StudiedSuffragettes
CampaignsImproving the lives of young people in London
Creative MediumFilms, speeches, panel debate

The Museum of London recently undertook a project, entitled the Make London Yours! Campaign. It was designed to get young people thinking about how they could have an impact on their communities and be empowered to shape the city they live in. Over the course of six weeks, staff from the Museum delivered three workshops to three Year 9 groups at schools in Surrey, Hackney and Bethnal Green. Images and ephemera from the Museum’s Suffragette collection were used to inspire ingenuity and creativity in making their voices heard. Students from each school created their own campaigns on the issue of improving the lives of young people in London. On November 13th The Great Election event was held at the Museum where the three parties showcased their campaign films, delivered keynote speeches and took part in a Question Time style panel debate. The audience of over 100 was made up of the students’ families, teachers and friends who pitched questions to the students via roving mics. The three parties competed against each other to win the votes of a panel of judges made up of David Cohen, Chief Feature Writer at the Evening Standard, David Neita, Poet and People’s Lawyer, David Clark, Detective Superintendant of the City of London Police and Aisha Khan from the Museum’ Youth Panel. The level of discussion and thought sustained by the students was highly impressive. This was particularly apparent in the panel debate where parents were asking students questions like ‘how best can parents help their children not to get involved in gangs?’. Both student and adult feedback was enormously positive, all participants enjoyed doing the project and comments from students such as, ‘it was so exciting! I would love to do it again’ and ‘it really motivated me’ has inspired the Museum to run the project on a yearly basis (funding permitted).

Lucie Parkes

Programme Manager (secondary schools)

Museum of London

Farlingaye School, Suffolk

SchoolFarlingaye School, Suffolk
LevelGifted and Talented year
Museum PartnerColchester Museums
Subject StudiedAbolition of the Slave Trade
CampaignsTraffic Calming
Creative MediumRadio

Gifted and talented young people studied the abolition of the slave trade. They were particularly inspired by Thomas Clarkson who was local to the area. They were concerned by the speed of traffic on a road near school. They decided to make a documentary for the local radio station and contacted the local police to discuss the problem. Police worked with the young people, letting them use their speed cameras to check the speed of the cars. A local councillor heard the broadcast and contacted the young people. A follow up programme was made, which included interviewing the councillor. The councillor has offered the young people traffic calming measures, including a traffic island and slow down sign. The young people are now working on the design with the local council.

"It's really important to make your voice heard if you feel passionate about something ... you have to go out there and make a difference"

"Thomas Clarkson campaigned for years and years - it takes time"

"I find it easier to take what I have learnt and use it in real life"

"I couldn't campaign as well before and I now have the skills to make a difference if I want to"

Astley High School, Northumberland

SchoolAstley High School, Northumberland
LevelYears 9-13
Museum PartnerWoodhorn Museum
Subject StudiedMiners Strike
CampaignsLocal transport and amenities, fairness of Education, Maintenance Allowance grants, bullying and anti-social behaviour
Creative MediumPosters, screen saver, Facebook, advocacy

A group of 24 students from years 9 to 13 looked at the 1980s miners’ strike through the collections at Woodhorn Museum.The group was concerned about a range of issues and split into smaller groups of pupils and under the campaign name of Youth Intelligence (Y.I.), campaigned on the following issues;

  • Local transport and amenities
  • Fairness of Education Maintenance Allowance grants
  • Bullying and anti-social behaviour

All the topics fed into the larger Y.I campaign which culminated in a shared exhibition at Woodhorn Museum. They had a Facebook page with over 180 members and they have designed a screensaver which is used over the entire school. They have developed posters and questionnaires to generate feedback from the school. They have written to government and interviewed local MP, Ronnie Campbell. As part of the Campaign! Make an Impact project Y.I also have 4 members on a local youth council and the local council was so impressed with their work that they were awarded £1000 to help them continue their campaign.

St Matthew’s Academy, London

SchoolSt Matthew’s Academy, London
LevelKey Stage 3
Museum PartnerFlorence Nightingale Museum
Subject StudiedFlorence Nightingale
CampaignsRight to vote at 16
Creative MediumT-shirts, posters, advocacy

Participants were encouraged to use the museum collection and exhibition to compare a modern campaign to campaigns led by Florence Nightingale on the subject of public health reform. Participants were actively encouraged to:

  • Understand the concept of freedom of speech and diversity of views, and the role of the media in informing and influencing public opinion and holding those in power to account
  • Understand the actions that individuals, groups and organisations can take to influence decisions affecting communities and the environment
  • Investigate the skills and techniques used in an effective campaign.

Participants were then split into groups to discuss the issues that are important to them in order to decide on a campaign project for their school.

Working in school students worked on their campaigns, poster and t-shirts.

They visited the museum to present their campaigns. The young people wrote to members of parliament and walked to parliament to hand in their campaigns. There have been many benefits:

  • Young people involved have now formed a youth forum that meet every 3 months at the museum to help the museum develop ideas for young people
  • Bookings made by new schools for our citizenship sessions at the museum
  • Teachers’ forum set up with teachers from St Matthew’s Academy to help the museum with new ideas and trialling sessions
  • Students are working with St Thomas’s hospital about campaigns around cancer

Immanuel College, Bradford

SchoolImmanuel College, Bradford
LevelYear 9
Museum PartnerThackray Medical Museum
Subject StudiedPublic Health Campaigns
CampaignsSchool food, bullying, child abuse, litter, after school club
Creative OutcomeCampaign against litter
Campaign against litter (personal story)

 

Year 9 students from Immanuel College, visited the Thackray Medical Museum to explore 19th century public health campaigns. Having investigated the skills used by the original campaigners, students split into teams and developed audio campaigns about issues they felt were important to them: school food, bullying, child abuse, litter, and the need for an after-school club. Many campaigns included the students’ own experiences. The campaigns are now being run through the school council and involve all the students in the school.

Students gained in confidence, developed a sense of achievement and realised that they can change things.”

Sarah Sutcliffe, Teacher at Immanuel College Bradford.

Skinners’ Company’s School for Girls, Hackney

SchoolSkinners’ Company’s School for Girls, Hackney
LevelYear 9
Museum PartnerBritish Library
Subject StudiedSuffragettes
CampaignsAgainst Knife Crimes
Creative MediumFilm
Creative MediumFilm
Creative OutcomeCampaign against knife crime

 

Young people visited the British Library to look at the unique Suffragette collection. They learnt film making skills from film maker Dan Saul. They focused their campaign on knife crime, creating a film that would tell young people how to keep themselves safe. They interviewed key community members, and included tips about how to avoid knife crime. The film is available to show at other schools.

We feel free doing this project – we get to give our opinions and work together.”

Shancele

Maybury Primary School, Hull

SchoolMaybury Primary School, Hull
LevelKey Stage 2
Museum PartnerHull Museums
Subject StudiedLocal History: The Triple Trawler Disaster
CampaignsKnife Crime, Animal Rights, Smoking, Speeding
Creative MediumFilm and Exhibition
Creative OutcomeCampaign against smoking

 

Children from Maybury Primary School, Hull investigated the 1968 Triple Trawler Disaster which profoundly affected the city. The subsequent campaign for better safety at sea, led by the Trawler men’s wives, became the inspiration for the young people in the development of their own campaigns. They learnt campaigning skills and developed a range of campaigns about issues they felt strongly about. They created a campaign exhibition with short films in Hull Maritime Museum.

Easingwold School

SchoolEasingwold School
LevelYear 9
Museum PartnerHarewood House
Subject StudiedAbolition of the slave trade
CampaignsSports Facilities, Human rights
Creative MediumGraphic novel

Students studied the abolition of the slave trade visiting both Harewood House and Hull Museums. They took part in the recreation of the debates around the slave trade. They worked with film maker Peter Kershaw and developed a graphic novel that reflected the history of Harewood House. The second part of the novel showed their own campaigns for new sports facilities.

Bishop’s Hatfield Girl’s School, Hertfordshire

SchoolBishop’s Hatfield Girl’s School, Hertfordshire
LevelYear 9
Museum PartnerA visit to the National Archives
Subject StudiedWorld War One Conscientious Objectors
CampaignsPrisoners of conscience
Creative MediumMedia Presentations, T-shirts, school exhibition

Students looked at conscientious objectors from the First World War, exploring why people chose to abstain from fighting. They then ran their own campaigns around modern day prisoners of conscience. They raised money for campaign resources through a sponsored run and selling cakes.

It was excellent – a really enjoyable and interesting project. Bringing two subjects together to deliver in this way brought both the History and the Citizenship elements to life for the students. Some of the presentations they produced showed a deep level of understanding and were often very moving. The cross-curricular element was manageable and realistic.

Teacher 

2. Starting with Citizenship

Endeavour High School, Hull

SchoolEndeavour High School, Hull
LevelYears 9 -12
Museum PartnerHull Museum Education
Subject StudiedAbolition of the Slave Trade
CampaignsRacism and Social Cohesion
Creative MediumAn exhibition with films. Bus Poster campaign
Creative OutcomeWe are Hull Video

 

A mixed group of students from Endeavour High School, most with English as an Additional Language, worked with Hull Museums Education. Students looked at diversity in their own lives and created films that reflect young people living in Hull today. Racism was explored through the abolition of the slave trade, using the museum’s collections and related exhibitions. They looked at how campaigns use visual, verbal and written communication and created an exhibition campaign “What’s Your Story” about diversity and social cohesion using film and a series of large scale photographic portraits. Opened by Sir Keith Ajegbo, Government Advisor for Citizenship, the project was a joint-winner in the cultural places category at the Yorkshire and Humberside Local Government Awards and shows how projects can fit with Local Government Agreement Agendas.

Campaign! Make an Impact! had a very positive effect on the school and the young people involved. It gave pupils a medium (film) to voice their stories in a powerful and explicit way. The impact of their films on the school, and the community around us, has led to a greater understanding of young people and their lives.

Chris Straker, Head Teacher, Endeavour High School

To see campaign films visit We are Hull

3. History and Citizenship combined

Bradford Academy

SchoolBradford Academy
LevelExtended Schools – years 8-12
Museum PartnerBritish Library, Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association
Subject StudiedThe Holocaust
CampaignsEquality for all, against war
Creative MediumPosters, audio work
Creative OutcomePoem about changing the world

 

Children from Bradford Academy worked with the British Library and the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association and focused on the Holocaust. Instead of focusing immediately on campaigning they looked at the citizenship issues in history, before talking about contemporary citizenship issues. They discussed injustice today and how to change things through campaigning. They learnt campaign techniques and developed a campaign around equality and against war. They produced artwork posters and a school-based exhibition. The slogan they developed, “I’ve got the power to be a hero”, encapsulates the idea that everyone can change things and you shouldn’t stand by and allow other people’s rights to be eroded.