Case study

Freedom to Learn: creating bespoke and responsive relationships with schools

A music and arts development organisation based in Derby 
Arts-based Learning Fund Arts Education
Organisations: Baby People 
Project: Freedom to Learn 
Grant amount and duration: £104,000 over 36 months 
Year awarded: 2022 
Location: Multi-region, UK 
A young man and a woman are at a desk in a recording studio. They are in front of a keyboard and a computer monitor
Music session at Baby People. Photo credit: Baby People

The UK’s first dedicated Hip Hop school, Baby People engages and supports the needs of the young people in their community through music, art and culture.

Baby People is a music and arts development organisation based in Derby. The UK’s first dedicated Hip Hop school, Baby People engages and supports the needs of the young people in their community through music, art and culture. 

They believe that art and music can be important empowering tools and forms of expression for anyone in all stages of life. Their work aspires to continually push the boundaries, working practices and experiences of all those it engages regardless of their entry point or background. 

Their main focus is on working with young people that struggle to engage in education. Baby People recognises that traditional methods of teaching do not work for all young people and with the support of PHF’s Arts-based Learning Fund, they aim to implement alternative ways of working within mainstream education.

Freedom to Learn is a three-year project that will support Baby People to create bespoke and responsive relationships with schools. Over this period, they will work closely with five local schools to better understand and analyse the ways in which their social pedagogy model of teaching can help to support young people and teachers. They also aim to identify new ways of developing their social pedagogy model to enhance and develop their teaching approach to engage young people. 

They believe that by taking a co-constructive and transparent approach to collaborating with schools over a longer period, together they can work towards creating a more sustainable model of education to engage all students.

We are currently in year one of the project but already we have identified some key similarities and challenges across the schools even though they all have slightly different ways of working. It is clear to see that all parties involved are thrilled by the prospect of sharing expertise and knowledge to enhance how we all work with young people. We are already beginning to observe an increase in engagement amongst the students we are working with at the schools which is such a huge motivator for us to clearly identify why this is and to see how this can be sustained.

Baby People

Find funding

  • Arts-based Learning Fund

    Amount: £30,000 to £300,000; up to £100,000 per year
    Duration: 1 to 4 years
    Deadline: Rolling application cycle

    We support arts and cultural organisations to work in partnership with schools and make arts-based learning a core part of education.