The term the circus came to town.
To say this term has been busy is a mild understatement; since the beginning of the autumn term we have supported 41 school staff with CPD workshops; launched 4 Culture school programmes; trained 6 young volunteers for the first Great Yarmouth Youth Arts Festival, and coordinated the equivalent event in Lowestoft; festivals that saw a combined audience of over 200 young people attending creative workshops during October half-term.
It all started in early September with a teacher training day for all the staff at St George’s Primary school. The training focused on using drama techniques, as well as museum objects and paintings, to enable teaching staff to inspire creative writing from their pupils.
Even those without a penchant for amateur dramatics threw themselves into the day, creating characters, using paintings to inspire poetry and multisensory approaches for storytelling.
Sharron Mitchell, the assistant head at St George’s Primary, gave the event high praise, saying:
‘This was the best CPD we’ve ever had’.
Keeping with the CPD theme, next on the agenda was a circus workshop, linking in
with the temporary exhibition at the Time and Tide museum. With 7 schools represented, including Red Oak Primary in Lowestoft, it was a good turnout thanks in part to the growing Enjoy and Lowestoft Rising teaching networks.
The session started at SeaChange Arts with an introduction to circus skills that help develop pupil’s concentration and resilience. Then an exploration of the circus exhibition at Time and Tide museum with Genevieve Rudd, who then supported a session on monoprint that saw the attendees creating their own circus posters. Kate Argyle highlighted potential curriculum links with circus as a theme and finally all were treated to a tour of the Hippodrome museum, an extraordinary place brimming with circus paraphernalia and tales of daring do.
Enjoy’s Culture School programme moved on a pace this term with 4 new projects; St Nicholas Priory CEVA Primary had an after school drama club delivered by their arts partner, St George’s Theatre; St George’s Primary and St Mary St Peter Catholic Primary schools started their exploration of Gobbolino with Into Opera, a 2 year project that will see this well-loved children’s story transformed into an opera; and at Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy children from year 4 worked with a local visual artist exploring the theme of journeys.
October half-term was all about two brand new Arts festivals for 11-19 year olds. NessFest in Lowestoft was pulled together in a very short period of time to deliver 10 workshops from 6 venues to over 80 young people who attended the afternoon of free arts and cultural activities. It’s fair to say the town centre was buzzing with activity.
But there was no time for celebrating – the very next day Young@Arts was launched in Great Yarmouth. The Mancroft Advisory Panel (MAP) led on festival planning with young people from their associated youth clubs playing a huge role in decision-making. During consultation, the participants expressed interest in having more responsibility at the event hence the young volunteer’s team was born. On the day the volunteers helped with sign up (the 120+ young people who attended keeping them busy), stewarding, as well carrying out possibly the fastest litter pick in the East.
With only a few day to go until the end of term, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our delivery partners and schools involved in these and other projects, as well as our growing network of teaching staff – we wish you all a Merry and hopefully restful Christmas and look forward to catching up with you in the New Year.
If you would like to know more about any of these projects or how your school could become a Culture School please contact Phoebe Wingate on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note this programme is for schools in the borough of Great Yarmouth.
These new programmes are part of the Making Waves Together project, funded by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Great Place Scheme, helping to create more opportunities for children and young people to participate in high quality arts and cultural activity in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
Dates for the diary: Spring term 2019
- Thursday 31st January 2019 in Great Yarmouth: CPD for Primary schools & academies focusing on literacy – work with Sita Brahmachari, award-winning author of ‘Artichoke Hearts’ and ‘Red Leaves’ as she reveals her technique of Patchwork Storytelling to bring a multisensory approach to creative writing.
- February 2019: Circus workshops – ideal for reception and KS1, free at Time & Tide museum contact email@example.com for more information.