Hats off to Schools!

Written by Gill Balfour, Assistant Creative Manager

Funded by ‘Children and the Arts’ we are into our second year of a three year education partnership. This year the focus of the project is linked to the Boroughs rich hatting industry and heritage. The schools involved: Holy Trinity Primary School, Russell Scott Primary School and Alder Community High School, with 300 pupils being involved this year.

Outreach: engaged schools visit to Z-arts for cultural experience watching the performance ‘Black Beauty’ Red Bridge and Traverse Theatre Company – this performance was key as the introduction to the project – as the performance involved the dramatic techniques of object led theatre and the two performers used many ‘hats’ to communicate characterisation.

Following on from this participating schools have taken part in outreach drama focused and arts based workshops, as well as having visits to both Central Art Gallery in Manchester and Astley Cheetham Art Gallery, Stalybridge as well as a facilitated workshop at Portland Basin Museum linked to felt making and the Hatting Industry. Outreach workshops have focused on different hat themes, there are 4 main themes: Futuristic, Magical, Natural and Historical. The aim is for the participating school to use the ‘hat boxes’ (prop boxes) to spark imaginations! These will influence the pupils creative writing, and their drama pieces which are set in Tameside. And of course their hat creations!

Also, as part of this education partnership we provided CPD for teachers: ‘Inspiring Children to Write Creatively’ facilitated by Caryl Hart.  About Caryl Hart: Caryl Hart is an award-winning children’s author, who writes picture books and young fiction. She has worked in many schools over the past 10 years, running book-related creative sessions for children aged 0-10.  In this workshop, she will share some of her favourite activities which have proved effective in inspiring children to read and write creatively.  The sessions will be very interactive and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers throughout.

Arts Award outcomes form this project:

Russell Scott PS: 60 Arts Award Discover with Year 3. Holy Trinity PS: 30 Arts Award Discover with Year 3 and 30 Arts Award Explore with Year 5. Alder High School: 30 Arts Award Explore – totalling: 150 Arts Award outcomes.

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