Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Gift of Giving!

The Ignite programme is quite unique in its scope with residencies taking place the length and breadth of the Wakefield District and involving up to 20 schools. This stood out to me right from the beginning as a brilliant opportunity to share our creativity, ideas and stories with the wider community. And so I came up with the idea that as part of each residency young people will be invited to create special gifts to pass on to the next school in the chain; offering the opportunity to make a contribution to the wider world and feel connected to other young people.

The gifts may take the form of a drawing, a few words or an object collected that says something about the place you live in that you would like to share with others.  My aim is to work with teachers to develop this element of the project as an opportunity for communication between pupils and learning about different places and communities. So far we have made some collaborative gifts involving everyone making their contribution to a piece of art work. 


At Streethouse School we made a very tactile beautiful bird with every child in the school represented in hand-shaped feathers! One pupil when asked how he would feel to receive this gift said "I would feel honoured".  Students and staff at Oakfield Park School were certainly impressed and enjoyed exploring the different textures. 

'Birds on a Telephone Wire' 

Oakfield Park students made individual birds for their gift for the next school in the project, QEGS Junior School. This was inspired by one student who spent a lot of time investigating and interacting with others using a paper cup & String telephone. 

Keep checking this blog over the coming months to see what other wonderful gifts people make for each other to send across Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford and many places in between! 

Monday, 26 November 2012

"No pressure, messy relaxed fun!" ...

...Which is how my week at Oakfield Park School was nicely summed up by the teacher I worked with. I had a fantastic week working with young people with wide range of severe and profound Learning disabilities. We had a dedicated space for the duration of the project and worked with 3 groups of different ability. Here are some images of the messy-relaxed- fun process!

Puppet Making using Paper and Natural  Materials
Map Making: Imaginary Journeys and Places 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

"I just feel like I want to keep making!"

First stop Streethouse School. We worked  in the outdoor classroom making birds using natural materials. Lots of great teamwork going on and some very careful construction. When the birds were complete we found homes for them to nest in the Sensory garden. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Ignite journey begins...

The project got off to a flying start with an Inset day for Teachers from participating schools. The Ignite project involves around 20 schools across Wakefield, which presents a unique opportunity for me to explore  connections between many different communities. Throughout the year I will be inviting children to make a gift to pass on to the next school in the project, linking people and places and celebrating the value of creativity in making connections with the wider world. I introduced this concept of a gift exchange to the Teachers by inviting them to create a large temporary map of the Wakefield area on the floor, locating their school in relation to others. This activity proved to be quite popular and was a fun and interactive way to visualise the scale of the project and the network of schools involved. The image above shows map markers (paper flags and plant pots) used to locate the schools and some of the Bird puppet creations made from natural materials. The blue cord to the left of the picture represents the M1!