IWCEP Teachers News: September 2020

Welcome to the Autumn edition of the newsletter from the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership (IWCEP).

As we are now in our third week of school it must seem like you’ve never been away! But it must also be a huge relief to be back.
These are uncertain times, and only this weekend we’ve heard that one school has a case of Covid-19 on the Island, with a Nursery having to close its doors too. Parents are worrying about whether children have a common cold or whether it’s more sinister, so we are having to be patient with each other and ride out the storm.
There are always silver linings though, and I bring you news of fun and creative (and COVID Risk Assessed) opportunities to get involved with local organisations.

The Lift the Lid project has now ended, and so here is the new look logo for the Cultural Education Partnership on the Isle of Wight (IWCEP) designed by Tayla Smith at Quay Arts.
Look out for this logo when there are activities and events so you can see that arts, heritage and cultural organisations on the Island are working together for YOU.

We can also bring you news that the IWCEP is all set to move from being an independent partnership to working as a Committee of Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), The Island Collection.
What does that mean for schools? We are a stronger organisation, sharing agreed principles where learning is right at the heart of both of our ethos’ and with an ability to gain funding for more arts and heritage projects, benefitting all schools on the Island. This will be especially important to the 13 schools who achieved Artsmark through the Lift the Lid project.

Museums and Schools
The Museums and Schools team have received funding for a further year, and we have been looking at how we can continue to connect schools and museums in these uncertain times. Some of our museums are open for school visits and we can offer exciting workshops at our sites, the workshops are subsidised by the Museums and Schools project.
We can also bring our museums to your classroom – and have a choice of seven workshops representing our partner sites which we can bring to your school. The school workshops are available ‘free of charge’ up to Christmas and have accompanying Covid risk assessments which can be adapted to your school policy and set up. We will even deliver the workshops remotely if Covid restrictions tighten.
To find out more about a museum visit or a workshop please contact 
Heritage Education Officer, Estelle Baker –  

News from our local Bridge Organisation: ARTSWORK

Connecting with culture has never been easier! Created with busy teachers in mind, Artswork’s website is a free, quick and easy tool to help you connect with the arts and culture on your doorstep. Find arts, culture and heritage organisations near you by simply entering your school postcode. You can filter search results by art form, age group and by those with exclusive offers for schools on their Artsmark journeys. Fill in the contact form to find out how you could put creativity into the curriculum this year.

Important free event for school leaders from Artswork. Booking for Artswork’s online twilight event on Tuesday 13 October ‘Supporting Pupil Wellbeing & Reconnecting with Learning through Creativity’ is now live. Targeted at Senior Leaders and teachers cross-phase, Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, will be our keynote speaker for this webinar where we will explore how the arts can be used to engage learners, positively impacting their mental health and wellbeing, and the role of a Recovery Curriculum.
The event is free but places are limited. Full information and booking.

Creative Learning Opportunities this Autumn Term

English Heritage has a fantastic opportunity for schools to help them decorate Osborne House in time for Christmas this year!
Schools that wish to be part of this project need to confirm their interest by 25th September 2020. They should email
Further information can be found here.

LASTheatre are presenting The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright, with special OUTDOOR performances on the Isle of Wight from September to November 2020.
More information can be found here.
For more information, to book a performance or to discuss bursaries please get in touch with Liz Bate: 
E:   T: 07894 908740

Quay Arts: Breakout!
Be part of Quay Arts’ Growing Exhibition: Breakout! Please drop your 10cm x 10cm drawings, sketches or even sculptures to Quay Arts when you can. Your whole class could take part! There’s even a helpful ‘How to’ video from artist, Caz Underwood.
More information here.

Isle of Wight Council, Heritage Services

Heritage Detective 
Find our more about the history of clocks and the timepieces in the collections of the Isle of Wight Heritage Service in this new family activity pack Super Sundials and Wonderful Water Clocks . Experiment with time and make your own sundial and water clock. 

Explore the photographs of William Hogg
Visit the new online exhibition which explores the photographs of William Robert Hogg (1844 – 1928). The exhibition explores the houses, hotels, shops and churches of Ryde.

Online Music Resources for use in schools or at home
Isle of Wight Music Hub has been creating online resources to support music-making at home and in school, including releasing a silly single about social distancing!  Join in with The Greatest Friend 
Contact Nia Collins,

Independent Arts 

You can watch Independent Arts’ YouTube playlist for families with Arts and story telling here.

They have also sustained project work with care homes, re-shaping their Lottery funded School Ties inter-generational care home and schools project. The newly named Pencil Case Project has provided 240 creative and heritage packs to vulnerable children and care home residents across the Island. The Initiative also includes a post pals delivery and collection service enabling children and residents to exchange post cards with one another. 

Many of our care homes and schools that have already engaged with the School Ties project in the past year have also continued to strengthen their own relationships with each other.  

Some post box submissions we’ve had back from Lanes End Primary School here.
Contact:- (attn: Hannah and Kerry)

Free Children’s Book Author Visit
Not able to have visiting authors? Not a problem. See my free author visit video, and if you would like a bespoke virtual author visit, contact me by email: 

Maritime Archaeology, First World War and DDay Resources
Use our wide range of resources to learn all about maritime archaeology.
Please contact our staff to discuss additional learning opportunities! 

That’s all for now folks…

LtL Artists Notebooks

Take a look inside the Artists’ Digital Notebooks and Lift the Lid on Island Culture

Whilst many people are still in lockdown and children off school, now is the perfect time to ‘take a look inside’ the fabulous Lift the Lid Digital Notebooks

From the comfort of your home you can explore not only pieces created by the artists around the four corners of the Isle of Wight, but also an explosion of creativity from Islanders in response to the commissioned artists.

The Artists’ Digital Notebooks are the lasting legacy of the successful Lift the Lid on Island Culture project. They showcase artworks, films, storytelling, poetry and more, including pieces that can’t be seen elsewhere.

The project worked closely with the commissioned artists* to create their individual Digital Notebooks. Each was styled by the artists, who also curated what was in them, telling the story of their own projects and sharing the fantastic outcomes.

Take a look inside 

Many Islanders who took part in the project through schools, community groups or organisations will get the chance to see if they can spot themselves in any of the photos or films.

If you head over to the Lift the Lid Digital Notebooks you can listen to children from primary schools tell the stories they created – with the help of Isle of Wight storyteller, Sue Bailey – in response to Phlegm’s glorious Ventnor Giant

The much-loved three-storey mural can be seen at the entrance to Ventnor’s town centre and has sparked the imagination of all ages. You can also discover the photos of paintings and clay sculptures created by young Islanders inspired by Phelgm’s work.

Dmitri Galitzine’s documentary work explored the relationship between the people of East Cowes and the ferry company. Titled Back and Forth, Dmitri’s documentary triggered some incredible responses from young Islanders when they worked with Isle of Wight Artists Ian Whitmore and Chris Jenkins exploring heritage, culture and the theme of ‘The Future’. As well as Dmitiri’s full length film, you can watch never-seen before outtakes and flick through his great observational photos from his time spent in East Cowes.

Light and Dark is the title of Julie Myers’ project. With a sharp focus on collaboration with local communities, Julie delved into the West Wight community, working with eight different groups and organisations, as well as with primary school children and local artists. Check out the fun that was had making enlargergrams, light paintings and photograms, and listen to original music created by the young people. Julie ended her project with a film charting her artistic process and the public event.

BearFace Theatre CIC were the fourth commission and worked in Newport with a school, a women’s centre and the Hospice. Using playful theatrical tasks, puppetry, art, poetry and music, We That Breathe found common threads of interest from which inspiring stories were created. Read the poem that was created by the vibrant group at Mountbatten and flick through photos of the workshops and performances.

What is Lift the Lid on Island Culture?

With the ambition to reignite a sense of pride and passion in our cultural heritage, this two-year Arts Council-funded project focused on four new public art commissions on the Island.

The project was led by the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership and involved schools, artists, community groups, arts and heritage organisations, with local community workshops and school sessions.

Positive impact on Island communities

Jacqui Cusack, Arts Manager at Quay Arts, lead partner of the Cultural Education Partnership who commissioned the art said

“Lift the Lid on Island Culture has been about exploring the cultural heritage of the Island through art commissions in unexpected places and we’re so pleased with the result.”

Project manager, Sarah Girling, said,

“It’s been great to be involved with (delivering) this project, to see such creativity from Islanders, but also the positive impact that the artists have had in the communities that they have worked with around the Isle of Wight.”

The Lift the Lid Digital Notebooks were available to view at Quay Arts as part of the Great Leap Forward Exhibition, which due to the Coronavirus lockdown had to close its doors in March. The Quay has taken a huge drop in income, but you can show your support by making a donation via their Website

Lift the Lid Digital Notebooks can be found online at

* All artists except Phlegm were involved with the design of their notebooks

With thanks to ‘On the Wight’ for their website development skills.

Lift the Lid Picnic – 26 July 2019

During the wonderful Ventnor Fringe celebrations in July 2019, Lift the Lid was invited by Ventnor Exchange to host a picnic with a difference. Members of the public were welcomed to Ventnor Park, to bring a picnic and to explore boxes brought along by members of the Isle of Wight CEP and beyond.

There were some intriguing objects sparking laughter, conversation and creativity. Here’s a selection of photographs from the event by Lift the Lid photographer Alice Armfield.

We were joined on the day by:

  • English Heritage
  • The Isle of Wight Steam Railway
  • New Carnival Company
  • Quay Arts
  • Philip Bell from Beachy Books
  • Quay Crafts
  • Artecology
  • Isle of Wight Council’s Heritage Services representing Newport Roman Villa and Carisbrooke Castle Museum
  • The Shipwreck Museum
  • Lift the Lid (and Quay Arts) Artist, Hannah George

Thank you to all who came and made the event a wonderful success.

Out of the box!

Island Culture during Covid-19

You might feel stuck inside a box, locked down, quarantined… But culture has been liberated! No longer stuck inside the museum or gallery building… Culture is out of the box!

There are so many names/phrases that we’d never have expected to use or perhaps even heard of: furlough, lockdown, Covid-19, social distancing, pandemic… I love language so I guess it interests me. If it interests you here’s an article from Oxford University Press on The Language of Coronavirus.

“What’s that got to do with education, the arts, Lift the Lid, and the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership?” I hear you ask.

We care about the arts (obviously) and we at the IWCEP know that your wellbeing can be nurtured during this time through great arts and cultural activity. Have you seen some of the wonderful access to theatre, musicals, art and museums that’s coming out of this terrible situation? The BBC and Arts Council England have launched ‘Culture in Quarantine‘ which brings up a whole range of activities and experiences online – a wonderful opportunity to take part or kick back in the comfort of your own home.

Did you also realise that your local cultural organisations have so much on offer too? I thought that I’d list here as much information as I can about Island organisations who are offering something online. Many of these are for families with children, but don’t let that stop you, anyone can join in!

  1. Quay Arts

Based in Newport, this Arts Centre is a charity that needs your support during lockdown. They rely on visitors to both the cafe and the two galleries upstairs, let alone the theatre shows, music and other events that the Quay offers.

Quay at Home is their initiative, a blog of creative ideas such as:

  • Home Art – Easy step by step guides to creating art including origami, collages, etc
  • Exhibitions in your home – there has been a tour of the recent exhibition which just happens to have been the finale exhibition from the Lift the Lid project, The Great Leap Forward
  • Throwback Thursday – looking back at past exhibitions and events

2. New Carnival Company

The wonderful team of Carnival crazy experts at NCC in Ryde have adapted their work so that they can present to you online! In order to prepare for a future post-lockdown carnival, NCC are inviting you all to watch and learn all about carnival, and to join in to create your own flags, costumes, mask, dances and junk percussion instruments!

Watch their videos and join in using their new dedicated website, Virtual Carnival Club.

3. Independent Arts

The great team at Independent Arts have worked hard to ensure that their online sessions are free to access and open to all at the moment. They have everything from poems to art and craft all on their You Tube channel and Facebook page. They also have story telling on their Instagram page. They have slightly changed our offer to try and reach anyone who is isolated from home schooling families to older people in care homes and everyone, everywhere in between.

Check out their website for more information.

4. Isle of Wight Heritage Services

Discover more about the sites and diverse collections of the Isle of Wight Heritage Service through a new series of fun-filled, craft-based activity packs. Families are being invited to earn their stripes as a history detective by completing the crafty tasks at home.

New activities introducing further research and projects for all ages will be uploaded to the Isle of Wight Council’s website each week.

The first pack is available now and explores some of the amazing dragon artefacts held by the heritage service. These include a 500-year-old gold ring which depicts the brave St Margaret who killed a dragon with her cross, and a dragon-shaped medieval ear scoop. People would clean their ears using the scoop on the end of the monster’s tongue.

For more information about the heritage service, contact

5. English Heritage – Carisbrooke Castle

The local English Heritage Education Visits Officer set up some great activities for school children including a competition to design a shield for Jill the Donkey, who lives at Carisbrooke Castle.

6. Dinosaur Isle

‘Meet Arfur, Arfur Tortoise!’ No really.

I have half of a modern tortoise shell at Dinosaur Isle that I call ‘Arfur’ (Arther), because he’s only ‘arfer totoise and we don’t know where the other ‘arf is!

said Trevor Price, the Museum’s Community Learning Officer.

Dinosaur Isle have set you a challenge to use natural objects to make pictures! A short ‘Bite-sized science’ article PDF is on the front page of Dinosaur Isle’s website for download. Hopefully the last picture in the article makes everyone smile, and will encourage others to follow with a range of smiley pictures created from natural history or heritage objects.

See Dinosaur Isle’s front webpage for the link – click on the pdf logo to download it.

That’s all for now folks, but we’re hoping to bring you something exciting from Ventnor Exchange very soon!

Lift the Lid takes a Leap…

On Saturday 29 February 2020, Quay Arts hosted a fun day of FREE workshops and performances. We were very grateful for all participants, workshop leaders, volunteers and artists/performers:

  • Lift the Lid artist, Ian Whitmore
  • Lift the Lid artist and storyteller, Sue Bailey
  • Independent Arts
  • The New Carnival Company: workshop leader Sharon Poole
  • Volunteer, Sheila Lucas
  • Isle of Wight College students: Daisy, Izzie and Daisy

Photographs by Alice Armfield

Film by Sassy Productions IoW which gives a feel for the day:

Sassy Productions also made a short film capturing the thoughts of young people about culture and creativity on the Isle of Wight. View that film on this blog post, #LetsCreateIW.


In preparation for The Great Leap Day event at Quay Arts on Saturday 29 February, we commissioned Sassy Productions IoW to ask children and young people what Island Culture means to them.

We asked what inspired them to be creative on the Island; people, places, things.

Here’s the wonderful film, featuring children and young people from Oakfield Primary school, Monkton Arts and the Isle of Wight College.

The Great Leap Forward, an exhibition of artwork from artists Ian Whitmore and Chris Jenkins, with 6 Island schools (250 children) can be viewed at Quay Arts until 18 April 2020.

Opportunity to work for the IWCEP

A brand new opportunity is available for a well organised and effective Organisational Development Manager to work with the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership (IWCEP).

Through Artsworks Transition programme the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership (IWCEP) intends to strengthen the quality and reach of cultural education opportunities for children and young people on the Isle of Wight. 


The Transition programme will enable IWCEP to research and implement a new business model or positioning to strengthen its capacity to be the Island’s recognised body and voice for cultural education. Steve Ross Foundation for the Arts (Quay Arts) will lead a development programme to assess and recommend the most effective constitutional arrangements for the CEP including clearly defined relationships with the Cultural Investment Company and The Island Collection. It will advance work to ensure youth voice is embedded in future consultations and strategy and collaborate with The Island Collection to lead the educational component of the Creative Biosphere programme. The work will strengthen partnerships to ensure a shared vision in alignment with local priorities, communicated by a new Strategic Action Plan, terms of reference and increased membership.

The IWCEP is looking to appoint an Organisational Development Manager (ODM) to undertake this programme of work:

  • Explore and recommend whether to position the CEP within another strategic body or to establish it as a separately constituted organisation 
  • Once the above is agreed, support the journey of change by developing an action plan to ensure transition is made and articulated to the wider cultural sector on the Isle of Wight
  • Ensure youth voice is consulted as part of future strategy and projects by building on the feedback from The Great Leap Forward / Lift the Lid 
  • Ensure the CEP is central to the Island’s place-making agenda by working with The Island Collection on the educational element of the Creative Biosphere programme 
  • Demonstrate the impact of the CEP by researching and implementing an audience data capture tool to measure the increased uptake of educational cultural activities with CEP members 
  • Support the CEP’s long-term viability by developing a new Strategic Action Plan that is aligned with local priorities, with associated terms of reference and increased CEP membership.
  • Produce the final evaluation report and budget statement for the IWCEP and the investor, Artswork.


The Isle of Wight CEP Transition Support programme will: 

  • Ensure Isle of Wight CEP is the recognised entity and voice for cultural education 
  • Strengthen best practice in embedding consultation with children and young people in strategy and programme development 
  • Partner with The Island Collection to submit a funding application for an education strand of the Creative Biosphere programme 
  • Measure impact by implementing consistent outcome recording by CEP members 
  • Detail the CEP’s future management, positioning and governance by updating and agreeing a new Strategic Action Plan and terms of reference.


The ODM will report to the Steering Group of the IWCEP, which meets bi-monthly. A written report should be submitted a week ahead of each meeting and the ODM will be expected to attend both these meetings and the general CEP meetings to answer any questions in person. Supervision and support between meetings will be provided by the Arts Manager of Quay Arts.  The ODM will also be expected to provide progress reports to Artswork at review meetings every four months.

Manager specification

The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Organisational and partnership development expertise: specifically in collaborative models of governance and leadership
  • Understanding of good practice in youth engagement 
  • Strong interpersonal and organisational skills to engage effectively with stakeholders 
  • Administrative and project management skills 
  • Availability to deliver the project in line with the required timescales
  • Awareness of cultural and educational policy in the UK 
  • Knowledge of the cultural sector on the Isle of Wight
  • Public liability (min £5m) and professional indemnity (min £1m) cover 
  • GDPR compliance
  • DBS is required if the applicant is working directly and unsupervised with children and young people as part of the work.

How to apply

Those interested in applying for this role should provide a quotation document which should not exceed 1000 words (excluding any annexes) and should include: 

  • A response to the brief and outlining how you propose to deliver it 
  • Your up-to-date CV, highlighting previous relevant work 
  • A timetable for delivery 
  • A breakdown of days and costs against the planned work including VAT 
  • Details of your professional indemnity and public liability insurance and GDPR compliance
  • Names and contact details of two referees who have knowledge of your work in a similar capacity (these will not be taken up until a contract offer has been made).


Please note that the IWCEP assess all applications against the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the brief and key objectives 
  • Proposed approach 
  • Experience and expertise
  • Value for money.


The fee for this freelance contract is £6,000 (40 days x £150) including VAT and expenses, payable on submission of monthly invoices.


The contract will run from April 2020 to December 2021.

Applications to: Jacqui Cusack, Arts Manager, Quay Arts at

Deadline:  1pm on Thu 12 March 2020.

Interviews will be held on Thu 19 March at Quay Arts.

PDF version of job description.

The Great Leap Forward


Quay Arts, West Gallery

Saturday 8 February – Saturday 18 April 2020

Opening Event: Sat 8 Feb, 12 – 2 pm

The Great Leap Day: Sat 29 Feb, 10 am – 2 pm

Free, all welcome!

A group exhibition of work created by local school children from across the Island reflecting upon the heritage of the Isle of Wight and theme of ‘The Future’, drawing inspiration from, and celebrating the Lift the Lid project and commissions.

Art work created by a student at St Saviours School

Artists Ian Whitmore and Chris Jenkins worked with Island schools; St Saviours, Queensgate, Nine Acres, St Catherine’s, The Island Free School and Barton Primary to create work for this exhibition exploring heritage, culture and the theme of ‘The Future’. Taking inspiration from the four Lift the Lid public art commissions created on the Island earlier last year, the artists and young people invite you the viewer to consider what cultural heritage means to you and what might be left in the future for others to discover.

Join us on Saturday 8th February from 12 – 2pm, as we open the exhibition to the public and on 

Saturday 29thFebruary from 10am – 2pm, for an interactive day of fun to celebrate the Leap Year.

At Quay Arts on Saturday 29 February from 10am – 2pmLift the Lid artists will be hosting workshops and performances to celebrate The Great Leap Forward exhibition, the end of the Lift the Lid on Island Cultureproject and to consider the future of cultural heritage on the Island through the eyes of young people.  We’d love everyone to get involved by either coming to the event on online through social media.

We will be stating: 

“This is IW Culture” and asking the question “Is this IW Culture?”

We’d like to explore this by presenting many types of what we might consider IW culture, e.g. glass blowing, sand art, poetry and fiction about the sea and the coastline, folk music, new art including the Ventnor Giant, etc.

We’ll be presenting a short film by Sassy Productions IW capturing what children and young people think IW Culture is.

This hashtag #LetsCreate has been used by the Arts Council England to share their new 10 year strategy. For The Great Leap Day we will use #LetsCreateIW (ACE SW have approved this use).

Lift the Lid social channels to follow/direct users to, before and on the day:

Community leaders can access a social media plan here and there’s a youth leader’s version.

Inspiring! Curriculum Conference 2019

Pupils from Gurnard Primary School opened the Conference with a performance from ‘Matilda’

Only a few times in life have I wanted to capture the atmosphere in a room and bottle it. On Friday 11 October 2019 at Oakfield CE Primary School, I had that feeling, at the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership’s Curriculum Conference.

The words ‘inspiring’ and ‘buzzing’ were heard in the corridors and I knew we had achieved a great experience and quality CPD for all the teachers that had attended. With over 50 teachers representing 25 Island schools, and around 15 arts and heritage organisations, the day was a huge success.

The day was launched by children from Gurnard Primary School with a confident and professional performance of extracts from ‘Matilda The Musical’ – a piece they had rehearsed with professionals from Royal Shakespeare Company and The Mayflower Theatre as part of a recent collaboration. This set the scene for a full day of in-depth CPD facilitated by renowned educationalist, Professor Mick Waters who led attendees on an engaging journey of exploration into how arts, heritage or cultural experiences can lead to deep, embedded learning that richly enhances pupil outcomes.

Professor Mick Waters inspired, engaged and entertained in equal measure

Other speakers during the day included The Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Paul Brading, who spoke with passion about the Island’s unique cultural offer and the great opportunity it offers to local schools.

Teachers chose from a range of short, impactful workshops on topics including: curriculum design, STEM to STEAM, Artsmark and Arts Award.  Throughout the day, participants had access to information exchange and networking via a marketplace showcasing the work of Isle of Wight schools and cultural and heritage organisations. 

The event was brought to a close with a thoughtful summary of key themes from Arts Council England’s South West Relationship Manager for Children and Young People, Rajni Patel. 

One teacher who attended commented

“Thank you so much. Everyone is buzzing. This is just what we needed.”

Gallery of images from the event:

If you would like a copy of particular presentations, please get in touch.

Available here:

Written by Lucy Marder (Artswork) in collaboration with Sarah Girling

St Saviour’s Primary School & the Isle of Wight Music Hub create ‘space’ for music…

A Case Study from the Isle of Wight Music Hub

Pupils explore creating music with iPads

This term the Isle of Wight Music Hub were delighted to work with St Saviours Catholic Primary School in Totland on a very special music project composing music for The Great Light and Dark Show one of four art commissions for Lift the Lid, led by artist Julie Myers.

The Music Hub challenged Pupils in Years 5 and 6 to compose some original music to underscore the event with themes of space and an exploration of ‘dark’ and ‘light’ within that. The Hub provided two curriculum specialist workshop leaders to run a day of activities composing music using iPads for this. In the morning session students used the iPad app Garage Band to create mysterious soundscapes depicting the infinite darkness of space before the ‘Big Bang’ took place. Students worked in groups using a mixture of iPads and real percussion instruments facilitated by workshop leaders. The music was then played live in groups and as a whole ensemble and recorded. In the afternoon session we continued to use the iPads with some additional music-making apps such as Launchpad to create the chaos and explosion of light that happened in space after the ‘Big Bang’. The recordings that were taken on the day were then passed on to be played at The Great Light and Dark Show on Saturday 22 June alongside some students from the school also performing their original compositions live.

St Saviours had not previously used technology in this way and were extremely impressed with the versatility of the iPads as a tool for music making.  Although the hub provided the iPads for this project the school had a number of their own and while in situ we were able to help teachers to download the apps we were using on the day and give them a little training on how to continue using them in this way for music-making in the future.  The pupils also found it particularly engaging to write music in this way and the outcomes and recordings from this session really were fantastically evocative of space.

Pupils perform live at the Great Light and Dark Show in Totland.

The Great Light and Dark Show in Totland was one of four art commissions for Lift the Lid and was presented as an afternoon of art, science, local history and fun with presentations by numerous island science, arts and community groups alongside ourselves and the school.  This was a great example of how partnership working can benefit schools by enhancing their music provision as well as linking them to their local community organisations.

Nia Collins IOW Music Hub Relationship Manager

“This was a wonderful project and a good example of how the hub likes to tailor our music provision to each school based on their specific needs.  Not only were the musical outcomes of such high quality but we were also able to build in some CPD for staff at the school helping to ensure legacy from this project”

Lift the Lid would like to thank both the Isle of Wight Music Hub and St Saviour’s Primary for their help in making The Great Light and Dark Show a success.

Sacred Isle’s Vlog with Dmitri Galitzine

When we started to plan the art commissions, it was important to identify individuals or organisations that would be interesting for the artists to meet and talk to during their Research and Development on the Island. I don’t know about you but I find Twitter a wonderful source of people who have stories to tell… And so I met Paul Wilson of The Sacred Isle, chatting about the folklore of the Isle of Wight. When I say met, we met virtually on Twitter, then in person at Quay Arts, and I knew that all the artists should talk to him.

So in the Autumn of 2018, Paul met the artists, talked to them about Island folklore and regaled them with stories of the people of Franchetown (Newtown), Old Jack of Steephill Cove and the Dragon of the Isle of Wight! BearFace Theatre were immediately entranced by Paul’s stories, and so an interpretation of the story is in development. Along with this, the story of the Three Sisters of the Island will be explored during the May event, Hullabaloo in Sandown (Sunday only – 12 May 2019).

Dmitri Galitzine was also intrigued by Paul’s stories and although the island’s folklore doesn’t have an obvious link with ‘Back and Forth, and Back and Forth Again’, Dmitri’s focus on the Red Funnel journey between East Cowes and Southampton, he decided he wanted to have a conversation with Paul. Later Paul asked Dmitri if he’d be a guest on his Vlog (video blog). So here it is for you all to see, as Paul has kindly allowed us to share it on the website.

Lift the Lid on: Creative Apprentices

We thought it was about time you met our Creative Apprentice, Jack Barnes.

Here Jack tells Project Manager, Sarah, all about becoming a Creative Apprentice and what that means…

Why did you apply to become a Creative Apprentice with Lift the Lid?

Hi Sarah! I’ve lived on the Isle of Wight my whole life and I’ve always believed that there’s so much interesting culture and creative energy coming from this place. I applied to be an apprentice with lift the lid so that I could network with these creatives and help put the island on the map.

What kind of things have you done so far?

So far I’ve been helping out at the Ventnor Exchange and Quay Arts in Newport, I was recently part of this years Ventnor Fringe Festival team which was a brilliant experience. I’ve also helped with multiple comedy, music, art and food events at the Quay Arts.



Y​ou assisted Ventnor Exchange with the Ventnor Fringe Festival, tell us some more about what role you played in the event…

My fancy title during the festival was the ‘Free Fringe coordinator’ which meant that it was my responsibility, with help from Jack and Mhairi from the exchange, to decide what free events were happening at what times and at what venues.

What was the most memorable thing about the Ventnor Fringe event?

For me, the entire festival was extremely memorable. I’ve never been part of such a huge team doing such amazing things before so it’s definitely an experience that I’m never going to forget.


What are you most looking forward to over the next year of your apprenticeship?

There’s so much crazy and exciting stuff kicking off in the next year it’s impossible to say what I’m most looking forward too. However I’m really excited to meet more and more amazing people.

What do you hope to do once your apprenticeship has ended?

Hopefully in the next year I’m going to be releasing my first solo album/EP so maybe instead of organising these brilliant events i’ll be headlining. You can only hope.

Jack has now released his new single, have a listen sometime!

LAS Theatre – The Lion Inside: outdoor performances!

LAStheatre presents a beautiful, outdoor performance in schools for children in Reception to Year 2 from September – November 2020. The performance is accompanied by an in-depth creative learning pack with a focus on dealing with change and facing fears. This pack covers the curriculum subjects of PSHE, Science, English, and Art.

LAStheatre have obtained the rights to create an outdoor theatre performance of Rachel Bright’s ‘The Lion Inside’ illustrated by Jim Field. This story is about confidence, self-esteem, and a shy little mouse who sets out on a journey to find his roar.

LAStheatre’s production creatively and playfully explores the following themes:

  • Facing fears
  • Building confidence
  • Feeling positive
  • Dealing with change
  • Celebrating our differences and similarities
  • Playfully help pupils transition back into school post-lockdown

All this is available on the Isle of Wight now!


The performance and education pack are designed to support Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils as they digest what has happened during lockdown and transition back to school, whilst providing a vocabulary in the show and creative learning activity pack that encourages conversation about our thoughts and feelings. 

The creative learning activity pack is designed to be used in class after the performance to further interrogate the themes of the show, linking with the EYFS and KS1 curriculum in English, Science, Art and PSHE


This project is available to state primary schools in Kent, London and the Isle of Wight from 28 September 2020 to 1 November 2020.


Up to 4 performances in school in 1 day: £650 (up to 240 pupils)

2 performances in school (½ day) – subject to availability: £435 (up to 120 pupils)

1 performance in school (½ day) – subject to availability: £225 (up to 60 pupils)

The performance is subsidised to make it as affordable to schools as possible.

Bursaries are available: To apply for a bursary of up to 100% please complete our application form here:

COVID-19 precautions & performance location

Alongside government guidelines this performance will take place outside on a caravan set measuring 2.4m x 6.5m (closed), 4.1m x 7.5m (open). The show will need a space of at least 8m x 9m and the ability to drive into the space. Please see our ground plan in the information pack here or get in touch with Liz Bate for more information.

Contact details

For more information, to book a performance or to discuss bursaries please get in touch with Liz Bate: 


T: 07894 908740