IWCEP Teachers News: February 2021

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

Family fun with Isle of Wight Heritage Services

We as a partnership of education, arts and heritage organisations just wanted to show our solidarity with you, and let you know that we are incredibly proud of all the hard work you are putting in to keep our Island’s children and young people educated and cared for.

We appreciate that you are so busy right now but we hope that even a newsletter from us, your friends, can help reassure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we are still planning for visits and fun activities and workshops when it is safe to do so!

It’s still our aim to help you find activities and events which will lighten the mood and help you connect with people through creativity in this time of uncertainty and change. So scroll down, take a minute to relax and think about what might be possible…

The Isle of Wight Museums and Schools Programme

Find out more about the work of the Isle of Wight Museums and Schools team here. We are currently developing exciting museum resources that will support learning whilst visits to our museums are not possible. We are also working with the Earth Museum, developing new KS2 and KS3 cross curricular learning resources. Four key curriculum-based themes have been identified: Isle of Wight before 1066, Isle of Wight in the C18th and C19th, Science Innovators and Inventors and Global Connections. To discover a little more about this project and get involved please visit the Earth Museum – Museums and Schools project.

And if you might be interested in helping us test the resources please get in touch at

For more information about the Isle of Wight Museums and Schools programme  please contact Heritage Service Manager – Richard Smout (

The Museums and Schools programme is supported by Arts Council England, funded through the Department of Education.

Join us for the second sensational IW Story Festival on the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th February 2021. We have lined up some great authors, stunning performances, and engaging activities for children and families to enjoy and it’s perfectly Covid safe, as it is all online.  Not only that, it’s all free! You can access all the talks, performances,  and activities through the website or find us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Download this Word doc for your parent newsletters!

IOW Music Hub has lots of projects to get involved with alongside our usual free CPD programme for teachers.

Ensembles Consultation for Young People Let young people have their say in what the offer looks like for playing together across the island.  Please share this survey as widely as possible!

Big 10 Minute Sign & Sing (EYFS – KS3 & SEND) learn Makaton signs to your favourite pop songs, new content every Monday.  Get involved in a national event this term and send us your videos with a live premiere and online workshop on Monday 29th March 2021

ETO Sshh… We Have a Plan (KS1) Watch this charming opera & puppetry performance for little ones and get creative with a musical soundscapes workshop (video content, powerpoint, suitable for home learning and non-music specialists)

Sandro Granda Afro-Peruvian Rhythms (KS2 & KS3) Learn about Afro Peruvian Rhythms and instruments and have a go at putting some of them together (video content, powerpoint, suitable for home learning and non-music specialists)

An Audience With… (KS3, KS4 & KS5) Short videos from Music Industry professionals talking about their roles and pose your own questions which will be answered via our YouTube channel

Strictly Come Play – Virtual Ensemble (KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5) Missing playing together in school?  Don’t have time to put together a digital performance?  No problem we’ll do that for you!  Sign up for access to a very flexible arrangement suitable from grade 1 upwards.  Pupils can send us videos of their parts from home, school or wherever and we will stitch together a digital performance to premiere on our YouTube channel

Curriculum Newsletters (KS1 & KS2) Struggling to plan online music content in-school or for home learning?  Sign up for our weekly curriculum newsletter.  You will receive a new resource Powerpoint every Monday covering the national curriculum (one for KS1 and one for KS2)

Sign up for all via

OFF THE RAILS Online Exhibition  Running till 20th March 2020 at Quay Arts

In our latest exhibition, OFF THE RAILS, we have partnered with Isle of Wight Steam Railway to celebrate their 50th anniversary moving from Newport to Havenstreet, by showing artefacts, signs and memorabilia from their collection, related objects and artworks from the IW Heritage Service Collection, AJ Wells & Sons, as well as a series of artist’s and school’s response work. We had hoped to install this exhibition in our West Gallery and open to the public in early January, but due to the new lockdown restrictions, we have digitised the works and brought the exhibition to life online! OFF THE RAILS Online Exhibition | (

PATTERN: Home Art Activity with Hannah George

The wonderful Hannah George has created a fantastic art activity and filmed a tutorial for you to follow at home. Suitable for all ages, it’s the perfect activity to keep you occupied during lockdown. Download the templates at to print at home or to get some ideas on what patterns to do!

PATTERN: Home Art Activity with Hannah George | (

Looking Out From Lockdown is an Island-wide project celebrating the creativity of Island people during lockdown, both in 2020, and again now in 2021. In collaboration with Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Susie Sheldon, local arts for wellbeing charity Independent Arts is offering people the chance to exhibit their lockdown creations, be it painting, photographs, poetry, music, speech, pottery, writing, crafts, projects, inventions, baking, gardening or anything else creative completed to keep spirits up during lockdown. Read more in the press release.

Islesolation Gallery Two new exhibitions were curated by Yr 4 pupils from Lanesend School, Cowes. Pupils learned about the French Impressionist painter; Claude Monet and native American artist; Rick Bartow and responded to the work with their own paintings. These can be veiwed on the Islesolation Gallery.

Read more about the Care home creative Box delivery programme – School Ties.

Training from our local Bridge Organisation: ARTSWORK

Support Sessions for Artsmark Schools:

The following sessions are designed to help you with your Artsmark journey:

Statement of Impact Interactive Support Session –  Weds 3rd February 2021

Evidencing Impact Support Session –  Mon 8th March 2021 

Further details and booking through Eventbrite for all opportunities on our website  at:  

We look forward to seeing you in a Zoom, very soon!  If you have any questions or anything you would like to discuss you can contact me at:

Best wishes,


Education Development Manager Artswork for Hampshire; IOW Southampton and Portsmouth

The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras is the Island’s, if not the UK’s, largest and most inclusive Carnival in Education project. Our parade takes place every last Saturday in June, on the streets of Ryde. Over 1000 children and young people take part every year. 

For 2021, as a result of the pandemic, we are now making plans for new and alternative ways for groups to take part and present their costumes and carnival dance to the widest possible audience.

We would like to invite both new and regular participating schools to come along to our special digital Mardi Gras 2021 launch event on Wednesday 10 February at 6 to 7.30pm. There will be short presentations, guest speakers and an informal Q&A. You must pre-register with us to get the event link. Facebook pm us, or mail us at  

Read the New Carnival Company’s own newsletter here.

Something for families…

Did you see this at Mottistone Manor in December? If not, there is now a digital version available.

A short teaser is available for you to view here. The whole production is absolutely magical and I highly recommend the digital version if your class are learning about fairy stories – you could share this link with parents:

A magical theatrical show,  families embark on a journey of discovery by following an enchanted route through the unseen rooms of Mottistone Manor to learn about the hidden forces at work within nature. Stories told of the tree roots, of majestic forests and landscapes and the creatures who serve them are designed to inspire each child to become a custodian of the land. You’ll come across captivating, clever and curious creatures ready to impart their tales in this promenade piece of festive theatre.

That’s all for now folks!

IWCEP Teachers News: November 2020

Welcome to the Winter edition of the newsletter from the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership (IWCEP).
Another lockdown, but not for schools – we know that you are very much ‘Back to Business’ with added pressure to ensure that your schools are Covid Secure. We are also aware of the concern over the mental health of your pupils, staff and school community.

It’s our aim to help you find activities and events which will lighten the mood and help you connect with people through creativity in this time of uncertainty and change.

Isle of Wight Heritage Service

Explore the history of time with a new investigation from the Isle of Wight Heritage Service. The online activity pack shows you how to make your own water clock and sun dial, you can also explore some of the clocks in the Council’s collection. Explore the activities for families here.

Ryde Time Machine – Travel back in time and explore what Ryde looked like over 100 years ago. Can you recognise some of the buildings? Why is there a tank by the boating lake? Explore the photographs of Ryde photographer William Robert Hogg in this new online exhibition from the Isle of Wight Heritage Service. Visit the exhibition here.

Contact – Corina Westwood,  01983 823433

IOW Music Hub has two fantastic new projects this half term to get involved with alongside our usual free CPD programme for teachers.

Learning Heroes Songwriting Project (KS2+ & SEND) write some lyrics for your very own version of this Growth Mindset song.  Sign up via

10 Minute Sign & Sing (EYFS – KS3 & SEND) learn Makaton signs to your favourite pop songs, new content every Monday:

We have some fabulous Christmas stocking filler craft and making workshops on our YouTube site suitable for families and schools. Great ideas for a home made Christmas. 

If your children enjoy a Christmas tale head to our YouTube storytelling playlist (available from the beginning of December) for recorded episodes of The Box of Delights by John Masefield: Kay Harker is on the train home for the Christmas holidays where he meets a mysterious Punch and Judy man who entrusts him with an important job. This leads him into a world of festive magic and wonder!

News from our local Bridge Organisation: ARTSWORK

Hello from Artswork, your South East Arts Council Bridge Organisation.  I hope your term is going well in spite of all the challenges – you are all doing a magnificent job!  Just wanted to update you on some great opportunities we have on offer for schools over the next few months.

The 2nd CPDL Session on our DfE programme  – Save the Date!

Open to all teachers, this free event on the theme of ‘Creative Approaches to Transitions’ will take place by Zoom on Wednesday 20th January from 3.00 – 5.00pm.  You will have an opportunity to hear from our Keynote speaker and schools about:

  • why Transitions matter? 
  • how arts, culture and creativity can support pupils through them?
  • successful models of practice at all key stages?
  • an opportunity to discuss and share ideas in break out room

We will be looking at Transition from early years to year 11.

This event will be live on our website in the next couple of weeks for booking through Eventbrite. There are only 40 places, so don’t delay!

Support Sessions for Artsmark Schools:

The following sessions are designed to help you with your Artsmark journey:

Statement of Commitment Interactive Support Session –  Weds 9th December on Zoom

Statement of Impact Interactive Support Session –  Tues 17th November and Weds 3rd February 2021

Evidencing Impact Support Session –  Mon 16th November and  Mon 8th March 2021 

Using the Planning Model to Support your Journey –  Tuesday 1st December

Further details and booking through Eventbrite for all opportunities on our website  at:  

We look forward to seeing you in a Zoom, very soon!  If you have any questions or anything you would like to discuss you can contact me at:

Best wishes,


Education Development Manager Artswork for Hampshire; IOW Southampton and Portsmouth

Something for families…

A magical theatrical show,  families embark on a journey of discovery by following an enchanted route through the unseen rooms of Mottistone Manor to learn about the hidden forces at work within nature. Stories told of the tree roots, of majestic forests and landscapes and the creatures who serve them are designed to inspire each child to become a custodian of the land. You’ll come across captivating, clever and curious creatures ready to impart their tales in this promenade piece of festive theatre.

Tickets at

Download the poster for your own newsletters here.

That’s all for now folks!

We wish you a very happy Christmas and wonderful New Year.

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!

New Creative Hub in Newport High Street for Independent Arts

Hannah Griffiths, Lisa Gagliani & Ralph Ridler

 18th November 2020

Isle of Wight charity and IWCEP member, Independent Arts has announced a major new project that will allow people from across the Island to get involved with creative programmes.

The new Independent Arts Creative Hub will be located at the former Monsoon building in Newport. The building, situated at the corner of the High Street and St James’ Square is being refurbished November 2020 and will be open to the public as soon as regulations allow. 

The Creative Hub will feature exhibitions from Independent Arts community programmes across the Island, as well as opportunities to engage with arts for well being activities. Independent Arts are delighted to be launching this major new project, which it hopes, can contribute to the regeneration of the High Street.  To ensure the Creative Hub can reach its potential and be financially sustainable, Independent Arts has welcomed three new team members this month. Amy Normanton and Kerry Weston will share the day to day running of the Creative Hub and Ralph Ridler has started his role as Community Fundraiser.

Charity Chief Executive, Lisa Gagliani MBE said,

This is a major step forward for Independent Arts, in our strategy to improve health and well-being on the Isle of Wight through the arts. For too long, most of our activities have been hidden from public view, taking place in village halls and care homes. We look forward to welcoming you to the Creative Hub, where you will meet familiar and new faces of the Independent Arts team.

Independent Arts is the Isle of Wight charity focussed on using the arts to improve wellbeing, quality of life and to reduce social isolation. Supported by volunteers, fantastic practitioners and a small staff team in Newport, the charity engages with up to 1,700 people every month across the Island. 

Like many organisations, the charity has been affected by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. In response, the charity’s much-loved community services, including SingAbout and DanceMakers, have moved online during the pandemic reaching thousands of people who might otherwise have been isolated. 

The response to these plans from Independent Arts stakeholders, supporters and the public has been phenomenal. The charity is grateful for the support in this endeavour of The Tudor Trust, The Julia & Hans Rausing Trust and Arts Council England, as well as the Island Community who have raised £600 through a crowdfunding appeal. Donations can be made up 26th November to through this link or afterwards via the Independent Arts website at

Lisa Gagliani MBE
Chief Executive

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