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

Hullabaloo 2019

Were you at Hullabaloo in Sandown on the weekend of 11th and 12th May? Hullabaloo is the annual arts, environment and science discovery event led by Shademakers, Artecology and others near Browns Golf Course and Dinosaur Isle Museum. If you were there, you might have seen Sue Bailey from But that’s another Story in the red and yellow children’s activity tent or perhaps you might have met the Three Medina Sisters? Actually, they were from BearFace Theatre, testing out public reaction to their community theatre ideas for Newport.

The Medina Sisters on the walkabout at Hullabaloo 2019 (BearFace Theatre)

BearFace Theatre will be presenting their work to residents and visitors at Mountbatten and at the Isobel Centre in Pan (next door to Barton Primary School) on Monday 16 September. It is one of the four commissioned artworks for Lift the Lid.

Sue Bailey was using Phlegm’s Ventnor Giant mural (the first of our commissioned artworks) to inspire clay work and stories with children and young people. You can see some of their work here:

Schools can still benefit from involvement in Lift the Lid, especially if they take up our offers linked with registering for Artsmark.

The general public can be involved in Lift the Lid at events this year including a special family picnic during Ventnor Fringe Festival 2019. Come and join us at Ventnor Park on Friday 26 July at 12noon until 2pm, for a picnic with a twist. Our arts and heritage partners will be asking you to ‘Lift the Lid’ on their very special boxes to discover what is inside and how it connects with the Island’s cultural heritage. And you can take away your own box to fill with your own important momento…

Phlegm’s Ventnor Giant inspires Island children

Since the Project’s first art commission was complete in August 2018, during the Ventnor Fringe Festival, school children have had the opportunity to respond creatively to the Ventnor Giant mural.

The children’s work was temporarily stuck on the wall under the mural.

Having trained as an Arts Award advisor through Lift the Lid, teacher Clare Wright has been working with a group of Year 6 pupils from Oakfield Primary School in Ryde, using the artist Phlegm as inspiration for their own work.

“Year 6 has been researching a world famous street artist, who has created the Island’s largest mural in  Ventnor.  It depicts one of the artist’s famous characters holding the town of Ventnor on it’s back or letting it fall into the sea.  The inspiration for the mural was the architecture, geography and people of the town. As part of ArtsMark, Oakfield Primary is working with Lift The Lid, a new island wide campaign which aims to foster a sense of pride and passion in Island towns and their cultural heritage. The students’ artwork was temporarily stuck to the wall, under the mural,  in Ventnor, before being transferred to our gallery in the school’s Creation Station”

Meanwhile, schools near Ventnor have been working with storyteller Sue Bailey on developing stories about the Ventnor Giant. We hope to share some of these with you in the next few weeks.

If you want to join in the creative fun, then join us at Sandown’s Hullabaloo event on 11 and 12 May, where you can take part in a storytelling workshop with Sue Bailey, or go and watch BearFace Theatre to see what they have developed so far as part of the Newport art commission, with Mountbatten, Barton Primary School and WOW Women’s Centre, based on a story told to them by Sacred Isle‘s Paul Wilson.

Cultural Expo 2018

The Cultural Expo on Tuesday 9 October, attracted nearly 30 teachers from almost 20 schools, coming to meet together to talk all things ‘Heritage and Arts’.

Teachers browse stands at the Cultural Expo.

With a video introduction from Island MP, Bob Seeley, plus welcoming words from Paul Armfield of Quay Arts, the afternoon included a very special choral performance from Gurnard Primary School’s choir, cake and presentations from:

  • Lorraine Cheshire of Artswork, the South East’s Bridge organisation
  • Chantal Thomas, a teacher from Gurnard Primary School
  • Robert Baisley from St. George’s School
  • Virgil Phillpott, Museum Manager of Carisbrooke Castle Museum on the Museums and Schools project

View the video welcome from MP, Bob Seeley.

There is a short write up in the County Press.

Both Gurnard Primary School and St. George’s School are on their Artsmark journey. If you would like to know more about Artsmark, which is an award for the whole school, you can view the website or read more about Artsmark on the Island.

We are also keen for pupils to take up Arts Award, which is an award for individual pupils. You can read more about Arts Award on the Island on the link at the top of the page.

We are looking forward to next year already! So if you would like to help us shape the Cultural Expo 2019, then get in touch on our contact page.