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

Announcing the Lift the Lid art commissions

I can now tell you that the selection panel met on Thursday 1st November at the John Hansard Gallery, in Southampton, and chose the three remaining artists commissions for Lift the Lid, which will be completed in 2019.

Ventnor Giant Mural by the artist Phlegm
Photograph by Julian Winslow

A multi-channel film installation, a piece of community theatre and the launch of a community lecture series will all be created to celebrate the unique cultural heritage of three towns on the Island in 2019 as part of Lift the Lid. This follows the highly successful street art of The Ventnor Giant by Phlegm, commissioned in partnership with Ventnor Exchange and launched at the Ventnor Fringe in August 2018.

As part of a rigorous process, led by a selection panel of renowned curators; Jo Bushnell from Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, Stephen Foster from John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, Georgia Newman from Quay Arts, Newport and Lucy Day from A Woman’s Place project, the following artists have been chosen:

A combination of Arts Council England, Artswork and Isle of Wight Council funding will enable these projects to go ahead, resulting in community art works that can be accessed by a wide range of people.

Artist, Julie Myers explains her proposal for Totland: “Live from The Parish Hall – Totland is a series of thematic performance events. Inspired by the format of the Victorian popular science lectures the series presents current social and environmental concerns through the stories and experiences of local people, including, a child’s fossil collection, a walk with an astronomer, a slide show about light pollution, a set of old postcards, pin hole cameras, forgotten songs, a cup of tea at the old lifeboat house. Hosted by local residents the talks combine video, photographs, personal artefacts, archive material, music and refreshments. The inaugural event: LIGHT AND DARK will be presented and broadcast live from the Parish Hall in May 2019.”

BearFace Theatre CIC will be developing a co-created piece of theatre with the communities of Pan that will focus on its layered heritage. BFT said:

“Using participatory arts based workshops to discover and co-develop narratives as well as make material for the performance, we will be delving into Pan’s past, its present and importantly its future and our part within it… with our new project ‘We that breathe…’. With a mix of playful interaction, puppetry, original soundtracking and live music and a Dragon thrown in for good measure, BearFace Theatre will bring the finished performance collaborated with all who we have met to a space near you in Pan in September 2019.”

Dmitri Galitzine will present a new multi-channel film installation, shown in an old shipyard in East Cowes, during Heritage Open Days 2019 (from 13 to 22 September 2019). The film will be based around the Red Funnel Ferry and East Cowes dockyard.

Working over several months, the artist will document all aspects of the ferry’s day to day crossings, the harbour, passengers and crew. And in doing so, he will attempt to unravel what the ferry means to the people of East Cowes and the symbiotic relationship between them.

The artist writes,

“The ferry has been the island’s gatekeeper for over a century. And it is part of the fabric of East Cowes, its history and heritage. The identity of any islander depends upon the body of water which engulfs them. And it’s the Red Funnel that can get them across it, in East Cowes. For some, every day back and forth. And back and forth again.”

 

LtL Project Manager, Sarah Girling said:

“The hope is that all of these new art works will excite and inspire the people of the Isle of Wight to find out more about their cultural heritage. There is opportunity for lots of local people to get involved through schools and community groups, let alone being audience members. 2019 is going to be a fantastic year for arts and culture on the Island.”

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.