Year 8 students visiting Ellie Langley near Ireshopeburn in Weardale

CIF Round One – At Home With Heritage, St John’s School and Sixth Form College

At Home with Heritage was a cross-curricular project  designed to enhance  students’ education as well as their life experiences by engaging with and celebrating where we live and work.

The aim of the project was to open the students’ eyes to the riches of the world around them Ihelping them recognise and value their heritage, to understand the importance of protecting it for  the future and enable them to share their experiences and inspire others. Pupils across year groups and ability levels twere exposed to a wide range of opportunities to explore their surroundings and interact with arts, cultural and heritage individuals and organisations, increasing their knowledge, understanding and appreciation.   The project was made up of 3 stages:

  • Stage 1: Members of staff representing fourteen departments will lead classroom-basedteaching and learning in their chosen mini-projects..t
  • Stage 2: Students’ knowledge will be enhanced, deepened and broadened byappropriate visits and by working with relevant professionals to create visual andperformance art work, and presentations.
  • Stage 3: The activities will culminate in a week-long public exhibition and a celebrationevent.

We want them to develop a greater understanding of the extent to which their lives can be enriched by what lies on their doorstep.  16 groups from 13 departments are embarking on different mini-projects ranging from investigations into agricultural shows, local legends, renewable energy and inspirational people past and present to the tradition of tea dances, First World War losses, accents and dialects, and traditional crafts including willow weaving and dry stone walling.  The plan is that it all comes together in February with a week-long exhibition and celebration event.  As an arts coordinator I love to see the impact that arts-based activities can have on young people and how transformative opening their eyes to the world around them can be.  How grateful we are, therefore, to Northern Heartlands Community Initiative Fund for enabling us to give more opportunities to many of our 1400 students‘.  Jaquie Holloway, Arts Co-ordinator.