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Cultured (St Helens Cultural Education Partnership) was created to ensure that we, as a borough, are offering the best possible information about all arts and cultural opportunities in St Helens, as well as working in collaboration with schools to build on the town's already fantastic offer.
As an Artsmark town, a creative quality standard for schools accredited by Arts Council England, St Helens recognises that all art subjects are a driver for whole school improvement, developing students’ confidence, ability and creativity.
Cultured has now put together a package for schools which includes authentic workshops with practising artists, visits to local venues and support with planning, networking and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities with colleagues, creative practitioners and arts organisations.
We also work with the local industry to promote the creative sector in terms of further study and future job opportunities.
Schools will also be fully supported to gain the Artsmark by addressing key areas of their school improvement plans through arts and cultural learning.
In 2018/19, just over half of our schools took up the offer, with 32 out of 63 taking part.
These are the practitioners we are working with in 2019/2020:
Altru Drama CIC
Drama, Dance/Movement, Spoken Word
Suitable for Key Stage 2 & 3
Altru Drama CIC is a creative education organisation that uses drama as a tool for learning and personal development. Their workshops and performances are all based around curriculum topics and issues and aim to help children learn, develop and grow through fun, participatory and high impact work.
St Helens at War
One class of children will work with a practitioner to create a performance about WWII with a specific focus on the role St Helens and people from St Helens played in the war effort. This will include a section on Private James Downey and Altru will bring accompanying material to school so that pupils can learn more about Private Downey and his war experience. The day will culminate in a performance for the rest of the school and invited parents, and the drama work particularly lends itself to the development of writing on this theme. The family workshop will focus on the same theme and parents and children will be encouraged to work together to explore the theme through drama and creative writing activities.
Suitable for Key Stage 1-4
Henry is a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience working in the arts. He has exhibited his work across the UK and internationally in places such as: Brazil, Nepal, Italy and Syria. He also shoots for a range of editorial, commercial and broadcast clients including BBC World in London. Henry’s workshops allow students to experience how cameras work and the wonderful experience of seeing a photograph develop in a portable darkroom. Sessions can include a brief history of photography and cameras and then making a wearable camera obscura. This allows learners to experience ‘being’ a camera. This is followed by using a pinhole camera in groups and processing the black and white negative image in a portable darkroom.
Suitable for Key Stage 1-4
Kate’s artistic practice is rooted in the process of printmaking and collaborating with others. She is interested in print’s role as a ‘democratic art form’ that can be taken away from the confines of the gallery and used to spread messages. Print is an interesting medium because it is used for familiar things such as t-shirts, posters and magazines. People recognise it. Print allows artists to communicate messages, thoughts and feelings in a direct way.
Kate’s workshops will draw upon her passion for print, focusing on slogans and text, something that is particularly important in her artistic practice. The sessions will explore how words can be used to say something to an audience whether meaningful or absurd. Participants will use different methods of printmaking and take inspiration from newspapers, slogan t-shirts and posters.
Suitable for Key Stage 1-4
Paula is a local artist who focuses on the use of recycled materials to create objects of beauty. Paula will share the technique of fabric and mixed media decoupage. This technique can be used to make and decorate visual and applied art projects. It’s suitable to create themed and abstract pictures, decorative objects and even furniture. It allows participants to use a wide range of recycled and reclaimed materials. The technique is adjustable to various age groups and can be used effectively for very simple individual projects as well as for collaborative pieces. As well as a focus on recycling and the environment, this session can also focus on other curriculum areas such as heritage and SMSC.
Dance and Music
Suitable for Reception up to Key Stage 3
Grace Smith is a folk musician and clog dancer. Having studied traditional music at Newcastle University (MMus Music, Distinction and BMus Folk and Traditional Music, 1st Class Hons.), she has worked as a professional musician, dancer and educator in a range of settings. This has included performances at festivals across the UK and abroad, as well as leading workshops for organisations including Folkworks, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company and Lancashire Youth Folk Project. Grace’s workshop will include the opportunity to discover clog dancing, learn clog steps, and the participants will have the chance to create/choreograph their own steps. The workshop can also include exploring folk songs and instrumental tunes, as well as participating in musical games designed to increase awareness of rhythm, pitch, pulse and ensemble.
Suitable for Key Stage 2-4
Claire is a St Helens based artist working in a variety of mediums. Her practice has recently included projects related to mental health and with refugees based in St Helens. She creates performances, installations, photographs, drawings and film.
How do we feel welcome?
Claire’s sessions will explore metaphor in contemporary art and how it can be used to express experiences of feeling welcome in a place, linked to emotional or social issues relevant to the age group and school.
Exploratory activities will focus on personal experience to respond to different ideas, and will encourage abstract visual expression;
• Express a figurative phrase such as 'welcomed with open arms' using the movement and position of our bodies against a shadow screen.
• Using our hands to make gestures in trays of sand that express different emotions. These could then be cast in plaster to create an art installation.
• Asking a class of pupils to place a small light on a map of the school in a space where they feel that their skills shine.
These activities will give pupils the confidence to develop a collaborative contemporary artwork that empathises with people who they would like to feel welcome.
Suitable for all ages
Capoeira for All is an acclaimed community arts organisation that uses the exciting and dynamic Afro-Brazilian art-form of Capoeira to inspire young people to realise their potential, explore their creativity, build confidence, develop cooperation & communication, encourage respect & empathy, and bring the school community closer together.
Capoeira combines dance, movement, martial arts, acrobatics, music and play. Rich in a history that dates back to the 1500s, its origins can be traced back to colonial Brazil and the struggle for freedom following the enslavement of Africans by Portuguese colonialists. This beautiful physical art has survived through hundreds of years of adversity, in 2014 was granted ‘Cultural Heritage Status’ by UNESCO and is an expression of values such as human rights, dignity, mutual respect and cultural understanding.
Capoeira for All workshops present this cultural art-form in an engaging inclusive way providing participants with a range of unique learning activities and experiences.
Suitable for Key Stage 1-4
The Shape of Sound
David Bixter is an Artist, Designer and Musician whose practice focuses on exploring drawing and process. His current work uses a theremin (an electronic instrument controlled by movements), exploring visual responses to sounds to create unique abstract drawings and soundscapes.
Dave’s workshops explore the science of sound through an expressive multi-sensory creative process. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with creating sounds using the Theremin and will also develop their drawing skills. There is a strong focus on building resilience and confidence through the development of drawing techniques, transferrable creative skills and adopting a positive outlook on “mistakes”
Creative Digital Tech and Art
Suitable for Key Stage 2-4
MakoCreate aims to turn consumers into creators by delivering creative, digital, art and media activities that inspire participants.
Drone Light Graffiti
Students will learn basic block code and how this code can be used to pilot a bespoke flight path for a drone to fly. They will also learn how you can use long exposure and slow shutter speed on cameras to capture light trails and how we can combine this with the flight paths they have coded to create drone light graffiti. The students will then use the code they composed to fly a drone and capture their flight path as a light graffiti photograph. This activity requires a large space, ideally a school hall or similar, with the ability to control the lighting in the space (we need to make it dark for the flight)
Suitable for all ages
Cara Looij is a creative arts practitioner working with applied theatre, puppetry, visual art and multimedia projects, with a strong commitment to social change, education and wellbeing in her work.
Option 1: It all starts with a worm
An introduction to play, movement and character
Working with a very simple worm puppet design the young people taking part will learn about the significance of materials when making a puppet and the different ways in which the body can be manipulated in order to convey a variety of emotions and share a narrative.
Option 2: Into the Shadows: An introduction to shadow puppetry
Participants will create shadow puppets for a story and develop performance techniques. Part one will be designing and making and part two will be devising and rehearsing.
Suitable for Key Stages 2-4
Emmer Winder is a teacher of digital photography within De La Salle School. She also has 19 years of experience in developing her own personal practice, which covers many disciplines but is centred on conceptual creative art. Her ideas lead approach to creating artwork reinforces the idea that everyone is an artist if they have something to say. How we visualise our ideas can take us on a journey, constructing a deeper understanding of the subject we are commenting on and inviting comment from others.
Emmer’s workshops will introduce participants to conceptual art, inviting them to respond to the theme of climate change and challenging them to become creative activists. Focusing on the powerful statement to parliament given by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, students will discuss how they can create a series of outcomes. These may vary in genre from;
• Video art: in order to create anti- commercials
• Sculpture: to form symbolic interactive reminders
• Performance art: by creating, distributing and documenting common objects with a twist to cause public questioning.
Emmer’s workshops will expand and stretch the participants understanding of art. An alliance between students, teachers and parents will grow through the process of creating a message, exhibiting it and taking an active role in social change.
Citadel Arts Family Festival Project
Visual Art, Drama, Dance and Performance
Suitable for all ages
Citadel Arts is currently creating an exciting programme of family friendly performances in St Helens. They would like to work with up to 15 schools and a selection of CulturEd practitioners to explore these productions and the themes within them. PLEASE NOTE: In order to be part of this project with Citadel Arts, schools will have to contribute a further £200 (which can be made up of their refund for also subscribing to the Music and/or Schools Library Service). The in-school performance will also use up £200 of your allocation for transport. Please contact Evonne Bixter for further information.
2 x half-day in-house Creative Workshops (Visual Art, Drama, Music, Dance & the spoken word)
Each school can choose two workshops, which can be in the same art form or two separate art forms. Each half-day workshop will accommodate between 15 & 30 students, depending on the art form. Each half-day will also include a one-hour family session, when the students can work creatively with their parents/carers. There will be an option for schools to buy additional workshops.
Access to a programme of CPD opportunities in each art form
We have released a calendar of CPD events for teachers and school staff. Schools can access as many of these opportunities as they would like and can book
up to five places per session. The sessions will be delivered by experts in the arts and creative education.
We will cover the transport costs (up to £400 in total) for two regional visits of up to 30 students per visit, or one visit for 60 students (depending on the availability/capacity of the venue) as well as support with the planning of content for the day. Where there is a charge for tickets, we may be able to negotiate a discounted rate.
Suggested venues include:
- The Walker Art Gallery
- The World of Glass
- Tate Liverpool
- Cultural Hubs Arts in Libraries performances (for schools who subscribe to the Schools Library Service)
- The Liverpool Philharmonic
- The Everyman and Playhouse, Liverpool (due to a partnership agreement, visits to this venue will include an accompanying workshop where available)
- FACT Liverpool (extended activities only available via this offer)
If you would like to suggest an alternative venue for your visit, we will contact them to negotiate a special offer.
Creative Industries Careers Events and Support
- Year 6
An introductory presentation regarding the Creative Industries for Year 6 students, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the range of jobs in this field.
- Years 8, 9, 10 and 11
Secondary Schools will be invited to bring their students to the following careers event, which will take place at a central venue. Transport to this event will be subsidised by CulturEd. The event in the spring term, will provide students with information about careers in the creative industries, the importance of studying \rts subjects at GCSE level and beyond and post-16 pathways to creative industry careers. The aim is to see an increase in the number of students choosing to study an \rts subject at GCSE level and beyond.
We will continue to facilitate the following networks for teachers:
Access to support from the LCEP Development Officer
Each school will be able to contact the Development Officer for guidance or assistance in the planning and delivery of their arts and cultural offer. They will also be supported on their Artsmark journey by engaging in all of the activities listed above.
Cost per school
NB: Schools will be encouraged to use their potential refund for additional activity, such as in-house CPD for staff
Refund if bought into Music Service
Refund if bought into the Schools Library Service
Final cost to schools subscribing to Music and Schools Library services
Engaging with this comprehensive offer will: