Trains Arts Project
Mrs Holloway was fortunate to be granted some special funding for arts activities but decided to blow the lot on one big project – trains! Cultural and creative participation can be transformative and help raise our students’ aspirations and self-esteem. It inspires them to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, to develop their own gifts and talents and to develop a range of transferable skills. As a school we have an opportunity to strengthen our links with the wider community as well as with artists and arts organisations.
Members of staff from 11 departments came forward to take part so this is a real cross-curricular project and students are from Year 7 right through to Year 13. We are also pleased that children from St Joseph’s Primary School Newton Aycliffe are joining in. Each group is investigating something different such as carbon pollution, engine and carriage design, refugees and migration, characters who travel by train and advertisements for train travel. Visual artwork under way includes a clay relief panel, vintage posters, a film, photography, book sculpture, a highly original overlaid map of Spain marking the AVE routes and, we hope, a steel sculpture.
In November we hired a steam engine for a day in Shildon. Over 100 students (and staff!) enjoyed rides followed by entertaining and informative guided tours round the museum and time to explore on their own. Two other groups have visited since and Graphics students went up to Durham City to conduct research and take photographs for their posters.
The completion of the project will be celebrated at an exciting evening event at the National Railway Museum Shildon on Wednesday 10 February for which special performance work is being created including a soundscape, dance, drama and music.