Lead Creative Schools Project
At the end of last year our school was successful in gaining a grant from the Arts Council of Wales (ACW). The grant, called the ‘Lead Creative Schools Grant’, enables school to focus on nurturing and developing the creativity of learners.
We decided that, as Pembrey School’s badge is made up of St Illtyd’s Church which is at the heart of our community, a tree to symbolise our location near to the country park and two hatchets based on a local Pembrey legend ‘Gwyr Y Bwelli Bach’ (People with little hatchets) , we would delve back in to the history books and rediscover this local tale.
Led by Anna Davies, Jessica Davies and Ceri Williams, along with 41 Year 4 pupils, it was decided we would like to retell the story of the people with little hatchets in a modern way. An advert was then placed with the ACW for creative practitioners to apply. Pupil’s shortlisted five possible candidates, interviewed them and finally selected a talented and enthusiastic freelance artist from Bristol called Megan Clark- Bagnell.
To immerse the pupils in local history we had visits from Governor Mr Mathias and local historian Mr Edwards. After that Megan, staff and pupils participated in a series of local visits to immerse them in the legend. This included taking pupils to the shipwrecks on Cefn Sidan beach, taking a walk up Pembrey Mountain to see the lookouts used and visiting the grave of Adeline in St Illtyd’s Church, from this the story of the ‘hatchet men’ became more alive. Megan then followed up with a series of creative tasks in school which looked at Pembrey in the past, Pembrey now and Pembrey in the future.
The whole process culminated on Tuesday March 7th in an audio tour of the local community, led by Megan but fully narrated by pupils, which included stopping in key places on the route where pupils performed little interventions, sharing their findings and creative artwork. A key moment was also spent at the graveside of Adeline. The whole tour ended with pupils releasing balloons to represent themselves as the future of Pembrey. Parents, pupils, governors, councillors and members of the Arts Council attended and all commented on how successful and interesting the project had clearly been, recognising that the whole process had clearly developed pupil’s oracy skills, creative skills and yet also given them a stronger sense of community.
Throughout the whole project we were very proud of our Year 4 pupils; they were enthusiastic, creative and eager to learn. Their conduct on the tour with Megan was exemplary and the quality of their art work and oracy skills was truly wonderful. Thank you to everyone involved in this enjoyable and interesting project.
We shall be beginning the second year of this venture in September with a different class and a new project. I wonder who the lucky class will be?