Film Stars And Nursery Rhymes - Roots & Wings Winners Revealed

By David Prudames | 04 May 2004
Shows a photograph of two children squeezing lemons at a desk. One of them, a boy, is looking up and grimacing at the camera.

Photo: squishing lemons to bring 'Oranges and Lemons' to life at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle.

Six heritage learning projects have been selected by a team of judges to be commended as part of the first Roots and Wings scheme.

Organised by Curiosity and Imagination, the national network dedicated to providing interactive learning for children, Roots and Wings aims to celebrate projects that use heritage in education.

Selected projects range from a silent film about a mining accident in 1900 made at the Tom Leonard Mining Museum to the creation of life-sized tea rooms inspired by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh at The Lighthouse in Glasgow.

"The idea is to celebrate inspiring heritage learning provision," Alison Coles, Manager of Curiosity and Imagination, told the 24 Hour Museum.

"It’s important for children to have engagement with their heritage and we wanted to highlight what’s going on and use it as a way of inspiring others."

Shows a photograph of six boys, dressed in flat caps and long coats, leaning against a brick wall.

Photo: a still from a silent film made by pupils of Hummersea primary school about a mining accident in 1900.

The scheme is based on the premise that an understanding of heritage helps children develop a sense of identity and deepen connections with their communities.

Organisations and individuals from throughout the UK were invited to submit evidence of how their particular project has encouraged learning through heritage.

From photographs, anecdotes and diary entries to videos, cd-roms and objects children had made, 28 groups sent in entries of which an expert panel of judges has chosen six.

Alison Coles explained how the judges were looking for projects that engaged children in playful and hands-on activities, inspired parents to support or learn alongside them and, most importantly, let children make their own choices.

Shows a photograph of a boy, dressed in a red t-shirt, standing in a corridor and holding out a microphone as if for someone to speak into it.

Photo: Children's Express gives young journalists, aged between eight and 18, a chance to chase stories and produce articles for themselves.

"The six have been chosen because they engaged the children in an active learning process the most and allowed them to really contribute rather than just being the receivers of education," she said.

"They were really and truly involved in the creation of the projects which led to a lot of fun and a lot of learning."

Among the selected projects is a dance piece that brought together 50 14-16-year-olds and the Rambert Dance Company. Together they created an original performance inspired by the National Trust-owned Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire.

The judging panel, which included representatives of English Heritage, NESTA, the Department for Education and The Observer newspaper, also picked out Children’s Express.

With its Our Roots, Our Heritage project, Children’s Express gave eight to 18-year-old journalists assignments to write pieces about heritage issues. Among them was a particularly engaging article offering a view of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, which was first published on the 24 Hour Museum.

Shows a photograph of a girl kneeling down and painting a cardboard chair red. There are other children in the background of what appears to be a school hall.

Photo: a portable tea room structure created at The Lighthouse in Glasgow visited four schools on the west coast of Scotland where pupils designed and made chairs, lamps, tables and crockery inspired by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Arts Minister, Estelle Morris will present Roots and Wings certificates to the staff involved in all six selected projects at a ceremony on May 24.

One of them will be selected as the outstanding project of the bunch at the event, which will also be attended by 24 Hour Museum Chairman, Loyd Grossman.

Each of them will also be used by Curiosity and Imagination in the future as examples of best practice, as well as receiving publicity through the scheme.

Roots and Wings has been funded for its first two years by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust and the Esmée Fairburn Foundation.

The selected projects in full:

  • The Travelling Archive, Time and Place Projects, London - to learn about the world of archives, children from four Hackney primary schools formed their own societies and created archives for them
  • Dance project at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire - part of the National Trust's Redrow Schools Partnership Project, 50 14-16-year-olds worked with the Rambert Dance Company to create an original performance inspired by the house and its connection with India
  • Our Roots, Our Heritage, Children's Express - a programme of learning through journalism for children and young people, who've been writing pieces about heritage issues, including a number for the 24 Hour Museum
  • The Accident, Tom Leonard Mining Museum, Cleveland - pupils from Hummersea primary school in Loftus worked with staff at the museum to produce a silent film about a mining accident in 1900
  • Start Singing, Surestart: Carlisle South and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery - children aged six months - four years used museum objects and costumes to bring nursery rhymes to life
  • The Touring Mackintosh Tea Room, The Lighthouse - primary school children created life size tea rooms inspired by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
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