Getting to grips with Greek history can be a cross-curricular experience. © Telford Culture Zone
Children from a West Midlands school have been in the British Museum this week demonstrating how they might get the Government's proposed 'five hours of culture' by bringing history to life through activities based on the Siege of Troy.
While having a lot of fun, the 'Troy Story' programme demonstrates what the Government's idea of cross-curricular culture might look like – it covers not only the Greek history unit of the Key Stage 2 school curriculum, but also brings in literacy, art, PE, PSHE and drama.
So, while teachers wait to find out which areas of England will pilot the Government's Find Your Talent programme, which aims to give children 'five hours of culture a week', the 'Telford Culture Zone', which developed Troy Story, is already delivering its ideals, and getting positive feedback.
Troy Story has this week taken students from St Peter's Primary (Bratton) to the British Museum to involve them in 3D modelling, curating, drawing and creative writing about Greek civilisation. Another highlight for the youngsters has been performing a large scale interpretive dance on the subject.
Kids enjoy some physical history at the British Museum. © Telford Culture Zone
Telford Culture Zone is a partnership of education, culture and community organisations working with Birmingham's DanceXchange and Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. There are 16 schools involved in the Zone in the borough of Telford, and two have already enjoyed Troy Story.
Debbie Cawte is Head Teacher at Queenswood Primary School, which recently completed the course.
"Embedding culture across the curriculum as proposed by the 'Find Your Talent' scheme enhances children's attitudes to their learning and gives teaching staff more ideas about making their curriculum delivery as creative as possible," she commented.
"From the students' perspective, the children gained enormous self-regard by working collaboratively throughout. For teachers it was incredibly rewarding and provided a tremendous opportunity for professional development and gaining new transferable skills."
Having fun with culture in the galleries of the British Museum. © Telford Culture Zone
Julie Jones, Creative Arts Manager for Telford and Wrekin Council, said she was delighted to see the success of the project.
"Troy Story, just one of the fantastic projects happening at the moment through Telford Culture Zone, is a great example of how schools and cultural institutions in our borough are working together to create exciting opportunities for students."
Telford Culture Zone (www.telfordculturezone.com) is part of a national programme that has been running for three years called Creative Hubs.
The pilot areas for the Find Your Talent scheme will be announced on April 27 2008.