Telling stories through textiles and capturing the landscape using photography and paint are at the heart of two trailblazing new education resources which will now go worldwide, after being trialled by a pair of Tyneside schools.
From this week (June 25), Once Upon A Time and Natural Landscapes (Virtual Sketchbook) will be accessible by schools worldwide via specialist education website Ch-arted, after being successfully tested by students and teachers atJarrowCrossPrimary School, South Tyneside andPercyMainPrimary School, North Shields.
Susan McBeth, teacher atJarrowCrossPrimary School, said: “Everyone at Jarrow Cross Primary responded well to the educational resources we were asked to test, with both resources showing great potential for helping support the curriculum for students of various ages throughout the school year.”
The resources, developed by South Shields-based arts venue The Customs House and education resource specialist Shoofly Publishing, are designed to increase interest among young people in art and design and help develop key skills for ages six and above.
The Once Upon a Time resource, which is based on a knitting exhibition recently displayed at the Customs House’s Sandford Goudie art gallery, is an interactive tool which teaches children about story telling through textiles and encourages them to create stories of their own.
The Virtual Sketchbook, Natural Landscape resource, which explores the use of sketch books to collect and record visual information and communicate ideas, encourages students to explore composition and perspective by developing their own landscape pictures using photography or paint.
For the past few weeks students and teachers fromJarrowCrossPrimary SchoolandPercyMainPrimary Schoolhave had exclusive access to both resources and have been testing them extensively to ensure they are effective in engaging students in education, that they tackle the necessary key skills and that they are easy to use.
Susan said: “Natural Landscapes proved to be a very useful aid in teaching pupils about composition, perspective and traditional drawing skills, with the interactive element making it fun and accessible too.
“Once Upon A Time was also easy to use, with the visual aspect really helping to reinforce the development of creative and English language skills in a unique and artistic way.”
Following this successful trial, both Natural Landscapes and Once Upon A Time are now being made available for use in schools around the world via www.ch-arted.co.uk
The site, which was launched by The Customs House in autumn 2011, is regularly updated with a new range of interactive educational tools, lesson plans and ideas for classroom-based activities, all designed to engage young people in subjects and social issues applicable across key stages one to four.
Esen Kaya, Curator of Visual Arts at the Customs House said: “Student and teacher feedback is an important part of ensuring Ch-arted’s resources are as interesting and effective as possible and we are delighted that out latest additions, Once Upon A Time and Natural Landscapes can now go live to the rest of the world after receiving a resounding thumbs up from two Tyneside schools.”
Once Upon a Time and Natural Landscapes can be downloaded from www.ch-arted.co.uk at a cost of £30 each or as part of the site’s £120 annual subscription charge. For more information contact The Customs House Cultural Development Team on 0191 427 8197/88.