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The Victorians

Embedding Culture and Creativity in the Curriculum

1st April 2009 - 31st July 2009

The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on the Victorians aimed to provide children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their work on the Victorians during Literacy, History, Art and ICT lessons. As part of the project, The Phoenix supported the school by delivering a Victorian Life workshop and Bolton Library lent the teacher non-fiction and fiction books based on “The Victorians” and the class novel “The Street Child”, In addition, Activ8 supported the school in turning “The Street Child” into a play and the children visited Quarry Bank Mill to find out information about Victorian Mills. Furthermore, the school borrowed the Victorian project loan box from Bolton Museum and Artists in Schools supported the school in creating a plaque.

The teacher stated that the children knew a lot more about the Victorians in comparison to previous year groups and they had been excited and inspired due to The Phoenix Arts Centre and Activ8 delivering workshops in the school. She added that the children had wanted to carry out research in their own time without prompting. She also expressed that the children’s speaking and listening skills had improved and the children had got into role as a Victorian which helped their imagination. In addition, the teacher stated that children with Special Educational Needs, who have not previously wanted to take part in role play and group based activities had wanted to join in and also, in their free time, create their own role plays – all to do with the topic.

Furthermore, the teacher commented that children, who have never accessed museums and theatres in their own time now wanted to go to Victorian museums and take their family. Moreover, she stated that children had gained experiences that would stay with them forever and not just until the next assessed piece of writing.

The teacher expressed that she had gained experience and ideas to use in future lessons with other children and she would love to use cultural organisations to support her in teaching different topics in the future. The teacher stated that she had had first-hand experience of how much can be achieved in a short amount of time through a range of different cultural activities – Play in a Day, role plays, artefact boxes and discussions.