The schools linking project in Bury connected children across Bury to build friendships and skills through creativity
Between February and March 2023, Bury Council CLAS and Community Arts North West (CAN) partnered to design and deliver the Schools Linking Project, a unique project with a cohort of 12 classes from 10 primary schools in the borough of Bury.
360 children, their teachers and support staff were part of a project. The Schools Linking Project supported children to build a deeper understanding of identity, diversity, equality, and community. Through art, children developed skills in enquiry, critical thinking, reflection, and communication. Check out the photographs from the Schools Linking Project sessions on Flickr.
The Schools Linking Project facilitated adults working with young children to share good practice, increase their understanding of issues and different communities and broaden their perspectives.
Workshops were delivered by CAN artists Jade Williams, dancer and creative facilitator, and Nikki Mailer, drama facilitator. Jade and Nikki created and delivered workshops in dance, movement and visual art helped to build children’s creative skills and trust, and respect for Bury’s diverse communities by exploring themes of social action.
School children taking part said:
“I thought I wasn’t going to make any new friends, but I’ve made lots.”
“I wish for love and peace for everyone.”
“We’re here because it’s mental health week…it’s important to connect with our friends.”
A key element of the project was a sharing event at Bury Art Museum where children, teachers, teaching assistants and parent volunteers came together to celebrate their achievements.
Children explored artworks in the gallery space with real excitement. Some children and adults had never visited the museum and were keen to return with their friends and families.
In the words of the children:
“I really enjoyed it, and I wish we could come back again.”
“I’ve never been to a museum before, but I want to come back again.”
Teachers, teaching assistants and parents enjoyed visiting the museum and seeing how much children enjoyed visiting the space and creating a mini exhibition.
“It’s been amazing…it’s the first time in 40 years I’ve enjoyed being in a museum.”
“It’s the first time I’ve ever been into this museum. I used to get the bus outside as a little girl. I’ll be back with my partner.”
“It’s going well the children are having a great time.”
Participating Primary Schools
Hazlehurst Community Primary School, Bury
St Marie’s RC Primary School, Bury
Summerseat Primary School
St Mary’s RC Primary School, Radcliffe
Park View Primary School, Prestwich
Greenmount Primary School, Bury
St Luke’s CoE Primary School, Bury
St Stephen’s CoE Primary School, Bury
Springside Primary School, Walmersley, Bury
St Mary’s CoE Primary School, Prestwich