Tea-tastic Event

Infusing the Curriculum: A Tea Party Event for Herefordshire Teachers

Over 35 arts, heritage and cultural organisations came together under one roof for Hereford’s #teaparty2107 event. Designed to introduce primary and secondary school teachers to a whole host of organisations, more than 30 teachers came along to talk informally, pick-up ideas for the classroom and to make some new contacts.

“It’s great to have lots of people you can connect with all at once, under one roof”

Soon the venue was buzzing with conversations, demonstrations and  picking up ideas for curriculum projects – the place was awash with creativity. From the very brilliant team at Herefordshire Archives & Records Centre through to Eastnor Pottery ‘hands-on’ approach..

“Great to network and exchange thoughts”

The afternoon continued with an outstanding performance by Shobdon Primary School who performed an contemporary dance piece of Little Red Riding Hood. This performance was the end product of a brilliant schools project undertaken by Dancefest – the intensity and focus of all the children was expressive and impressive – performing outside added to the drama.

The event continued and still no sign of a cup of tea in sight.. however, the second part of the afternoon was devoted to round table topical discussions and of course lots of tea and cake.

“Really good ways to promote creativity in the classroom”

It was terrific to see teachers catching up with colleagues from other schools and spending some rare moments to talk over a cuppa.

Our round-table discussions proved really popular with teachers and organisations. They started with a very good overview of Artsmark and Arts Award, from Arts Connect, the Arts Council Bridge organisation based in Birmingham.  Arts Awards are special qualifications awarded by the Arts Council England aimed to inspire young people to grow their arts and leadership talents.

“Lovely local links and how to get the most from our budgets”

Artsmark has been designed by schools, for schools, to support core EBACC and STEM priorities, giving the curriculum breadth and balance. It’s more than just a quality mark – as well as recognising schools that are making the arts come alive, the Artsmark award is a practical and valuable tool for enriching a school’s arts provision whatever the starting point.

Half way through delicious sandwiches and cakes – the tables rotated onto three other topics:
Taking the temperature on creative GSCEs was an invaluable discussion overseen by Louise Tanner, Senior Adviser on the 14-19 team at Herefordshire Council. Louise provided some important insights into creative GCSE subjects both in attainment and take-up.

Into Film, who are based in Birmingham are a brilliant digital organisation who want to put film-making into every school.  They have an excellent educational programme; from film clubs through to curriculum projects.

And talking of school projects, we were delighted to invite Katie Horne from Whitecross school to talk about her experience of supporting a student-led initiative and successfully bid for Heritage Lottery Money to run an ambitious school project over the next year.

So, what happens next? There are already great ideas forming about how we could follow-on from this event. From repeating it in the summer term but holding it at a school and inviting parents along. Create a new CPD event for teachers to undertake a programme of tasters, or how about creating a showcase for schools to celebrate creativity in the county?

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