On the 17th September 2018 Isabel Hughes, MERL Associate Director & Head of Curatorial & Public Engagement Rebecca, James Learning Officer Reading Museum and Kate Allen attended the Artsmark Partnership Briefing in Reading Abbey Gateway.
During October three BA Art students Becca Lynn, Katinka Duewel and Will Fowler were recruited as volunteers to work on developing an Artsmark cross-curricular journey in collaboration with MERL, Reading Museum, Christ The King Primary and Maiden Erlegh Reading Secondary as part of the FA2ISP module.
Tina O’Connell commissioned a Graphic Communications student Lewis Burfield through the ‘Real Jobs Scheme’ to design a logo to visually represent the partners involved in working together towards the Artsmark Award.
Groups from each school visited both museums and used art materials, video, sound recording to respond to six objects chosen by curators from each museum that had a food connection. The schools were asked to think of ideas for workshops we could design that connected the objects using different schools subjects.
FA2ISP students worked with the children to design the workshops then went into both schools during the autumn and spring terms to facilitate them. The workshops included screen-printing posters and bags, creative writing, composing music jingles/dance for adverts, and designing a computer game using scratch programming.
The workshops were videoed and edited into short clips to give examples of how schools subjects could be used to explore the museum collections. The plan is to build an online resource of videos, pictures, stories etc to inspire other pupils, teachers and schools to experiment with exploring the museum using various subjects across the curriculum that would contribute to the Artsmark Award.
A draft version of the online journey can be seen here and will be hosted on MERL online as part of their interactive exhibition pages.
The three FA2ISP students submitted their reports and essays documenting the experience including; ‘What happens when you combine art with other disciplines? A report on an art-cross disciplinary research placement’, ‘An investigation into how creative practices should be approached in education’ and ‘An Investigation into how Metacognition in art classrooms can benefit students across the curriculum.’
The last year has been successful in making connections and developing collaborations between the museums, schools, and the students, exploring how art and technology can lead to broader curriculum experiments to inspire the whole school to take part in the Artsmark project.
Maiden Erlegh School in Reading have now signed up for the Artsmark Award, Kate Allen, Matt Butcher, Curriculum Leader Creative Arts and Nigel Bish art teacher attended an Artsmark Training day in Oxford 12th June 2019 they are planning to submit their statement of intent before the end of term.
We are planning a pop up MERL & Reading Museum in the school event during Week 6 next year 4th November where we will invite curators from MERL and Reading Museum to bring items from the collection in to the school.
Christ the King have just signed up for the Artsmark Award, Kate Allen, Lauren Froud, Key Stage 1 Lead and one other member of staff are planning to attend the Artsmark Training day in Newbury on 3rd July 2019.
Planning is in progress for a pop up MERL & Reading Museum at Christ the King in the Autumn/Spring Term 2019-20.