Newcastle and Gateshead
The Newcastle and Gateshead Schools Linking Programme is led and facilitated by the Laing Art Gallery, for Newcastle City Council. We launched the programme in the Summer Term 2018 with 14 classes engaging in a summer link funded by BSBT supported by The Linking Network and Newcastle City Council.
Since 2018’s project we have also taken the Linking Project to Gateshead, which will be facilitated by the Shipley Art Gallery and Gateshead City Council; there has been a lot of interest and the program has been well received with Gateshead Schools. 2019-20’s project will see 6 Gateshead schools linking and 12 Newcastle schools linking both primary and secondary – totalling around 500 pupils involved in this year’s project.
Before meeting, the Laing and Shipley learning team have been heading into the linking schools to deliver assemblies; to talk about friendship, acceptance and making new friends, in order to introduce the project to the whole school. In the classroom classes have been taking part in activities that explore themes around identity and belonging, as well as exchanging postcards, letters and videos with their Linking partners.
For our 2019/20 project we have started our neutral venue visits at the Laing and Shipley Art Galleries, classes start the day by taking part in circle games to get to know each other, led by their teachers. Half of the group then take part in gallery games where they explore the space and find out about each other in a smaller group, through communication and drawing games. While the other half of the group take part in an art activity with their partners. This year our art activity has been focussed on ‘Living Together’ and ‘Our Dream World’; pairs have been discussing their dream worlds and finding out all the wonderful things they have in common – they then design and make their own dream world together. These worlds will then be photographed and generated into postcards for the schools to send to each other and keep as a memento. Each group has a go at all of the art activities and all of the gallery games. Read more about Hadrian and Belford schools meeting for the first time
After schools have had their neutral venue visit teachers then organise a day at each other’s school. We look forward to hearing more about this soon…
“I think I do have a greater understanding of how to talk to children about controversial or sensitive topics especially through the use of the books or the resources through the website given”
What were the most powerful moments you witnessed when you visited the first meetings of pupils?
“How the children were first of all shy and apprehensive but very quickly became familiar with one another as the day progressed.”
We look forward to updating you on our progress!
Contact: Anne Fountain, Laing Gallery, Newcastle – email@example.com