Project: Culture on the Doorstep: Co-creating place-based learning in Beeston and Seacroft

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Across Yorkshire, four Local Cultural Partnerships are exploring how place-based learning, within the context of a 15-minute neighbourhood, can build the cultural capital of children and young people.

Across Yorkshire, four Local Cultural Partnerships are exploring how place-based learning, within the context of a 15-minute neighbourhood, can build the cultural capital of children and young people. LeedsCEP, Create Sheffield, Evoke Kirklees and Spark Wakefield are delivering four simultaneous pilot programmes in their communities until December 2023. These initiatives are supported by IVE, with the LeedCEP activities receiving additional funding from the Economic and Social Research Council and the University of Leeds.

In Leeds we are collaborating with researchers from the University of Leeds, Seacroft Grange and Greenmount Primary School, and creative practitioners Hafsah Nibe and Made with Music. In partnership with teachers, young people, community members and local organisations we are co-creating place-based activities that embrace the people, places, cultures, and knowledge held within the local communities. The outcome of this work will be a toolkit with case study examples, that shares the process and learnings from the project to support place-based curriculum development.

Activities began with an online provocation session on cultural capital, highlighting its somewhat controversial nature. Professor Abigail Harrison-Moore gave an overview of the history and theory of ‘cultural capital’, before experienced art and design teacher, Anne-Louise Quinton, explored practical approaches to embedding local cultural knowledge into school curricula. Follow-on workshops allowed project partners to further interrogate our terminology and methods, developing a shared understanding of what ‘cultural capital’ means for our work.

As the activity focuses on the hyper-local context and the 15-minute neighbourhood of each partner school, mapping this area and the cultural opportunities within it was vital. Dr Morgan Campbell, an expert in urban planning and critical geography, delivered a session for the team on participatory mapping. Creatively using this process was a means of empowering young people to make visible what may previously have gone unseen by adding new markers to or creating maps that highlight the places that are important to them.

Mapping walks took place around Seacroft Grange and Greenmount Primary, with Year 2 and 3 pupils acting as local experts for creative practitioners Hafsah, Hannah, and Kathryn. Children recorded audio, took photographs and drew maps, or directed peers and accompanying adults to talk about local knowledge and memories. Some of these recordings are presented in a short film by Hannah and Kathryn at Made with Music. Participating teachers have shared how they view the area differently since these activities with their pupils, demonstrating the impact of the mapping process and marking a key success from this project phase.

As we move through the summer term, the focus now is on the delivery of creative place-based activities in each school, which have been informed by the mapping process. These have been developed with a curriculum focus on geography. Outcomes will be shared at school celebration events in July and used as case study materials for the Culture on the Doorstep toolkit, which will be shared in the autumn.

Graphic recordings by Fero Studio from a team workshop

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End of Year Message

And suddenly it’s December! As we wind down towards the end of the year, it feels the right time to reflect on what has been achieved this year as a partnership! We have continued to strengthen work in our priority areas: Youth Voice, Skills and Progression, Advocacy and Comms, and Health and Wellbeing.

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