Scheme launched to give Washington schools their 'Artsfix'

A new scheme offering more arts in schools has been launched on Wearside.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 3:29 pm

Artsfix is the result of three years' work between Sunderland Culture and three Washington schools: Biddick Academy, Columbia Grange and Usworth Primary.

The scheme has explored ways to develop creativity in schools and involved a primary, a secondary and a school for pupils with learning difficulties and/or autism.

Artsfix shows schools working with a small budget how they can be more creative, while giving practical help and advice about careers in the arts and culture sector.

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Pupils from Usworth Primary School took part in Artsfix activities.

There are three hubs on the Artsfix website. The first is already live and helps teachers find out about creativity in the classroom and what works best for their pupils.

The second hub will be live over the coming weeks. It is for young people and based on learning from the three schools, particularly Biddick.

It provides information on which creative careers exist in Sunderland and nationally. It has video case studies of local people working in the arts sector talking about their roles.

The third hub, also launching soon, gives families an idea of what cultural and artistic activities are available in the city, with an interactive map of venues and activities and a list of things for families to do together indoors, developed during lockdowns.

There will be Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) sections within the teachers’ hub and the family hub too; with information about SEND specific workshops.

Sunderland Culture producer Vicki Kennedy, who led the project, said: “We’re so pleased to introduce ArtsFix; our brand new, free, creative tool for schools.

“Designed by Sunderland Culture in partnership with local schools, teachers and creative learning practitioners, Artsfix offers schools inspiration, new ideas and support to bring creativity into the primary classroom.

Lesley Mavin, former headteacher at Columbia Grange, said: “There are some fantastic resources and national links that I wasn’t aware of. The SEND section also gave some wonderful ideas of potential partners and artists to bring into school.”

Artsfix was supported by National Lottery players through Sunderland Culture’s Great Place programme, funded by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Sunderland Culture was one of 16 organisations chosen to deliver a Great Place project.

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