Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Simnel Cake

Following on from chat last week (19th March), we decided to try Simnel Cake, and talk a little more about food.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Paganel Archives Launched

After many months of planning, we were finally able to launch Paganel Archives!  In true Paganel style, despite the Ofsted the week before, we ran workshops for the whole school throughout the day with some fantastic creative practitioners, to present a whole series of collaborative work on the theme of 'Our Faces and Places'.

Brian Homer, photographer involved in the original ‘Handsworth Self-portrait’  photo project, and also involved in the New Library self-portrait project at the moment, worked with Timm Sonnenschein and Phillipe worked tirelessly to support children and parents to photograph themselves.  Emma Ricketts led a game where children with pictures pinned to their backs, by asking questions attempted to draw what they have on their back (without looking at it!)  John Hill-Daniel  (film maker) explored the journey to school (background from previous work with Edgbaston Arts Table).  The children discussed their journey, things they enjoy about it, anything they dislike. They added interview clips and sound effects to the video to build a song.  Pyn Stockman (drama practitioner) used the audio pieces and photos from previous Local Heroes project, as a stimulus for further drama based work.  The groups create an action rhyme or spoken word poem.  Bobbie Gardner worked with young people to choose and cut up their favourite sound bytes and use loops to further enhance them creating soundscapes using music tech/puter to do this.Richard Albutt worked with photos taken around the school and maps to create a collaborative map of the school. Mrs Butler prepared a quiz about our local heroes, and Mr Philp also organised writing of blogs on the day - see on 20th March for some great blogs from the children about the day.

I spent the day using OHP projectors, dinosaurs lurking in corners around the school, to make head and shoulder lines around everyone's silhouettes directly onto the main hall wall.  By the end of the school day we had everyone's silhouette on a giant school portrait across the main hall wall. The exhibition ran well, the main hall packed with visitors and parents. Every child had brought in an item to contribute to our archive, and created an impressive snap shot of our school to start our Archive. 

It felt like we packed a lot into one day, and hard to keep track of all that was happening. There's still a fair bit to archive from the day, a lot of learning for children and adults, but already feels like we are starting something exciting, important and unique - celebrating and documenting the lives of people in Paganel through the eyes of our children. In photos:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Childrens Lives Exhibition sneak preview

I was lucky to be invited to the launch of children's lives exhibition.  It was great to meet some of the young people who had been involved in the project seeing for the first time the finished exhibition.  It was fantastic to see their reaction as their ideas, concepts, material had been fashioned by the designers to form a significant portion of a major exhibition with their parents and other lucky guests.

It fitted perfectly with the rest of the archive material documenting children's lives.  Here are a few photos I took with Arthur:


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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Auntie Muriel

I sleep with my ears covered. It's a hang up from my childhood when I imagined witches would fly into my ears and give me nightmares. It offers little protection from children. Freya woke me up this morning with her usual 'Roar!' (although she's given up on putting the pudsey bear ears on) and a letter, already opened.

It was from a solicitor in Harrogate, Re. Muriel Cooper deceased. She died in November 2011, unknown to me, but had bequeathed me £1,000. I had stopped sending xmas cards a couple of years ago, as she moved from her house and I had no idea where she had moved too (or why).

Auntie Muriel and Uncle Maurice had been very important to me between the ages of 4 and 13. I spent a lot of time at their house playing ludo, scrabble and walking Bobbie the dog.

I think they were the only people I told about the witches until many years later. When I did, Auntie Muriel lent me Uncle Maurice's sword to fight them, which I did in their front room every time I visited for quite a while, and don't think I broke a thing. I asked them not to tell anyone - I don't think they did.

They were both very kind to me, but more than that. They listened to me, took me seriously, and helped, even if my childish ideas made little sense to them.

Thank you Auntie Muriel and Uncle Maurice.
Sent from my phone

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Manchester People's Museum

It's Nikki's birthday weekend, we've been meaning to go for a while, so packed the kids into the car and set off as early as we could ( a little after 11).  Two hours later, we're nearly there - only  Trafford to go past.  Shame we didn't factor in Man U vs. West Brom, but fairly soon we were there.  Arthur thought it seemed like a long way to go to a cafe, Jago thought we were going on a march, but no one was disappointed when we got in (not even by the packed lunch from leftover party bits):