Z-arts is a community education charity who were awarded the Lever Prize by the North West Business Leadership Team in 2017 to deliver “My Planet”, a community project designed to increase the motivation, engagement, skills and enhance creativity in primary school children.
The programme was designed to deliver aspects of the national curriculum through the medium of arts, to encourage school children to approach the learning of concepts, ideas and practice in new ways in order to stimulate new levels of engagement with conventional subjects in science, mathematics and other areas.
My Planet was delivered through a series of workshops whereby children in a single class or 30 children in Year 4 (aged 8-9 years) designed a new planet and society, delivered in a series of three weekly blocks over a year by different artists.
As part of the My Planet Pilot, Z-arts arranged visits with members of NWBLT to support the project’s aims of inspiring creative and curious learners by showcasing the opportunities available in the North West. These visits included a trip to Alstom’s Manchester Train Depot. During their visit the children took part in scanning train parts using their own hands, driving a model engine, the process of starting a Pendolino, watched an intercity Pendolino tilt, trains getting cleaned in the train wash and even had their lunch in a 1st class carriage. The pupils also took part in a BASF inspired workshop with Lorelly Wilson from The University of Manchester.
The third visit was to Arup in Manchester City Centre. The day was run by Arup staff volunteers who worked hard to challenge the stereotypes that the children held as to who would work as an engineer within the company. Throughout this visit and the whole project the children were presented with fantastic role models and inspirational figures, often presented from a personal angle helping the children to put themselves in the place of the professionals presenting to and supporting them. The final trip was to Daresbury Laboratories, based near Warrington, and was very relevant to My Planet. The pupils took part in the Big Telescopes workshop; including a star studied visit to the Planetarium, holding a piece of an ancient meteor and researching the Milky Way.
All the visits and creative learning across the curriculum have created a valuable project with many depths and these have been independently evaluated by Jude Robinson, Professor of the Anthropology of Health and Illness, Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology in School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool.
For a detailed overview on the impact of this work please download the report below:-