Local primary school pupils were given the opportunity to learn a range of new skills thanks to a series of workshops held at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.
Children from five local primary schools; Castledown, Christ Church, Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy, Ark Blacklands Primary Academy and Rye Community Primary took part in a series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) workshops funded by Hastings Borough Council (HBC).
Cllr Dawn Poole, HBC’s lead member for regeneration and culture says the series of workshops were linked with the marine environment, fishing fleet and recycling. “The workshops were designed to inspire, motivate, build confidence, develop skills and enable young people to achieve their full potential, and become active and responsible adults,” she said.
The project enabled children to experience working with a variety of local artist educators, such as Leigh Dyer and Peter Quinnell. Pupils went on the beach, learned to tie fishing knots, were introduced to metal working techniques, did rusting experiments and made life-size sculptures, shown at a celebration event and final exhibition at Jerwood Gallery on Wednesday March 15.
Cllr Poole says the workshops gave children the opportunity to work on several projects alongside the artists.
“They learned about how materials are used, where they come from, whether they are recyclable or not and if they are hazardous to the environment.
“Our thanks go to all that have helped with these workshops, especially the local fishermen – Paul, Mark and Bud.
“This has been an excellent project for children in Hastings.
Kate Giles, marketing and communications manager at Jerwood Gallery, says the sessions had a lovely, vibrant atmosphere. “There was real enthusiasm from the children involved, and from the adults too,” she said.
“It was wonderful to connect with the fishing community, who are our neighbours, and with such talented and prominent local artists.
“We hope to be able to offer more of this sort of session in the future.”
One of the teachers who attended the event, Tina Kearney, says the workshop had been a great experience. “The children were sharing ideas, respecting each other’s ideas, helping each other, interacting with children from other schools, solving problems and gaining practical experience. They also got out onto the beach, which some children don’t get the chance to do. They were absolutely buzzing when they got back to school!”