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University and Knowsley Council partner to offer cultural experiences for hundreds of children.

Faculty of Education

Publish date: May 5, 2022

Educators from Edge Hill University have been working in partnership with Knowsley Council to offer cultural experiences for hundreds of children across the borough.

This includes a range of activities at Kirkby Gallery focussed on enhancing their knowledge of climate change, their carbon footprint and their impact on the environment.

Edge Hill’s Faculty of Education have also enabled children from Eastcroft Park, Ravenscroft, Millbrook, St Peter and Paul Primary Schools, Kirkby High and All Saints High Schools to visit Gaia at St Chad’s Church in Kirkby, a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram that aims to demonstrate the fragility of the planet.

They engaged in sessions led by the University staff and students and other experts on climate change and a session on beekeeping.

Karen Bloyce, Edge Hill’s Programme Leader, Children and Young People’s Learning and Development said: “Working in partnership with Knowsley Council we have been able to provide an opportunity to enhance children’s cultural experiences and to deliver lessons in a unique environment. Engaging with the Gaia at St Chad’s will create lasting memories for the children and offers a stimulus for continued thinking in relation to their impact on the planet.”

Pupils had the opportunity to reflect on their learning around climate change during these visits with help from Edge Hill staff and students.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “We brought Gaia to St. Chad’s Church as part of our year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture. The work, and the accompanying programme was curated to reflect the many people and communities in the borough and encourage discussion about our world and the need to protect it. By working with Edge Hill’s Faculty of Education, we were able to provide a platform for these crucial discussions with Knowsley’s young people and give them the opportunity to experience this inspirational artwork.”

Mrs Mitchell from Eastcroft Park said: “It is such a wonderful opportunity for our children to visit Gaia in their hometown. Upon seeing it for the first time the children were absolutely mesmerised.

“It’s so important for our children to view the earth in its entirety and from such a unique perspective. It helps them gain appreciation for the earth and our climate and how fragile it is becoming.”

Georgie said: “It’s quite amazing, the features of Gaia are so realistic. It’s mystical because it’s just like the earth, it’s not just lots of scribbles, its real.”

Summing up their experience, the children from Ravenscroft Primary said it was “a dream”, “a fantasy” and “mind-blowing”.

Listen to the reactions of children at the Gaia exhibition on the Faculty of Education’s brand new Big Conversation podcast.

The display of Gaia has now ended but people can view Knowsley Council’s Flickr Gallery where images of the work can be found.

Edge Hill University runs a number of courses within education and teacher training. To discover more about our courses, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.

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