£1.1 million to enrich children’s lives with exciting projects across Newham in 2020

Newham Council is launching a host of cultural and creative opportunities to help children and young people across 81 schools in the borough develop their individual talents further in 2020, as part of a £1.1 million enrichment grant pilot.

The Newham enrichment grants pilot started in September 2019 and is in line with the Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz’s vision for children and young people, which is to experience diversity and culture and discover and develop creativity.

81 schools received grants for school music and other creative opportunities for the pilot which is enabling children and young people to experience high quality activities both in and out of school.

From January, there will be a wider range of exciting funded projects for pupils to take part in. These include projects in music, dance, visual arts, filmmaking, and creative writing for pupils, both in and out of school.

2019/2020 is a pilot year for the project, which will shape the future approach with the full enrichment offer starting in September 2020. The pilot has been expanded to include children in nurseries through to secondary schools.

Councillor Jane Lofthouse, Deputy Cabinet Member for Education said: “The new enrichment offer will support children and young people across Newham to further develop their creative potential and take advantage of the richness of our already culturally vibrant borough. We want everyone participating to fully experience the broad range of high quality activities on offer on their doorstep, learn new and valuable skills along the way and thoroughly enjoy the journey.”

In September 2019, 26 organisations applied for funding to pilot new models for delivering extra enrichment activities to children and young people. Seven organisations were awarded the grants, which were based on criteria of diversity of art forms and expertise, taking into account new sustainable models or other forms of innovative learning.

The extra enrichment activities will be rolled out and take place between January and December 2020. They are:

  • Otherwise Education: Writes of Passage Primary and Secondary Networks will build on a model that already successfully supports literacy and creative writing with seven Newham primary schools. Grant funding will expand the reach of the programme to work with an additional eight primary schools as well as launching a new secondary network with four Newham secondaries.
  • The Magpie Project: A Dance Residency programme will support 60 families living in temporary accommodation in Newham to participate in creative dance and movement workshops led by a dancer in residence. The programme will work with 60 mothers and 70 pre-school aged children and will support children and their families to take part in creative activities that can help them to thrive physically, emotionally and socially.
  • Whitechapel Gallery: The Newham Primary Art Leaders network will expand opportunities for Newham primary teachers to integrate creativity into their school context and share best practice with other practitioners in the borough.  Funding will enable teachers from 27 primary schools to access training and support to apply creative activity in the classroom and connect learning and the curriculum to opportunities in the Gallery.  During the pilot year 300 pupils from ten schools will take part in artist-led visual arts workshops and gallery experiences.
  • Rosetta Arts:  Art Stars! Will establish four visual arts hubs across Newham.  The hubs will deliver Saturday clubs for 100 eight to twelve year olds in the borough, with participants targeted through school referrals. Grant funding will support a subsidised participation fee, as well as bursaries to reduce financial barriers.
  • East London Dance: On the Move will deliver free dance opportunities for children and young people in Newham including targeted opportunities for boys age 9-14, and a pilot dance offer for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  
  • Art Matters: Annual Exhibition and Creative Workshops 2020 will support the delivery of the annual school art exhibition and workshops for Newham schools.  The 2020 exhibition will feature art work by approximately 4000 Newham young people. Pupils from eight schools will develop their skills and leadership by taking a leading role in developing promotional materials for the exhibition. 
  • Eastside Community Heritage:  siSTEMic will support 60 young women from three Newham schools to create a social action campaign to encourage young women and girls in the borough to consider career opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths). Activities will include skills development in interviewing, research, making video diaries and creating a film.

One of the chosen organisations is the Whitechapel Gallery. Sue Evans, Senior Development Manager at the gallery said: “We are delighted to be working with Newham schools and Newham Primary Art Leaders Network in sharing knowledge to engage new younger audiences into the world of contemporary art. We are grateful to Newham Council for allowing us to pursue an extraordinarily exciting and creative collaboration through their enrichment grants programme.”

Jane Williams, Founder and CEO of The Magpie Project, said: “We are over the moon to be able to extend our exploration of how to work with young children and mums to heal trauma and encourage play. The Newham Enrichment Programme has given us the time, support and resources to take our work forward for the benefit of our mums, children and the wider community.”

Published: 07 Jan 2020