2009 Visit

Aylsham High School approached Culture of the Countryside to run a four-day summer holiday workshop, for pupils about to make the transition from primary to high school. The theme was Changing Worlds, with stimulus from the Sainsbury Centre's world art handling collection, and emphasis on cross-cultural interraction. Pupils from a diverse range of backgrounds and with different interests gradually found ways of connecting with one another by working as a group and collaborating in teams. Two sixth form volunteer assistants helped enormously by providing physical activities and team games. Two artists worked on alternate days to offer pupils a wide range of interractive art activities, from building 'body islands' to making a giant string web on the school field in extremely stormy conditions.  The four-day workshop included one day visiting the Sainsbury Centre, making connections between objects normally separated on the gallery floor, and visiting the university broad to launch a flotilla of paper boats.   
For this four-day summer workshop, landscape was a central theme, around which discussions could be had about how different peoples connect with one another and make transitions from one place to another. This applied to all the pupils attending the workshop, whether they were in the last year of primary school about to make the transition to high school, or in Year 9 at the high school about to commence their two-year GCSEs. It was also about group cohesion, and we did indeed see an enormous change in the group from the first day, where there were tensions and general lack of cooperation, to the last day, where there was a strong sense of everyone pulling together and helping one another towards common goals.