Art brings history to life for South Shields schoolchildren

Jul 10, 2024

From learning how lives are saved at sea to connecting with their local heritage, South Shields primary school pupils had a whale of a time taking part in a special collaborative project.

Year 5 children from SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, which is part of

Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, worked with charity Hand Of on the art and history project – The Tyne and the Tide – which culminated in a performance for their families at the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House Museum (SSVLB). Deputy Lieutenant Col Ann Clouston was also in attendance at the performance.

This followed a week of hands-on activities at the SSVLB museum, including working with a professional theatre practitioner, musician and artist, as well as members of the SSVLB. An archivist from the Houses of Parliament also travelled from London to work with the children, who had the opportunity to view copies of original plans for the South/North Shields piers and an Act of Parliament.

The project, which received support from Historic England, enabled the children to explore history and the arts as well as political and environmental issues. This is the second year SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School have taken part in the valuable project.

Alice Nee, 10, said: “My favourite thing was when Mr Fennelly took my group out and

showed us all of the life-saving equipment the SSVLB use. We had a go at throwing the ropes and life bags and learning how you rescue someone at sea.”

Fellow Year 5 pupil Emily Martin, also 10, said: “I am really proud of our performance, it was fun and creative. I really enjoyed learning a new skill of how to programme a drama performance too!”

Year 5 class teacher Rachael Purvis said: “The Tyne and the Tide project was an amazing opportunity for our children to connect to their local heritage and create a performance based on our learning of maritime history, local geography and folk

music tradition. Each child was able to bring their ideas to life in a creative space surrounded by our rich history.

“Hand Of and SSVLB created an invaluable and memorable experience for our children which I am sure they will remember for years to come.”

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Photo captions: Children from SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School enjoyed a week of hands-on arts and history activities

Press release issued by SASS media on behalf of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust. For more information, contact Sarah Dale on 07814 976582.

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