THE UNIVERSITY OF WALES TRINITY ST DAVID has been announced as one of the four new Regional Arts and Education Networks in the major innovative Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government project – Creative Learning through the Arts – an action plan for Wales.
These Networks are at the heart of Creative Learning through the Arts – the five year arts and education action plan and will deliver one of the major strands – The All-Arts and Education Offer.
The successful consortia are:
Mid and West Wales: consortium led by University of Wales Trinity Saint David
North Wales: consortium led by Flintshire County Council
Central/South Wales: consortium led by Arts Active Trust
South East Wales: consortium led by Caerphilly Borough Council
The four Regional Arts and Education Networks will be drawn on the same boundaries as the existing Regional Education Consortia. These Networks will work with schools, the Regional Education Consortia, local authorities and stakeholders in the education, arts, creative, cultural and heritage sectors in these four regions. They will increase and improve arts experiences and opportunities in schools by building bridges between the education sector and arts practitioners,; arts, culture and heritage organisations and providers; and venues such as museum, libraries and archives.
To increase and improve arts experiences and opportunities for children and young people, the All-Wales Arts and Education Offer will provide schools greater access to professional artists and arts organisations, to enhance and complement their teaching. To ensure that schools benefit fully from participating in the programme, they will be asked to nominate a senior member of staff to take the role of School Creativity and Arts Champion, who will be the link between their school and the opportunities available through the regional network.
Each network will receive between £175,000 and £250,000 for a full year’s activity in each year of the five year programme.
Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis said: “The Arts have the potential to capture a young person’s imagination and unleash their creativity. I want all learners across Wales, regardless of their background or personal circumstances, to have access to high quality arts and creative experiences.
“Today’s announcement is great news. I’m sure the four Regional Arts and Education Networks will play an important role in improving the opportunities for our young people so that they can enjoy the many benefits that the Arts have to offer.
“This project will play a valuable part in enhancing the creative arts through the education system in Wales which, in turn will support the principles of Professor Graham Donaldson’s report Successful Futures. This acknowledges the role that the arts play in providing inspiration and motivation for learners, giving them contact with the creative processes, performances and products of others and stimulating their own experimentation and creativity.”
Diane Hebb, Director of Participation and Engagement, Arts Council of Wales said: “We want to see all children have access to the arts regardless of where they live and go to school. Creative and cultural education gives our young people the enriching experiences they need at an early age while also developing the talent and creative thinking that is powering Wales’ creative industries. We need to do as much as we can to support creative and cultural education through initiatives such as this. Better partnership working and a more strategic approach is key and we look forward to seeing the results of this vital new addition to the scheme. We are delighted with the proposals that came forward and excited about working with the consortia.”
Canned Food UK & Tata Steel launch package design challenge
Canned Food UK (CFUK) and Tata Steel in Europe launch the Packaging Design Challenge this week on April 24 2020.
The challenge encourages children aged 15 and under to design and create their own pack which demonstrates packaging’s important role in protecting our food and drink.
To take part entrants first create their ‘product’, a sponge in a freezer bag with 200ml of water and secondly, a pack for their product using materials otherwise destined for the recycling bin which have been cleaned such as cereal boxes, milk cartons or loo roll holders.
Entrants are invited to send photos or a video to CFUK by tagging Instagram posts with @cannedfooduk or #packagingdesignchallenge or emailing email@example.com.
Entries should show how their packs are decorated, which parts are recyclable and if their pack survives the drop test – dropping their pack from head height to see if the product leaks.
A winner will be selected by a panel of experts for a chance to win £100 in Amazon vouchers and the closing date is midnight on Monday 22 May 2020.
The challenge launches with a live session on Canned Food UK’s Facebook page at 11am on Friday 24 April with Nicola Jones, Tata Steel’s Packaging Recycling Education manager, who normally visits schools nationwide delivering interactive workshops that showcase the benefits of packaging.
“Lots of families would have been returning from the Easter break this week and I would have been in classrooms talking about how steel is made and why we use packaging. I wanted to continue to share these resources and the Packaging Design Challenge was the perfect opportunity,” comments Nicola.
“It’s a straightforward activity that children can do with minimal adult supervision, that’s away from a computer screen, and at the same time, learn about how packaging protects our food and drink, reduces waste and how it’s recycled.”
“I think the challenge will showcase the effectiveness of packaging, just like the can which has great shelf appeal, durability and of course, is infinitely recyclable,” adds Robert Fell, director at CFUK and competition judge. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s entries, especially if they survive the drop test.”
Strictly Cymru brings dancing a-plenty to 2020
Disabled people from all over Wales have waltzed into 2020 for Strictly Cymru – the country’s renowned inclusive dance competition.
Run by charity Leonard Cheshire, in partnership with the national governing body Paradance UK, the competition has seen dancers in both inclusive and wheelchair-specific categories compete in six heats across South Wales, in preparation for the grand final on 6 June. Strictly Cymru is now in its third year.
Winning in the inclusive categories at the Carmarthen heat on 17 January were Coleg Sir Gar students Kieron, Toby, Thomas, and Max, as well as Richard, who came independently from Coleshill Day Centre in Llanelli and wowed the judges with his Michael Jackson inspired fast feet and moonwalk. A few days later, Rebecca, Chloe, and Anesha from Heronsbridge School lifted the trophy at the Bridgend heat on 21 January.
Gower College students Daniel and Carys wowed the judges with their synchronised dancing at the Cardiff heat, while Coleg Gwent student Matthew secured a place on the final in the inclusive heat held in Newport last week.
Meanwhile, in the wheelchair dance category, dancers Chad and Ben took gold in Carmarthen and Bridgend respectively. The Carmarthen heat rang with the sound of Chad’s catchphrase of “Absolutely fantastic!”
Then, the fifth heat in Cardiff saw the youngest person to take part in Strictly to date, five-year-old Inga, win in the wheelchair category, before Robin John won the final wheelchair heat in Newport after being inspired by his partner Dianne, who was highly commended in last year’s competition grand final.
Dance instructors from Paradance UK also took the participants, who came from schools the community and Leonard Cheshire services in the area, through their paces ahead of each dance-off to give everyone the best chance at reaching the final.
Chad said: “It has been a really great two days and I’ve enjoyed getting to know new people and learn tango. I’m looking forward to the final.”
Robin John, winning at Newport, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful, I’ve tried before and lost, but it feels on a whole different planet to win a heat! I’m looking forward to the final and don’t mind which genre of dance I get, I can adapt to most things.”
Ruth Jones, MP for Newport West, was a judge at the heat there. Ruth said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect beforehand, but it was amazing. As you walked into the room the enthusiasm hit you like a wave. It was so hard to choose a winner because they were all brilliant in their own way, everybody did the maximum they could possibly do.”
Alan Dear, Head of Theatre and Arts at Newport Live, helped support the Newport heat and said: “It is the most joyful thing I have done in years.”
The heats were open to people of all ages and abilities and the overall winners of the competition will be crowned in the Ffwrnes theatre in Llanelli on 6 June 2020. There they will receive the coveted Strictly glitter ball trophy.
Lee Waters in School Council Summit
LOCAL Member of the Senedd, Lee Waters has held the third Llanelli School Council Summit in the Welsh Parliament for secondary school pupils from across the constituency.
Over 70 pupils from schools right across the area visited the Senedd to learn how the Welsh Parliament works and take part in debates in the old Assembly debating chamber.
Pupils chose to debate lowering the voting age and banning diesel cars. They also had the opportunity to question the Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething about their concerns and on his experiences as a Minister in the Welsh Government.
Lee Waters MS said
“Every year since becoming elected I’ve invited the school councils from the secondary schools across Llanelli to the Senedd for a School Council Summit. I’m really pleased that the event has grown and grown.”
“The pupils enthusiasm and grasp of the issues was really impressive, and it was great to hear their thoughts on some really important issues.”
“I was delighted to give pupils a chance to discuss their ideas with the Health Minister Vaughan Gething, debate issues that are important to them, and get practical careers advice learn from past pupils at their schools who now work in Welsh public life.”
“I want to show that pupils from Llanelli can succeed at whatever they choose in life, and get them involved in Welsh democracy.”
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