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Schools and Colleges Programme

19th Jul 2018 31st Oct 2019
Project Details
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The Heart of Glass Schools and Colleges Programme was a pilot scheme working with key partner schools in St Helens. A key output of this projects was a series of online resource packs that complement the Heart of Glass Programme, aimed at different key stages and available for all schools and colleges in St Helens and delivering CPD to local schools networks.

Cathy Cross worked with Heart of Glass as Artist in Residence: Schools and Colleges. As well as developing her own practice - which will include bringing in additional artists to collaborate with - she aimed to become truly embedded in the key schools and respond to partnerships collaboratively with teachers and pupils.

A cluster of silver glittery balls are tied together in to a string. A person is holding on to the balls.
An abstract design is shown on a piece of clear plastic. A person's hands are pushing some plastic down on to the design.

Cathy builds dens, creates projects, and constructs new spaces for pupils, teachers and parents to forge a deeper relationship with learning. Her work explores how the environments we use - often those overlooked or ignored - can become inventive incubators for personal growth. Harnessing projections, sound scapes, low-tech gadgets and high-spec smartphones, Cathy is embeded herself within the communities of St Cuthbert’s and Lansbury Bridge schools. Her practice doesn’t shy away from the difficult questions either: if our children lack ambition and drive, what’s at the root of that? And what can we all do - teachers, parents, peer groups - to engage curious young minds, inspire those who work with them, and help all of us reach our full potential in the process?

St Cuthberts Catholic High School, St Helens
March to May 2018

Working alongside art teachers at St Cuthberts, we delivered our pilot project in Spring 2018. During GSCE art lessons, year 10 students explored themes of structure Architecture and mechanics. We devised new lesson plans in line with the current Independent Study Pack. We built some temporary structures/ pods in the covered area outside of the art rooms, these structures could be used as starting points for the students to study, take part, record and interview the artist in residence for their own research. Some students worked directly with me (Cathy Cross) to construct the spaces and therefore devise uses for the pods as further learning spaces for outdoor learning. I met with the teachers who run the Farne Centre (learning support) and we have identified a cohort of year 7 students that may choose to take part in the Talking Corridors project that will run from September. This will be an informal approach, getting to know the students in the learning support centre, finding out what they might be interested in doing, either during break/lunch times or during lessons. Using projectors and smart devices I intend to look at how messages can be conceived, created and delivered, by students that may not always have a voice. I plan to project content, images, videos throughout the corridors during lunchtimes to raise intrigue, interest, engagement and questions.

A canopy of circular artworks hangs above a room. Some of the circles are plain white, some have abstract, colourful designs. A young person stands underneath looking up towards the artworks. Some people are gathered in the background.
A canopy of circular artworks hang underneath a plastic ceiling. The artworks are colourful and abstract with light shining through from the ceiling.
All Image Credits: Stephen King

Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College
Autumn 2018 - 2019

During the autumn term, Cathy worked with the whole school community at Lansbury Bridge School to create an installation suspended above the atrium in the dining hall. We used various medium to produce abstract surfaces on circular discs that will be in part opaque, textured and clear. This created a multi layered projection surface. Cathy used this as a basis for exploration using projection, lighting and soundscapes. Sending images, videos, animation and artwork, projected across the air above our heads as we meet to eat together each day.

As part of the Schools and Colleges Programme and in partnerships with St Helens LCEP, we produced a number of schools resources that provide ideas for how to build cardboard castles and create animations. These can be found below. You can find two PDF resources under the resources section of this page.

Building Cardboard Castles: How to Make a Castle Den

Building Cardboard Castles: How to Make an Ant Castle

Building Cardboard Castles: How to Make a Playground Castle

Building Cardboard Castles: How to Make a Toy Castle

Introduction to Animation

This school resource video has been created by Twin Vision, a multimedia charity, as part of the project We Are Still Here.