Month: April 2021

Climate Change Catastrophe! – Jack Gardner

I am a Year 2 teacher and Arts Lead at Hotspur Primary School, an inner-city comprehensive school in Newcastle upon Tyne. The school is nationally recognised for its innovative arts projects and high-quality pastoral care for all pupils.

I am also a trustee for Cap-a-Pie theatre company, having enjoyed their work both as a collaborator and audience member since 2016. Cap-a-Pie create child-led theatre based on academic rigour. They play an important role in Newcastle’s cultural landscape. As a theatre company they are excellent at redistributing power for young people; providing a safe space and platform for children to express themselves. This is particularly evident in their most recent project ‘Climate Change Catastrophe!’

“We use stories to help us understand the world and therefore the best way to create a better future is to first imagine one.”

‘Climate Change Catastrophe!’ saw Cap-a-Pie work with hundreds of children across the North of England as well as scientists and engineers at Newcastle University to create a free six-part online series about climate change. By collaborating with KS2 children, Cap-a-Pie were able to create an emotional narrative that was underpinned by engineering, climate science and academic rigour. We use stories to help us understand the world and therefore the best way to create a better future is to first imagine one. A project like ‘Climate Change Catastrophe!’ transforms the challenges of the environmental changes ahead into something that is playful, inquisitive and investigative for children. Consequently, those involved feel empowered about dealing with a subject that could have been overwhelming and intimidating.

The project was rolled out during the second lockdown in which children were accessing the content either online through the school’s platform or, for a small number of children, in the classroom. Some of the feedback from teachers who delivered the content created by Cap-a-Pie included:

“Cap-a-Pie really went above and beyond with the materials that they provided for the online learning because they gave different options.  So you could either get your kids to watch the video that they’d recorded or you could go through the slides yourself.”
– Christ Church School

“Climate Change Catastrophe project was delivered fantastically under current circumstances. The children were able to engage fully with the videos/tasks delivered as they were clear, effective and enjoyable. This was a brilliant little unit of work to do on climate change. The thing that I took from it was really positive.”
– Hotspur Primary School

“The material in the activities was really age appropriate and they were fun activities. I could see from the amount of work that the kids had done that they were interested in it. For example, designing your own microbe and the diary entry – you could tell they were interested in it.”
– Cragside Primary School

We had high levels of engagement with the project from those who were home learning which is a testimony to Cap-a-Pie’s ability to inspire young people as home-learning engagement was one of the biggest challenges we faced during the second lockdown.

For those taking part, seeing their suggestions made into a series of films gives them confidence in their ideas and actions. For the audience, the end product gives you hope that this mobilising, mega-modern young generation, who are able to orchestrate political activism on previously unimaginable scale within less than 48 hours, may just be able to succeed where previous generations have failed.

As of 12 of May 2021 episodes will be available to watch on Cap-a-Pie’s YouTube channel. Find out more here. Enjoy!

Climate Change Catastrophe! – Jack Gardner Read More »

Culture Recovery Fund News

Cap-a-Pie is so pleased to have been awarded funding from the Culture Recovery Fund. It’s really critical support for us to enable us to continue engaging with schools, communities and audiences.

It will allow us, and our freelancers, to get back into classrooms engaging with schools in our local area. We will be delivering fun and creative theatre workshops for children and teachers. We know schools and teachers have been working exceptionally hard during the past year and this support will allow us to start working with them as soon as possible. Our school partners are particularly keen to start inviting arts organisations into classrooms as soon as safely possible. They recognise the value of these experiences, particularly for children facing disadvantage, and those who might otherwise miss out on cultural activities.

Support from Cultural Recovery Fund will also support Cap-a-Pie’s running costs over the next few months. It will mean we have a bit of space and time to invest in planning future projects with our communities and partners.

We’ve been working hard all through the pandemic to continue creating theatre and engaging with schools digitally and remotely. It’s been fantastic to be able to continue to be useful to our community as well as employ freelancers to work on projects. We’ve been really grateful to our funders and partners for enabling us to change things up and respond to Covid-19. However, planning and delivering all of this changed activity has had a big impact on our ability to plan and fundraise for the future – essential as a project by project funded organisation.

We’d love to hear from you as we plan our next moves. Please do get in touch with us

  • If you’re a local primary school who would like us to come in and deliver a fun theatre project with your students, please do get in touch.
  • If you’re a community or organisation who has an idea about working with a theatre company let us know. We’d love to have a chat.

Culture Recovery Fund News Read More »

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