After many months of planning, we were finally able to launch Paganel Archives! In true Paganel style, despite the Ofsted the week before, we ran workshops for the whole school throughout the week with some fantastic creative practitioners, to present a whole series of collaborative work on the theme of ‘Our Faces and Places’.
24 previous pupils, former staff, and other local community were invited into the school and were interviewed by each class, who then worked with artists working in many different media to create a giant exhibition as part of our Archive launch. As a part of the exhibition and the new archive, every child brought in an item to digitally add to our archive, together with a story and explanation why it was important to add the item.
Brian Homer, photographer involved in the original ‘Handsworth Self-portrait’ photo project, and also involved in the New Library self-portrait project at the moment, worked with Timm Sonnenschein and Phillipe worked tirelessly to support children and parents to photograph themselves. Emma Ricketts led a game where children with pictures pinned to their backs, by asking questions attempted to draw what they have on their back (without looking at it!) John Hill-Daniel (film maker) explored the journey to school (background from previous work with Edgbaston Arts Table). The children discussed their journey, things they enjoy about it, anything they dislike. They added interview clips and sound effects to the video to build a song. Pyn Stockman (drama practitioner) used the audio pieces and photos from previous Local Heroes project, as a stimulus for further drama based work. The groups create an action rhyme or spoken word poem with Roz Goddard. Bobbie Gardner worked with young people to choose and cut up their favourite sound bytes and use loops to further enhance them creating soundscapes using music tech/puter to do this. Richard Albutt from PHC worked with photos taken around the school and maps to create a collaborative map of the school. Mrs Butler, School Librrarian and Teacher prepared a quiz about our local heroes, and Mr Philp also organised writing of blogs on the day – see http://www.paganelschool.com on 20th March for some great blogs from the children about the day.
I spent the day using OHP projectors, now seen as old dinosaurs lurking in corners around the school, to make head and shoulder lines around everyone’s silhouettes directly onto the main hall wall. By the end of the school day we had everyone’s silhouette on a giant school portrait across the main hall wall. The exhibition ran well, the main hall packed with visitors and parents. Every child had brought in an item to contribute to our archive, and created an impressive snap shot of our school to start our Archive.
It felt like we packed a lot into one day, and hard to keep track of all that was happening. There’s still a fair bit to archive from the day, a lot of learning for children and adults, but already feels like we are starting something exciting, important and unique – celebrating and documenting the lives of people in Paganel through the eyes of our children. In photos: