Creative Sparks - Autumn term
Ignite have been leading Creative Sparks sessions every Monday evening after school since last summer, for children ages 5-10 at St Ann's Library. The programme aims to develop confidence, communication and self belief through creativity and curiosity and is funded by the Renewal Trust's Area Based Grant from Nottingham City Council.
Over the course of the programme attendance has grown, alongside many of the children returning week on week, the busiest days have seen a group of up to 15 children joining us. This has been a great opportunity to develop the children's team working skills and has allowed them to grow confident at welcoming others to the group and explaining tasks.
We encourage children to take the lead as we structure creative sessions around their interests. In the early sessions of this term we implemented a regular storytelling activity in the middle of each session. This includes using a box of random objects that are revealed one by one as the story develops. With each object being used as a prompt or character, the children collaboratively build their own narrative. Through these stories we were able to recognise the children's interests in; animals, environment, climate change and evolution.
Using these interests as starting points we explored these subjects through a variety of creative learning tasks from drawing, playing exquisite corpse, collage, storytelling, writing and model making. We had a special guest join us for one session, Radu Secareanu, an illustration student who was on a placement with us came to teach the children drawing methods to create a variety of their favourite animals like crabs, rabbits and dogs.
These sessions resulted in a fantastic exhibition in the main entrance to the library displaying ‘The Future Zoo’ and ‘Imaginary Animals’ that the children had created. These were speculative creatures that had evolved in different ways to survive in rapidly changing environments due to climate change. Each creature was designed, made using clay, painted, named and labelled with a short description written by each child. Seeing their work displayed to the public gave them a huge amount of confidence as well as attracting a lot of attention from visitors to the library and brought new participants along to our next sessions!