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St Ann's Creative Sparks Summer Term

For the past half term, we've started a new programme at Ignite!, running free activities at the St Ann's library after school every Monday. We've called the programme Creative Sparks - a nod to our long-running programme of supporting young people to explore their own creativity - and it's been funded by the Renewal Trust through their Area Based Grant from Nottingham City Council.

Overall, nineteen children have taken part, and we've done lots of different activities over the weeks, including planting seeds and doing some experiments with growing runner beans, creating sunprints of natural objects, inventing stories and creating zines, launching rockets and building houses out of cardboard.

(Above: Drawings of a house, a winking self-portrait, and the story of a cat who forgot her name)

At the end of one of the sessions, the children told us that next week they'd like to learn about 'how things are made' and so the next week together we made our own recycled paper to discover how the fibres break down and come back together. The sessions have been fluid and we've been able to follow the children's interests (impromptu singing and dancing), and give them room to share their skills (how to make an origami boat) and have long flowing conversations about plants, birds and unicorns that allow for rich expressions of creativity and curiosity about the world.

(Above: Drawings from looking at plants through a microscope)

(Above: The first stage of the broad bean experiment, including a note to warn off other library users from interfering!)

The project is all about developing children's confidence, communication and self-belief and we've seen the children who attend regularly gain confidence to speak up and communicate their ideas as well as listening to others, and also develop a sense of pride in their own achievements and skills.

(Above: teddy bear testing the strength of a K'NEX bridge, a sunprint of a leaf and a flower made from a plastic bottle)

We'd like to say a huge thank you to the volunteers who have been fantastic in supporting the sessions, as well as the staff at St Ann's library for having us in their space each week.

We'll be restarting the project again in September, and the sessions will run each week during term-time until the end of March next year. Registration will be via our Eventbrite page, and just get in touch if you'd like any more information.


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