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Sarah Bonnell Consortium Celebration Day 2018

Submitted by Media on Tue, 18/12/2018 - 14:49

Bow Arts' education programme is developing the next generation of artists in East London with a pioneering schools partnership that puts creative learning firmly in the classroom. 

On Wednesday 5 December 2018, children and staff from six schools in Newham – William Davies Primary School, Portway Primary School, Selwyn Primary School, Sandringham Primary School, Ronald Openshaw Nursery Education Centre and Sarah Bonnell School – came together for a Celebration Day at Sarah Bonnell School. The day marked the fourth year of their collective partnership, as the Sarah Bonnell Consortium, with Bow Arts, which provides artist-led projects and cross-school art programmes for children, and training and leadership for teachers and artists.

During the day, pupils took part in a series of artist-led workshops before joining their families in attending an exhibition of their artwork created over the past year.

Across the year, artists have led Creative Professional Development sessions for the schools' teachers, a creative away day, Arts Award programmes and a series of bespoke projects for each school.

At Selwyn Primary, pupils learnt about the British Monarchy and refreshed their sewing skills by making embroidered portraits of kings and queens to be displayed in their school.

Sculptural works were the focus for pupils at Sandringham Primary and William Davies where they experimented with weaving willow birds and fish, sculpting clay busts and using plaster and wire to create 3D maquettes as ideas for a new public artwork for their school.

Ronald Openshaw Nursery made viewfinders and explored shadow play, taking birds and flight as a starting point. Students at Sarah Bonnell School developed their photography skills focussing on the theme of transitions.

As part of a joint Arts Award Programme with Portway and Selwyn Primary, children created hand drawn and cut paper animations using the line ‘When I grow up…’ [above] as a stimulus for ideas.

Pupils developed screen-printing skills at both Portway Primary and William Davies Primary resulting in dynamic permanent displays for their schools.

On the celebration day, children from different schools were paired up and took part in two artist-led workshops each. Following a brief awards ceremony, they had the chance to welcome parents and carers and take part in an art trail together while exploring the exhibition. This allowed friends and family members to gain insight into the creative opportunities their children have had and to see the amazing results on display.


Bow Arts has been working with six schools in Stratford, Plaistow and Forest Gate since January 2015 to deliver a programme of activity designed to create inspirational learning opportunities for children and young people in Newham. A key aim of the programme has been to embed the arts into the school curriculum, and therefore into children’s everyday school experiences.

Each school has undertaken a bespoke project, led by professional artist. The programme has also featured artist-led training for teachers, exploring ways of bringing various artistic media into the classroom, and an enrichment programme for children with a talent in art, accredited through the Arts Award.

The project has been generously supported by Bow Arts and East Thames.

If you are interested in finding out more about our consortium model or working with us to develop a bespoke project for your school, please contact education@bowarts.com or 020 8980 7774.