Ipswich schools encouraged to bid for slice of arts education project

People dancing with an inset of Jess Croll-Knight

Ipswich schools are being encouraged to apply for funding from Ipswich Opportunity Area. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto /Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership

Ipswich schools will be able to bid up to £2,500 towards projects bringing young people together with arts and culture professionals. 

Ipswich Opportunity Area has set aside £60,000 to fund schemes at up to 30 schools in the town towards boosting art offerings and emotional wellbeing of pupils. 

Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership will help to run the programme.

Schools are being encouraged to get in touch with the opportunity area by October 22. 

The scheme is available for early years to sixth form and while oracy and emotional wellbeing are the key themes, project leaders said it has been left broad to encourage a range of potential projects.

Jackie Bircham, programme director with Ipswich Opportunity Area, said all schools needed to do was tell them what children need. 

She said: “Over the last 18 months it's been really difficult to invest in the arts and creative curriculum.

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"You have to catch children up with numeracy and literacy and getting them to where they need to be, which is absolutely right, but sometimes that can be at the expense of a subject that is feeling a bit squeezed anyway.”

During the October half term, the schools will then be matched with an artist or group to scope out the idea. 

The projects will run from January to July next year, with showcase opportunities at a festival next spring called Hullabaloo.

As well as supporting the emotional wellbeing of pupils and arts offering in schools – much of which has been squeezed in recent years – it also aims to help boost the artists themselves who have endured a tough 18 months.

Jess Croll-Knight of Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership. 

Jess Croll-Knight of Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership. - Credit: Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership

Jess Croll Knight, partnerships officer at the Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership, said: “At its heart it is a project that is focused on using the arts to deliver children’s oracy and emotional literacy benefits.

“The key thing will be really positive and inclusive work that will help children to boost their emotional, literacy and oracy skills, build new relationships between education settings and the cultural sector, and all the stuff that comes with that, such as new understanding, new ideas and sharing practices.”

Visit www.ipswichopportunityarea.co.uk/tell-your-story-grants/ to find out more.