North-South Centre - European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity

WORLD AWARE EDUCATION AWARDS

Recognising excellence in partnership, networking and coordination
for increased and improved global education

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WORLD AWARE EDUCATION AWARDS

APPLICATION FORM

1. NAME OF THE PROJECT

Newton 2007

2. BRIEF SUMMARY DESCRIPTION
2007 marked the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade. John Newton, ex slaver turned abolitionist, wrote “Amazing Grace” while curate near Milton Keynes. This provided the focus for a three year project which:
* worked with schools on drama, art and woodwork
* worked with the local Black History group
* worked with local Sierra Leoneans and brought the High Commissioner to Milton Keynes
* worked with local libraries
* produced exhibitions
* linked to other local projects including the commissioning of new music

to encourage understanding of unfair trade and labour practices past and present

3. WHAT IS THE NORTH-SOUTH/ GLOBAL DIMENSION OF YOUR PROJECT? Please describe

The slave trade itself is a global dimension. Working with Sierra Leoneans living in the Milton Keynes area – and visiting Sierra Leone for research (self funded) – enabled us to create an exhibition about the development of Sierra Leone. This and other exhibition materials are available for loan. Current issues of unfair trade between North and South, and the challenges of paying fair wages and providing appropriate conditions for labour were a key ingredient.

4. PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

    a) LEAD PARTNER

    Name: GEMK (Global Education Milton Keynes)
    Contact details Saxon Hall, Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes MK14 6BN
    Tel: 01908 324 498 / 310 951
    e-mail: info@gemk.org.uk
    Type of Organisation Development Education Centre

    b) PARTNER 2

    Name: Louise Beach
    Contact details Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes MK14 6BN
    Tel: 01908 324 474
    e-mail: Louise.Beach@stantonbury.org.uk
    Type of Organisation Secondary School

    c) OTHER PARTNERS

Olney Junior School
Furze Down School
Cowper and Newton Museum
Milton Keynes Library Service
Black History Season Group, Milton Keynes
Local Sierra Leoneans
Milton Keynes Music Service

5. PLEASE OUTLINE BRIEFLY THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS
OF THE PROJECT1:

    a) overall aims

To use the opportunity afforded by the bicentenary of the abolition of the British Slave Trade and the death of John Newton (both in 1807) who played a significant role in the slave trade and in its abolition to raise awareness of the slave trade and its long term impact, particularly upon the people of Sierra Leone.

    b) specific objectives
    To research, compile and present information
    To develop and execute educational and cultural activities
    To develop a strategy for building on the project

    c) outcomes
    500 students explored slavery through the performing arts, producing performances
    400 secondary pupils reflected on slavery following the performance of Slave Story, a play written by a local Ghanaian.
    A performance was created by Year 13 students and enjoyed by community members in the museum.
    A teenager attending a special school designed and made a life size replica section of a slave ship
    20 children with particular gifts in art helped to design a willow sculpture which is being enjoyed by all their fellow pupils
    Sierra Leoneans living in Milton Keynes were brought together and used their expertise to help design an exhibition. This was seen by many people while on display at the Central Milton Keynes library
    Young people designed a time line which was made into a roller banner and is available for loan
    New music was composed and performed at the Schools Prom in London
    Partnerships were developed with the Black History Season Group and the Cowper and Newton Museum
    One person visiting the exhibition in the library composed a poem as his response
    Relationships with the Milton Keynes library service have been strengthened

    d) duration of the project
    Three years

    e) participation of the target group(s)

    in the design of the project
    The funders were not happy with the idea of the participants shaping the project so we had to state very clear guidelines for our activities.

    in the implementation of the project
    Within the project:
    1. The selected junior school chose which kind of art work (willow weaving) they wanted, and pupils worked with the project worker and artist on the design of the structures
    2. The special school pupil and his woodwork teacher took the basic design brief and interpreted it
    3. Stantonbury Campus accepted the performances of Slave Story for Year 9 students but developed the slavery theme with Year 7, 10 and 13 far beyond the original structure of the project
    4. The Sierra Leoneans acted as an advisory group and had a lot of input into the exhibition about Sierra Leone. Their input to the special evening with the High Commissioner was essential. This included participation at regular planning meetings, contacting people at the highest level, publicising the event and providing the food and drink – cooking it themselves to reflect the culture of Sierra Leone.
    5. The Milton Keynes Music Service took the idea of following the development of music from black Africa through the USA to modern music and funding we provided. They found a composer, briefed him and used the resulting music as the focus of their Primary Festival

    f) strategies for integrating learning from the project into the educational system (formal and non-formal).
    One of the exhibitions developed for the project is booked into a gallery for October 2008 and we will be actively trying other venues.
    The British Government has said that the slave trade must be taught in secondary schools from September 2008. We will be contacting the local secondary schools to tell them about the new resources that they can borrow to both inform them and enhance their teaching
    Stantonbury Campus paid for Slave Story to be performed for the Year 9s the following year
    We will target schools to use our resources during Black History month in October each year
    We are working with Milton Keynes Council’s Newly Qualified Teacher programme, and will be displaying some of these materials on their induction day
    We are in the process of putting pdf’s of the exhibitions on our website to enable people to pre-view the exhibitions

    g) evaluation mechanisms (internal and/or external).
    The project was evaluated externally. The evaluation is available on request, electronically

    h) budget – details of financial sources and summary of income and expenditure.

    Income
    The main source of funding was the Heritage Lottery Fund. 41,393.12
    In kind funding was provided by a variety of volunteers 8,870.00
    A colour printer was part funded by the Local Network Fund 243.53
    -------------

        Total Income: 50,506.65

    Expenditure
    Capital costs (computing equipment) 2,138.38
    Staff costs 18,680.99
    Overheads, stationery and travel expenses 4,953.13
    Project activity costs (artists, exhibitions) 12,328.43
    Evaluation 2,000.00
    Non recoverable VAT 1,535.72
    -------------
    Total Costs: 41,636.65

WORLD AWARE EDUCATION AWARDS

6. DESCRIBE HOW NETWORKING, PARTNERSHIP OR CO-ORDINATION WORKS IN THE PROJECT TO ENHANCE EFFECTIVENESS

The bicentenary was commemorated at many levels within the UK and GEMK was the first organisation in Milton Keynes to obtain funding to enable work to happen. Realising the importance of African roots to much modern music, we approached the Music Service to see if there was any way of using music in schools to complement our own strategy. As a direct result of this we were able to find funding through our support of the bid made by the Cowper and Newton Museum for the creation of Kofi’s Story, a series of songs tracing music from Ghana through the USA to the UK. Many local primary schools learned the music and sang it together in the Primary Festival. It was then sung at the School Prom.

In Stantonbury Campus, Slave Story, a play written by a local Ghanaian, was performed for all the Year 9s. Louise Beach took the ideas from the project and involved her colleagues in Performing Arts to teach a six week unit on slavery. 80 of the Year 7s then put on a performance in the Stantonbury Theatre. Louise also involved the Year 13 students in researching, writing and performing a piece in the Cowper and Newton Museum.

Local Sierra Leoneans informed the exihibiton, providing key information and illustrations. They supported the project throughout and were instrumental in a key event involving their High Commissioner, other local development groups working in Sierra Leone, and the library service.

7. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LEARNING DIMENSION OF THE PROJECT THAT COULD BE USEFUL IN OTHER COUNTRIES?

The need to be challenged about our perspectives of history and to find ways of working through deep emotions and continued injustice.


1 Please feel free to use existing documentation in response to Part 5 of the application form.