Supported by Arts Council England, The Beehive Project meets every Thursday to take part in different art forms. It unites five Primary Feeder Schools: Botley Primary School, Freegrounds Primary School, Shamblehurst Primary School, St James Primary School, and Wellstead Primary School, alongside Year 7 Wildern students. The project’s aim is to open up access to a variety of arts – dance, music, visual art, sculpture, baking, horticulture and poetry, through the theme of ‘bees’.
- Meeting a Beekeeper and learning all about bees
- Creating a hive-shaped sculpture to house bee-friendly plants
- Studying, painting and planting a variety of bee-friendly plants
- Creating and performing bee-inspired music with boom whackers and African drums
- Making honey-based cakes
- Learning a waggle dance
- Writing bee poetry
Fifty students from across the six schools went on a fantastic trip to Kew Gardens where they took part in pollination workshops, photographed the plants and the bees and had an opportunity to experience UK artist Wolfgang Buttress’ The Hive, an immersive sound and visual installation triggered by bee activity in an actual hive elsewhere in the Gardens.
“We are working with two arts partners – The Berry Theatre and Hillier Gardens. The Berry are providing us with a platform to perform our music, dance, poetry and bee presentations at in July, and Hillier are showcasing our sculpture as part of their upcoming open-air art exhibition.” (Wildern School)
By the project’s end, all students will have achieved an Arts Award, with Primary students working towards Explore, and Secondary students working towards Bronze.
“Working across Key Stages has been fantastic and Primary staff have attended every session so that the legacy of the project can continue through CPD sessions at each school. I would encourage other Artsmark schools to consider working with their feeder schools to support the growth of the arts and ensure staff across the local area are confident in ensuring high-quality arts teaching and learning is taking place.” (Harriet Simmons, Wildern School)