Research and Development Phase 2011/12

The aim of the research and development phase was to explore the key themes around (1) the history of the school, what it meant to individuals and the community, its place in the community and how it had shaped lives; (2) the natural and built environment specifically the histories woven into the fabric of our buildings, our memories and even the earth beneath our feet and to explore how this might be translated into a future structure and ways people might interact with it.

A programme of workshops set out to use creative processes and interventions enabled participants to explore, imagine and reflect rather than to ‘teach’ new art skills.  A temporary structure was created by 30 Bird and Public Works in the courtyard at St Matthew’s School, creating an alternative sheltered workshop space.  Hanging an empty chair in mid-air created a sense of the surreal and encouraged participants to suspend the usual rules of learning and presentation and provided a space for imagination and play.

Teaching and non-teaching staff, current and past pupils, parents, grandparents or guardians, individuals and local community groups were invited to participate in the varied programme of creative interventions.

It has been wonderful for the children to work with artists of such calibre.  The children have participated enthusiastically in the workshops and the structure of the project has meant that all the children have been involved.” 

                        Tony Davies, Head Teacher, St Matthew’s Primary School, Cambridge



Funded by Arts Council England, Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council.