Woodhorn Colliery Museum

Shanklea students and teachers worked in partnership with Woodhorn Colliery curators for two years to develop educational arts resources for the museum. The aim was to use archives, objects and oral history reminiscences to enthuse primary school practitioners. Inspired by the unique collection of art created by the Pitmen Painters a scheme of work was devised to understand what life was like in Ashington, Northumberland. Interactive tasks were developed so that pupils were taught how to critique the artwork and the artists and explore the stories, symbols and characters represented in the paintings.  Pupils were expected to record their opinions and analyse the primary sources.

The children used past props and artefacts to depict the challenges of daily life and mining customs.  Overtime, the children developed compelling drama inspired through the art. The study resulted in a live performance at the end of the project.

The pupils discovered interesting northern characters, gripping storylines and mining culture captured in the Ashington Group paintings.

Sequential art lessons and workshops were planned for KS2 pupils which used techniques used by the Pitmen Painters including perspective, light and dark and details.  For authenticity, the pupils recreated scenes from the paintings around the museum and then created a new piece of art inspired by the collection on fabric and using charcoal. Archive content developed literacy & numeracy in imaginative, creative ways. (Visit the link www.experiencewoodhorn.com)