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24 Sept 2014

Education Programme Goes From Strength To Strength!

Forty Hall & Estate team would like to thank The Enfield Society for all their support of our work with young people and their teachers.Last academic year our Education Programme continued to develop and grow, both in terms of the range of Education Sessions offered to teachers and planned with them, and the numbers of pupils that booked sessions was 1,771.

The Hall itself was used by pupils in many exciting ways, with an emphasis on pupil led learning. A class from Wilbury Primary School collected data and historical information during their visit and used this to build a virtual Forty Hall in their Computing classes together using the programme Minecraft, and nine different KS2 classes created C17th dishes in the historic kitchen at Forty Hall before tasting and reviewing them.

The amazing ‘Silken Cells’ exhibition by Scientist and Artist Rob Kesseler filled the Hall with luminous microscopy in the Spring Term and 12 Primary Classes visited to explore the eye-popping artworks of magnified pollen grains, seed cases and flower heads in our ‘Micro To Mega Plants’ session. Pupils gathered and identified their own plant parts after learning to identify them through the artists’ work and used powerful digital microscopes themselves in The Inner Courtyard to take their own photographic images. Pupils also created beautiful ethereal pastel artworks inspired by Rob Kesseler’s cell walls which were printed onto silk and hung as curtains around the hall.

Secondary School pupils also found this exhibition and the chance to use microscopy themselves valuable. Francesca Vorassovisited Forty Hall with her Year 12 Art and Photography Class in April for a session about ‘Silken Cells’. She wrote afterwards that ‘the exhibition and workshop were both a very beneficial experience towards my AS Art and Photography course as I was not only introduced to a new artist, but the trip also enabled me to experiment and get a better understanding of different materials. Her teacher told us that ‘all students really enjoyed the workshop and the delivery and content was excellent’.

Aylward Academy had the workshop delivered at their school using reproductions of the works so that Year 12 Photography Students as well as GCSE Art and Design Students could take part. An Education volunteer who previously worked as a microbiologist helped deliver the session and students choose plant parts relevant to their projects to photograph and develop into artworks using varying mediums. These works were submitted as part of students’ GCSE portfolios and were also exhibited, along with the St Anne’s students’ works alongside the exhibition at Forty Hall.

Other sessions which were popular this year were, the ‘Pageant Personalities’, a literacy session based around the characters and animals which feature in the surreal Mayoral Pageant script written in 1632 for Nicholas Rainton’s Pageant by well-known Jacobean Playwright Thomas Heywood, ‘Back To The Future Cartographer’ which helps pupils explore the history of map making as well as using modern OS maps in a real context outside for Geography, and ‘Habitats and Inhabitants’ which looks at life and how natural resources are and were used inside and outside Forty Hall for KS1 pupils.

In the Summer Term, pupils were given the challenge of finding out about the lives of two very different children who lived in the Tudor Elsyng Palace using archaeology. One was a boy named Lambert Simnel who was kept there as a scullion, as punishment for standing as a pretender to the throne, the other a boy belonging to the landed gentry who was educated in the palace. Pupils found out about the kind of food eaten by looking at animal bones found on the site in the living quarters, by examining walls uncovered as part of the archaeological dig.Other archaeological objects and handling items were also shown to students by The Enfield Archaeological Society.

New to our programme for this term are several Education Sessions developed with teachers specifically for the new curriculum. The historical enquiry as part of the local history study component we are offering is based around asking pupils the question ‘How Did People Show Off in the C17th’? They will investigate the Hall itself as a Primary source as well as the history of Sir Nicholas Rainton’s career as a haberdasher and mercer to find out about C17th values and tastes and draw their own conclusions. The new Art Session ‘Designs To Deceive’ will also draw pupils into a world of Stuart décor whilst helping them experiment and develop their own techniques to create patterns.

This Autumn an exhibition from The National Portrait Gallery called ‘Treason Plots and Murder’ will open. Classes are invited to come to Forty Hall to investigate the relationship between the new print culture and the rebellious plots, scandals and murders which were prevalent during the C17th. They will explore how bias was depicted through illustration, the power of language and code and the local historical connection to one of the most famous plots of all time, The Gunpowder Plot. After an introduction to the exhibition and guided questioning to complete their historical enquiry pupils will be asked to take on the role of an illustrator and to create their own new period-style print depicting a particular scenario, considering both bias and audience in their artwork.

Thank you again to everyone at The Enfield Society for backing heritage education at Forty Hall & Estate.Please pass on information about The Forty Hall Education Programme and our contact details to any school Governor, Head, teacher, parent, or student who might encourage their school to visit us. We offer unique learning experiences outside the classroom for all age groups and targeted to the needs of the curriculum.Teachers and students get a warm welcome at Forty Hall & Estate 020 83638196 and ask for the Education officer.Autumn/Winter events and exhibitions available https://forty.live.nutesting.co.uk/

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