“A walk in the park, could become so much more” was the challenge we were offered. An invitation to look at familiar school topics and a dramatic local park and offer creative ways of combining the two.
There were 6 schools, 7 artists and lots of ideas and enthusiasms. Working with our groups, we wanted to develop activities that could be used again – by schools or by families visiting the Park themselves. So, on the whole, we aimed for activities that needed fairly simple equipment and used ideas that children could explain to their families.
And then we went to Corporation Park to see what might come next. School topics were explored through different scenarios, storylines that let us take the topic and play with it. A request to combine drawing and sculpture with oral descriptions of nature turned a group into Time Travellers exploring the past, present and future of the Park. ‘Plants’ sent another group off on an expedition into the unknown, writing journals, describing plants and the animal associated with them, learning names and terms and inventing new names, describing new plants and, possibly, never getting home again. ‘Global Warming’ sent another group into a changing world with wandering, lost polar bears and new ways of building homes
We offer those topics, scenarios and activities here for you to try. We have set our activities against maps of the Park, showing where our adventures led us. You could take the same ideas elsewhere, turn them inside out and try them in different ways. Most of our adventures grew over several half-day visits to the Park so you might need to adjust activities to suit your timescale. At the end of the booklet there is a list of the different equipment different groups took with them
Gordon MacLellan, Creeping Toad, lead artist for “A Walk in the Park”
Brookhouse Primary School
Cedars Infant School
Hawthorns Junior School
St James School
St Michael with St John Primary School
SevenTrees Children’s Centre
Kerris Casey St Pierre