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On the spot

Steve Livingstone head of art at Spennymoor School

I started at Spennymoor School in 1990 and I was desperate for a good resource. We stumbled on the Oriental Museum. Edith Nicholson's son Malcolm, who was in Year 10, said: "Why don't you come down to the Oriental Museum and meet my mum?" And so we did, and we've been coming ever since.

The relationship is strong so we can sustain projects over a long period and go into areas where many other people haven't gone.

You are always coming across things that you've never looked at before, never thought about using back at school. Every time we, the teachers, are here we see something different and we'll go away with a pocketful of ideas. It has been an education for us. The students are supplementing what they've already found out with exposure to actual artefacts, which is exciting for them. They are putting together a research book. And from the material they gather they will develop work in glass, ceramics, textiles and etchings.

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