A fun day at the seaside - 20 miles inland

10th July 2009 at 01:00
Secondary's beach-themed arts show makes a splash with primary pupils

There was plenty of sand, volleyball and Punch and Judy - everything you would expect at a traditional English seaside resort. But this Year 5 trip was not to the beach - instead it was to their local secondary school.

Greenfield School Community and Arts College in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, is about 20 miles from the coast.

But for Shine Week, a festival to celebrate the talents of young people, it was transformed into a seaside-themed location and primaries from around the area were invited to take part in beach-related activities.

Each day, pupils from three primaries arrived to be greeted by a lifeguard advising them to "beware of sharks" and "have a nice day at the seaside".

The pupils were organised into cross-school groups so they could try their hand at a range of activities, including sand sculpting, pin-hole photography, pavement art and making sea creature mobiles.

At the end of each day, an assembly was held at which the children could share their experiences.

Christine Stonehouse, Greenfield's deputy head, said: "This is part of our outreach work. We work with Creative Partnerships as a school of creativity to develop creative teaching and learning in all subject areas.

"We hope developing creativity will encourage young people to think for themselves, and in the longer term that approach is something we want to develop with primary schools."

Shine Week was developed in 2008 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. This week, more than one million children were due to take part in events ranging from debates at the House of Lords, performing street dance on the roof of London's Southbank Centre and playing tennis with British former number one Tim Henman.

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