New Bewerley celebrates diversity through art

New Bewerley Community School in Beeston has retained strong links with The World Reimagined (TWR) after winning the prized TWR Bursary sponsored by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

The school was fortunate to welcome two artists in residence into the school: Sarah Jane Mason and Ladel Bryant to teach and promote The World Reimagined’s 5Cs; Curiosity, Compassion, Courage, Critical Thinking, and Connection through poetry and printing techniques.

Year 2 and Year 6 collaborated to create the school’s TWR globe, inspired by Kenya, which has pride of place in the school entrance. New Bewerley Community School attended costume design workshops and hired out The Tetley to learn more about Bobo Ogisi’s ‘I am not myself’ exhibition.

Alongside Asher Jael and The Tetley, KS2 Leader and Arts Leader, Paige Hurley hosted an anti-racism round table to support local educators to discuss the curriculum and support one another to ensure that arts curriculum is – at its core – anti-racist, inclusive, and diverse.

After years of hard work towards a cause very dear to the inner city school’s heart, it was no surprise that they were gifted one of the original sculptures, Rise Up by Andrea Cumming. A globe representing the history of afro hair and its links to the slave trade.

To celebrate the unveiling of the globe on Tuesday 23 January 2023, the school organised a community event, ‘The Big Hair Day’. Children met the author Tina Shingler, participated in activities such as writing poems, looking at the history of hair, how to braid and lots more.

The unveiling was well attended with children coming out to greet parents and guests – including Councillor Ed Carlisle (Green, Hunslet & Riverside) and Asher Jael, the Leeds Ambassador from The World Reimagined. The Year 3 choir performed, alongside poetry readings from  School Councillors and Diversity Developers. The rain did not stop the amazing atmosphere created by the children and adults and the event was a great success!

New Bewerley Community School continues to be proud to be learning what it means to live in a diverse, anti-racist, inclusive society through their collaboration with The Word Reimagined. This gift will be a reminder that learning about our differences, histories, and cultures can only bring us closer as a community as we move forward to a brighter future together.

The World Reimagined is an exciting and thought-provoking arts initiative which saw Leeds join cities around the UK in hosting a trail of large scale, colourful globes created by renowned international artists in 2022. Additionally, pupils at 13 Leeds schools explored the history and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and then put their learning into practice, working together to create a unique sculpture with its own compelling message.


This post was written by Jacqui Driscoll

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