The Kirkby Collaborative and Kirkby Gallery were finalists in the recent North West Cultural Education Awards in the in the Arts Partnership Award category.
Please see below the text of the award nomination.
This partnership was established approximately 18 months ago and is based upon ensuring the highest possible quality provision in arts and cultural education for all schools in Knowsley (especially those in Kirkby, hence the partnership).
Working closely together with Steve Dixon, Kirkby Collaborative of Schools Development Manager , the Kirkby Gallery team (as headed by Tina Ball), liaise with Steve and the Collaborative regarding the educational content to each exhibition, ensuring what we do is both well placed and relevant, as well as to ensure there is a cultural provision on the doorsteps to all of our young children which is comparable to the larger city-centre based venues.
The cultural offer is a robust one and includes:
- A preview experience for all teaching staff, from primary education through to Higher. We call these ‘Teacher First’ events and take place after school hours on the Thursday before any of our exhibitions open to the public. All teaching staff attending these events receive a teacher pack, both with the resources for the forthcoming exhibition but which also includes the many other educational and cultural projects we offer, including our Arts Award resources, so as to ensure we maximise on their knowledge of our provision
- We produce in-house an educational pack / suite of activity sheets geared both towards the exhibition themes/media and the national curriculum (including significant artists as featured on GCSE curriculum where possible, to ensure relevance to the exhibition)
- All exhibitions are risk assessed to ensure safety is paramount during all of our visits. Furthermore, all of our exhibitions are invigilated via our team of trained volunteers, most of which assist classes during their self-led visits to the gallery.
- We additionally ensure our exhibitions and the dedicated educational space within each exhibition, is both bespoke and as a result, experienced and engaged with differently, which makes for a wonderful surprise for our schools visiting the gallery again.
- We now loan out contemporary works of art to schools for a nominal fee, complete with a gallery standard display case, so as to provide schools with the opportunity on an outreach basis, to engage with contemporary art in their own premises.
There are a great many more projects and initiatives we have developed through our partnership work with the ‘Kirkby Collaborative’ so the above are to name but a few. We feel that what we provide and are working towards, couldn’t be delivered without this active partnership relationship, where the shared aims are purely to inspire our local school children, provide the best experience to a contemporary gallery and to ensure that where possible, we encourage learning outside the classroom as well as within it.