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MK Gallery to pilot artist-led outdoor learning with MK primary schools

MK’s green spaces. Aerial view, courtesy The Parks Trust. Photo: Steve Carey

MK’s green spaces. Aerial view, courtesy The Parks Trust. Photo: Steve Carey

MK’s green spaces. Aerial view, courtesy The Parks Trust. Photo: Steve Carey

Thanks to a generous grant secured from The Ernest Cook Trust, MK Gallery has announced that its Learning team is able to start work on recruiting local schools to The Green Town Group, a pilot programme of artist-led activity designed to test new approaches to outdoor learning. The Gallery will be writing to all Milton Keynes primary schools this week with details of the project, and inviting expressions of interest to participate by Tuesday 1 December 2015.


Through The Green Town Group project MK Gallery aims to work with c.130 Key Stage 1 pupils from across four schools between January and July 2016. Each of the four recruited schools will participate in three outdoor learning sessions in various Parks Trust sites across the city. Activities will touch on many areas of the national curriculum and resultant learning can be fed back into the classroom.


The sessions are intended to enable schools to develop skills in outdoor learning in relation to contemporary arts practice, and inspire and support teachers with cross-curricular links. Each school’s participation in the project will culminate in a whole school celebration, involving hundreds more pupils. All children taking part in the programme will also have the chance to achieve their Arts Award Discover certificate, a scheme accredited by Trinity College London.


Speaking of the Green Town Group programme, Bethany Mitchell, MK Gallery’s Childhood Learning Coordinator said: “We’re delighted to have this exciting opportunity to test new models of creative learning by making use of Milton Keynes’ wealth of green open spaces. We’d love to recruit schools with a demonstrable passion for outdoor learning, and we really hope that this project will have the added bonus of bringing communities into closer relationship with their local environment. At the end of the project we’ll use what we’ve learnt with pupils and teachers to help shape our future learning programme as we prepare for MK Gallery expansion."