Sue Smith, Year 6 teacher at St Sebastian’s, Douglas Green, Salford

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Sue Smith, Year 6 teacher at St Sebastian’s RC Primary School, Douglas Green in Salford, praises her school’s link-up with us here at The Lowry…

A chance conversation with an artist in residence at the Lowry, and acceptance of an invitation to be part of the Teacher’s Advisory Panel, has evolved into an extraordinary journey of discovery for the staff and pupils of St Sebastian’s.

It has been, and hopefully will continue to be, a journey filled with excitement, fun, awe and wonder!

It is also a journey that has included many and varied forms of art which to our school community is what The Lowry stands for and provides.

The relationship has enriched many areas of the curriculum – we look to celebrate and develop the many diverse talents of our children by providing a wealth of experiences both in and out of school.

Providing our children with what can be those sometimes life-changing experiences needs a high-quality resource such as The Lowry. A resource that can be mobile and accessed on or off-site.

Our workshops have taken both forms. One, which was called Salford Past and Present, looked at the history of the Quays, and it allowed the children to travel back in time visually and emotionally through drama, pictures and art.

“Our children were able to shine like the superstars they are – it was amazing!”

However, I personally feel the real jewel in The Lowry’s crown and the ultimate experience, in amongst the many, has got to be the 2013-2014 project War Horse.

Resources were brought into school, history came to life, puppeteers and others shared their craft and the white gloves of the curator were donned to help the children handle artefacts.

They experienced and understood life in the First World War both at home and in the trenches.

Young minds and hearts were taken on a journey that will also form part of our centenary celebrations of the First World War.

We have met many talented and helpful people during the War Horse project, that all brought their talents into our school and allowed us to share and experience an unforgettable few weeks, ending in a performance through song and drama on the stage in March of this year.

Our children were able to shine like the superstars they are – it was amazing!

The behind-the-scenes tour, meeting the cast and watching the actual performance of War Horse was both thrilling and emotional.

Not only will they carry that with them forever, but so will I. It is a partnership and resource that enriches, and long may it continue.

To sum up the impact, I really need to quote one of my children who when we saw the actual production on stage said: “This is awesome!” I, for one, completely agreed.

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