Songs from Stones
Following a month long programme of cultural and artistic activities in Beaumaris castle and at prehistoric sites across Anglesey during August 2008, Cadw began an exciting 5 year education project in 2009.
This project is a unique and engaging way of delivering the skills based curriculum in and out of the classroom, and provides challenging yet high quality experiences over an extended period for the teachers and pupils who take part.
The teachers and pupils are given the training, software, cameras, and rostrums, to enable them to create short animations inspired by and interpreting a historic site. The creation of the animations requires careful planning, research, the creation of a soundtrack, and many hours of stop frame animation.
The animations are shown at an end of year 'premiere' event in the local area, where the pupils and teachers involved in the project give short presentations about their involvement in the project, and all the animations created during the summer term are shown.
In 2009, the project involved 5 Anglesey Primary schools, who created animations focussing on Barclodiad y Gawres, Bryn Celli Ddu, Din Lligwy, Llyn Cerrig Bach, and Parys Mountain.
In 2010, 4 Denbighshire and Flintshire Primary schools and a Welsh Language youth group created animated films inspired by and interpreting medieval castles in north east Wales – Denbigh, Ewloe, Flint and Rhuddlan.
In 2011, the project involved 5 Primary schools in Monmouthshire, Newport, and Powys, who focussed on Roman sites in south east Wales – Brecon Gaer, Caerleon, and Caerwent.
You can see the animations created by schools as part of this project on Songs From Stones website or the Cadw Youtube channel.
The project will continue in 2012, focusing on religious sites in south west Wales, and and 2013, focusing on castles in north west Wales.
Storytelling and Literacy Project
The storytelling and literacy project has two main objectives. The first is to give teachers the tools and techniques to enable the creation and development of collaborative stories by class groups of pupils. The second is to use the castles as the setting for telling traditional local stories, and to encourage their appreciation of the castles and the cultural history of Wales by asking them to explore, observe and listen closely.
Dolbadarn Castle and Dinefwr Castle inspired Cadw's first storytelling and literacy project in 2009. Following a training day for the teachers involved in the project, pupils from local Primary schools visited the castles with a storyteller. The children listened to enchanting traditional Welsh tales within the atmospheric historic settings, and explored the castles.
On return to school, the children were encouraged to think about what makes a good story and how stories are constructed. The children worked as a whole class, in groups and in pairs to create, edit and refine their own original class story.
In 2010, the project moved to the castles at Caernarfon and Chepstow. The momentum continued with the children producing wonderful stories about ogres, dragons and evil wizards.
In 2011, the project focused on Criccieth Castle and Tretower Court & Castle.
You can read many of the stories and find out more about the project by visiting the blog sites.