Staff and students at The University of Nottingham will be breathing life into characters from history and fiction to take local primary school pupils on a whistle-stop tour of the arts and humanities.
From ancient Romans and Spartan elite athletes to French royalty, Alice in Wonderland and the intergalactic time traveller Doctor Who, a two day event packed with interactive activities will give around 120 youngsters an insight into how the arts and humanities have shaped our history and continue to impact on our everyday lives.
The Curious Minds: Exploring the Arts and Humanities event will also feature a tour of Nottingham’s University Park campus, offering what for many of the pupils will be their first taste of life at one of the UK’s leading universities.
Dr Stephanie Lewthwaite, lecturer in the University’s School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies and Arts Faculty Widening Participation Officer said: “This is the first time that the various schools and departments within the University’s Faculty of Arts have come together to organise an outreach event for local primary school children.
“The event, which is funded by the University’s Hermes Fellowship scheme, builds on the commitment and expertise of staff and students who are already working with local primaries through outreach events, taster sessions and after school clubs.
“It is vital that our research and teaching activities in the Arts go hand in hand with outreach and community engagement. We also want the children to experience in a fun and exciting way the importance of the arts and humanities, as a means of understanding human society and as a way of gaining valuable skills, asking key questions and thinking creatively and critically.”
Roman hairdressing to Spartan Olympians
The event, which is running on Tuesday June 12 and Wednesday June 13, is set to welcome school children from Round Hill Primary, John Clifford Primary, Dunkirk Primary and Arnold Mill Primary. Also taking part will be pupils from Brocklewood Junior, Melbury Primary and Firbeck Primary — feeder schools for the Nottingham University Samworth Academy
, which is supported by The University of Nottingham.
During the exciting day of activities they will:
• Have the chance to try their hand at Roman hairdressing by recreating styles from coins and sculpture on a hairdresser’s modelling head, play Roman board games, make mosaics and hold archaeological artefacts in a series of activities organised by The University of Nottingham Museum
• Hear about the reign of the French king Louis XIV, study the painting of him which hangs in the Louvre in Paris and taking part in an interactive quiz to test how much they have learned
• Discover a different side to ancient warriors, the Spartans, and learn about their elite athletes and involvement in the Olympics
• Write their own parodies based on the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland and the nonsense poems How Doth the Little Crocodile and Jabberwocky
• Survey the TV viewing habits and routines of themselves and their classmates through discussing why they watch — or don’t watch — the BBC family sci-fi show Doctor Who.
Each session will start with a 10 minute introduction from expert academics from the Faculty of Arts, which covers subjects including archaeology, classics, art history, history, modern languages, humanities, culture, film and media and theology and religious studies.
Spectrum of engagement
Following this a number of interactive activities designed to engage the children in learning more about the subject — hopefully while also having fun — will be led by current undergraduate student ambassadors in the different departments.
Lisa Owen, Primary Schools Engagement Manager on the University’s Community Partnerships Team
, said: “In recent years, a lot has been done to promote subjects like science and engineering to school children. We felt the time was right to offer children an introduction into the diverse and rich subjects on offer within the area of arts and humanities to demonstrate the exciting and relevant nature of many of these subjects.
“It’s never too early to start introducing children to the idea of going to University. Working with primary schools is central to the University’s contribution to educational excellence in the region and forms part of a spectrum of engagement from foundation through to post 16.”
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.
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