Culture boost for Newham pupils thanks to share of enrichment grants

East London Dance is one of seven organisations to receive funding. Picture: Melissa Page

East London Dance is one of seven organisations to receive funding. Picture: Melissa Page - Credit: Archant

Seven organisations have been awarded a share of £1.1million as part of a pilot scheme to provide pupils with more cultural and creative opportunities.

The groups - who were among 26 to apply for funding - were given money as part of Newham Council's enrichment grants project.

Set up as part of mayor Rokhsana Fiaz's aim for Newham's youngsters to experience diversity and culture, it is being piloted throughout the 2019/20 academic year before being rolled out in full from September.

The seven successful projects include Rosetta Arts' art stars, which will establish four visual art hubs to deliver Saturday clubs for eight to 12-year-olds, and Otherwise Education, which will allow a project that successfully supports creative writing in seven Newham primary schools to expand into eight more primary schools and four secondary schools.

East London Dance will provide free dance opportunities with a focus on boys aged 14 to 19, as well as those with special educational needs and disabilities, while Eastside Community Heritage will support 60 girls from three schools to create a social action campaign to encourage their peers to consider a career in Stem subjects - science, technology, engineering and maths.

Art Matters will support school workshops and an exhibition featuring artwork by around 4,000 young people.

The Whitechapel Gallery's Newham primary art leaders network will expand opportunities for the borough's primary schools to integrate creativity into the classroom, with the funding allowing 27 teachers to access training and support. In addition, 300 pupils from 10 schools will take part in artist-led workshops and experiences at the gallery.

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Senior development manager Sue Evans said: "We are delighted to be working with Newham schools in sharing knowledge to engage new younger audiences into the world of contemporary art."

The Magpie Project's dance residency initiative will support 60 families with pre-school age children who are living in temporary accommodation to participate in creative dance and movement workshops.

Founder and CEO Jane Williams said: "The Newham enrichment programme has given us the time, support and resources to take our work forward for the benefit of our mums, children and the wider community."

The enrichment schme has also seen 81 schools receive grants for school music and other creative opportunities.

Another part of the initiative includes free theatre tickets, with every Year 6 pupil in the borough set to see a performance of The Little Prince at Stratford Circus Arts Centre in January or February.