Case Studies

Kirkleatham Museum

Key Stage 3 (ages 11 - 13)

Sparking intergenerational conversations in partnership with Laurence Jackson School and Poet Kate Fox, developing boy’s literacy through creative writing, co-producing content for a major new exhibition celebrating local industrial heritage.

  • Pupils developed interviewing skills through talking to local people about their experiences in the steel industry (not just in the mills, but family, law and order, sense of community, developing empathy and self-reflection through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) themes
  • Developed creative responses to photos, paintings and artefacts through expressing challenging ideas, information and feelings using a more sophisticated repertoire of language
  • Pupils used Standard English to engage an audience, producing a well-structured and organised presentation, which were then recorded digitally as part of the exhibition
  • Pupils were able to cascade their experiences and achievements to other schools in the local and wider area
  • Developing the engagement of the parents with their child’s development in English and with the school

Kirkleatham wanted Year 9 pupils, for whom there is less literacy support at home and were not achieving the required levels of progress through Key Stage 3, to gain skills in their choice of vocabulary, writing flowing narrative and in creative presentation skills: dramatic reading, clear diction and taking pride in their work.

The project focused on the Artworks, paintings and photographs that were being displayed as part of the Steel Stories exhibition.

Working with Poet, Kate Fox, sessions were practice based, encouraging pupils (all boys) to engage with each other, particularly since they were not in the same class. Pupils were encouraged to start writing by using simple exercises such as selecting objects in the room to write about as well as producing one-word stories.

Pupils interviewed ex-steel workers, who provided stories behind the steel works and pictures, especially since the pupils only had their own experience to draw on.

The pupils visited Teesside Transporter Bridge, a steel bridge. They experienced an environment that they would not otherwise have visited. Seeing the bridge provided students with a physical experience that inspired their writing.

The workshops were structured to provide real world writing experiences for pupils and encouraged pupils to write from a personal perspective using first hand knowledge. The pupils were treated as creative writers, encouraged to be constructive editors. Students became better able to write from another person’s perspective – a skill that they will need for their GCSE English.

Pupils were encouraged to produce high quality imaginative written responses to a visual stimulus. The museum wanted to engage positively with secondary age pupils, whilst also developing audio within a museum setting.

The work produced was displayed in the museum as part of the Steel Stories exhibition.

Coming soon! We are busy putting the finishing touches to the resource, so keep an eye on this space.

Kirkleatham Museum
Kirkleatham Museum
Venue Lead
Jo Rose, Education and Administration
Kate Fox
Laurence Jackson School
School Lead
Stephanie Lynn
12, Year 9, male, pupils, lack of literacy support at home, not progressing well through Key Stage 3
  • boys
  • journalism
  • poetry
  • social history

Resource produced

Steel Stories – The Art of Steel

Downloadable PDF

Inspired by the local industrial heritage landscape and art works of former steel workers, this pdf slide resource highlights different approaches to the literacy development of boy’s in Year 6 and 7 through creative writing techniques including storytelling and poetry.

Lightbulb Moment

Boy’s re-imaging and re-telling the narratives of lived experiences of steelworkers in the museum.

Explore more ideas in the resources

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