The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on the theme of the seaside aimed to provide year 1 children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their work during Literacy, Numeracy, Science, ICT, History, Geography, Art, DT, Music and PSHE. As part of the project, Bolton Library lent the school fiction and non-fiction texts based on the theme of The Seaside and delivered a story telling session at the school based on the text “The Fish Who Could Wish”. In addition, Bolton Museum delivered a workshop on underwater life and the children also visited the aquarium for fish feeding session. The teacher stated that this developed the children’s knowledge of and interest in sea creatures. Bolton Library also delivered a seaside storytelling and research session at the library and Bolton Music Service delivered two workshops that focussed on creating seaside music and learning sea shanties. In addition, The Phoenix delivered a drama workshop based on the text “The Fish Who Could Wish” and Artists in Schools delivered a visual arts workshop that focussed on the creation of a beach hut and the consideration of what would be inside a beach hut. Furthermore, Bolton Museum lent the school the Seaside project box and The Phoenix delivered a Punch and Judy workshop to all Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage children. Moreover, Bolton Museum delivered a seaside workshop in the school and Artists in Schools delivered a rhyming poetry workshop based on the theme of the seaside.
The teacher expressed that the project had impacted on the children’s enthusiasm for and interest in learning about the topic adding that the project developed their oral skills and their general knowledge, particularly relating to History. The project has also impacted on the teacher’s understanding and knowledge of the cultural and creative opportunities provided by the cultural partners. The teacher conveyed that the project has given her many new ideas for planning as well as ideas for cultural and creative activities in the future. It has also enhanced her subject knowledge, particularly with regard to creative work, Literacy, History and Geography and her planning is now more cross-curricular. The teacher also stated that an assembly based on the project was presented to the school and the parents.