Wordsworth and Cumbria are synonymous with one another. It is no surprise therefore that we will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth in 2020, through the Encountering Wordsworth’s Legacy project.
With the Wordsworth Trust and BlueJam, CDEC are engaging Cumbrian schools and their pupils to explore:
- our famous poet’s life and times
- the poems themselves
- what life was like in their area during the time Wordsworth was alive
- how their locality has changed over time and what is good and bad about these changes
- whether the connection with Wordsworth was a significant factor in bringing about these changes
- the impact of Wordsworth on the environment in which they live.
In addition, and to support their exploration, the children will have a chance to visit Wordsworth’s archives and Dove Cottage.
Encouraging critical thinking
Through an enquiry based approach, the project engages and encourages pupils to be critical thinkers. The exploration of the issues will then lead to the development of their own project ideas, such as:
- a booklet or tourist guide about their town and how it has changed over time
- research into, and interviews with, people who carry out similar roles and jobs to those that were around during Wordsworth’s time (like farmers, shepherds and shop keepers)
- a photography and landscape painting chart to show the changes in the land over the last 250 years
- a storytelling performance to show then and now.
Creating a reflective choral piece
Each school will work with a musician to create a new choral piece that will show their pupil’s reflection on Wordsworth’s work and legacy. This collaborative piece, created by the children involved will form part of a celebration concert and exhibition event in 2020
Teachers in the schools are also being supported with bespoke resources to give them the skills to encourage critical thinking and ideas to engage learners.
With thanks to the Hadfield Trust and Heritage Lottery for funding this project. It will run between September 2019 and July 2020.