The Green Town Group
Milton Keynes aimed to be a city greener than the surrounding countryside, and pioneer residents were greeted with a voucher that entitled them to a free tree. Today, fifty years later, over a quarter of the city is open green space. The Green Town Group will use the green spaces and pockets of woodland around the city as inspiration for a series of workshops with children and families led by Wiltshire based artist James Aldridge to test new approaches to outdoor learning.
James' practice combines sensory interaction - walking, collecting and making - with research into ecology and history. He has worked with heritage, arts and environmental organisations, in a range of educational settings from pre-school to universities. From an open call to all primary schools in Milton Keynes St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, Bletchley; Holne Chase Primary School, Bletchley; Brooklands Farm Primary School and Pepper Hill School in Bradville were selected to participate in the project.
Over 100 children will take part in outdoor learning sessions in MK Parks Trust sites between January and July in 2016 which will culminate in a whole school celebration. All children taking part in the programme will have the chance to achieve their Arts Award Discover certificate. The project will concluded with an exhibition, The Art of Outdoor Learning, in MK Gallery's Project Space in February 2017.
James talks about the project in the first issue of the City Club newspaper.