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I designed and delivered creative workshops as part of Schools Linking Days as part of Bear Hunt in 2016. These are when two schools from different areas of Manchester and Stockport come together to meet for the first time, building a ‘link’ between the two classes and getting to know about each other and working together exploring culture etc.

Inspired by Michael Rosen’s delicious Chocolate Cake poem, the children explored writing, illustration and collage to create a recipe for friendship. The session included opportunities for discussion about food in different cultures, as well as developing communication and language skills.

The theme of the workshop was friendship. At the beginning of the workshop, the children played, "The Heart-Beat Game" and I explained that friendship, peace, love and positivity make the world go round; so I'll pass on this energy of good vibes through the class! Each child was then allocated a buddy and was asked to write something they like or think is cool about the other person on it about them on a small piece of paper. e.g. "I think you are very kind and helpful.", "I love spending time with you.", "You make me smile every day." but this was kept secret and they then folded it up, wrapping it up to form a sweetie. 

...Make it personal. Allocate each child a buddy - they then have to write something they like or think is cool about the other person. Their sweeties get swapped at the end of the class and they can open up their responses.

~Intro activity: each child will be given a small card and they will draw/illustrate which they will think about what they are made of. I will show my example. e.g. 100g of big smiles, 28g of arty sprinkles, 12 ice-cream sundaes, 1 friendship bracelet anddd... a dollop of martial arts. Think about best qualities. This is a workshop of positivity and sweetness.

~Main activity: The class will be split into small groups. They will be given the task of collaging this cardboard cut-out of a cake with illustrations, text, colours and textures. They need to think about the ingredients of this cake - what are the important ingredients to friendship. This cardboard cut out will stand up on the table. They will have x amount of time to complete the friendship cake challenge. The responses can be personal/generic. They might want to layer the ingredients e.g. which is most important etc. The cut-out will be worked on both sides. If groups finish early, they can decorate their recipe cards from earlier.

When finished - everyone have a look at each other's finished works and offer feedback.

Thursday 17th November 2016: - Arden and Birchfields Primary School (Year 4)

Friday 18th November 2016: – Romiley and Lum Head Primary School (Year 5)

“Pui created a very well thought out workshop for our schools linking workshop. The aim of the workshop was for children from different schools to work on something creative together and have chance to make friends. Another themed running through it was linked to the Micheal Rosen ‘Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things’ exhibition at Z-arts, so it was wonderful that they made giant cakes together, all about friendship. We were very pleased with the end result!” - Gill Balfour

Pics to come...!