Education studies and teaching news at Brighton

view from above of artists working with willow

Same Sky partnership benefitting student teachers

A new partnership with community-led arts organisation Same Sky is providing even more opportunities for our student teachers to work with schools. 

Same Sky is an award-winning community arts charity and behind the amazing sculptures seen at events including the Brighton Festival Children’s Parade and Burning the Clocks.  

During March, Same Sky will be using the University of Brighton’s Falmer campus as a base for producing their large-scale sculptures with participating schools, which will be paraded through the streets of Brighton on 4 May at the Children’s Parade.  

rocket sculpture in progressArt lecturer Netty Cullen said: “I discovered that the venue that Same Sky had used for delivering workshops was no longer available, so I explored the possibility our using our Falmer campus. After measuring external doors to ensure the huge, finished structures could exit and be delivered back to the schools we were delighted to be able to say yes.” 

Students on our Art and Design PGCE are currently working alongside Same Sky artists and schools which is helping to improve their subject knowledge. Many of the schools taking part in the workshops have had our student teachers and many of the teachers attending had trained at Brighton and were excited to be back. 

One of the aims of the partnership is to familiarise the student teachers with the Children’s Parade, which is a unique part of nearly every Brighton & Hove school child’s experience, and often the only way that some schools and children engage with the cultural provision of our city. It will also serve as an introduction to the process of building large structures out of willow (withies) with professional artists and teachers from our partnership schools. 

Secondary student teacher Estelle said: “As a trainee, the Same Sky workshops not only gave me the opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills in making large scale sculptural works with withies, but it also gave me the chance to work alongside experienced, professional artists and local art teachers.  

“I gained a personal and first-hand experience of different schools’ art & design provision and departments. Talking whilst making, in an informal, relaxed way was so valuable and I’m really looking forward to being part of such an iconic event that involves schools and children in the city.”  

group building sculpturesStudents on our undergraduate primary teaching degrees will be taking part in a bespoke workshop with Same Sky in April and many will also be taking part in the parade with their placement schools.

We are also exploring how Same Sky artists can work with the University of Brighton Art Teachers Organisation which delivers art CPD to teachers in the region.  

Netty added: “I hope this will be just one of many new partnerships between our courses and local cultural providers.”  

Find out more about training to teach with the University of Brighton.  

Kerry Burnett • March 12, 2024

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