High school students spend Brexit weekend at arts festival celebrating links to Europe
PUBLISHED: 17:15 31 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 02 April 2019
A group of students at a mid Norfolk high school have spent what was meant to be the first weekend after Britain left the European Union celebrating their school's connection with the arts and culture of the continent.
Pupils at Dereham’s Northgate High School, in Dereham, spent the weekend with visiting students from The Netherlands, Germany and Bulgaria taking part in activities to boost their cultural awareness and creativity.
The event was launched by the school’s head of music who organised the weekend, which was themed around the concept: Home is Where the Art is.
Cath Brooks said: “The arts festival has been running since 1995.
“Chris Rankin who played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films took part in the first one when he was a student at Northgate.
“He sent the students a video message.”
She added: “It’s about creating work together and while they’re doing that they’re finding out about each others’ home lives and where they come from.
“They’re nor just sat together in their own individual countries.”
It began with a series of ice breaker sessions,which involved students creating objects, such as a fruit bowl, with their bodies.
Groups got to spend time on the north Norfolk coast exploring photography, and enjoying workshops in dance, drama, art, and music.
The high school and Dereham Sixth Form have been part of an Erasmus + program - which partners them with schools across Europe - for more than 25 years.
Stacey Lynn, Northgate librarian, said: “On Friday, March 29, the school hosted visiting students at a European Arts Festival. Students from The Netherlands, Germany and Bulgaria joined students from Northgate and Dereham Sixth Form for a weekend of arts related activities.
“The festival was an opportunity for pupils from different cultures to work together creatively. It aimed to provide them with skills and strategies to become culturally and linguistically richer.”
She added: “A group of Northgate students recently had the opportunity to travel to Dortmund, to one of our partner schools, where they got the chance to learn about German school life, home life and opportunities for young people and experience it first-hand.
“This is just one of the many trips which is run in conjunction with Erasmus + and our European Partner Schools.”
The arts festival, which ran from Friday, March 29, to Sunday, March 31, was part of a two-year collaboration funded by the British Council and the European Union, between Northgate High School, Dereham Sixth Form College and three partner schools in Bulgaria, Germany and the Netherlands.
The project is focused on raising the aspirations of young people.