Children from St Herbert’s School in Keswick have been helping with the preparations for the celebrations for 250th birthday of William Wordsworth today (Tuesday 7th April)
Through the ‘Encountering Wordsworth’s Legacy’ project, pupils from the school in Trinity Way have been imagining what it was like to live in his time compared to now.
They have also looked at how Wordsworth has impacted upon their place, and then used this experience to create a choral piece or artwork, which it is hoped will be performed or displayed later in this year.
The project has been led by Cumbria Development Education Centre (CDEC) working with the children, and with involvement by Wordsworth Grasmere and BlueJam Arts.
The children spent the winter months exploring and researching the great poet through contemporary objects from within Wordsworth Grasmere’s collection, while also interviewing the organisation’s education officer as an ‘expert witness’.
CDEC project officer Carol Lewthwaite engaged the children in thinking about what it was like in this part of Cumbria when Wordsworth lived, how it has changed over the last 250 years, what the pros/cons of these changes are, whether he had anything to do with these changes, and, if so, what has been the impact.
The pupils then worked with composer Ella Jarman-Pinto from BlueJam Arts to create a choral piece looking at the poem ‘Lucy Gray’ and decided which words were important, what they meant, and if their importance or emphasis changed the meaning.
In groups, the pupils chose the important words to emphasise and this began a rhythm, which was then placed onto chords depending on the meaning they wanted to give them.
The whole project, which included schools throughout Cumbria, has been possible due to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Hadfield Trust and Cumbria Rural Choirs.