At Moat Brae, our diverse Creative Learning & Engagement programme aims to celebrate and encourage a love of books, reading and storytelling in young people. The programme is ongoing with initiatives taking place in communities across Scotland. The spectrum of activity involves work with schools and colleges, pupils, students and their teachers, lifelong learners and those wishing to learn less formally. The programme focuses on:
• Creative Learning
• Literacy, Language and Writing Skills – by encouraging a joy of reading and storytelling
• Storytelling and Performance
• Therapeutic Activities
Throughout the 2020 lockdown, Moat Brae engaged with schools across Dumfries & Galloway to produce story podcasts that the pupils themselves created. Building upon Moat Brae as JM Barrie’s own ‘enchanted land’, each school was given a simple brief – ‘imagine your own enchanted land and create a story about it’.
Once lockdown took hold, the resulting work was reimagined as broadcasts from Moat Brae’s very own imaginary pirate radio station, Radio Wendy, currently moored somewhere off the Solway Coast.
Many thanks to Portpatrick, Leswalt and Kirkcolm Primary schools in creating ‘Our Enchanted Lands’ story podcasts using online studio Soundtrap.
Storytelling with LIFT
In early 2021, Moat Brae partnered with Lochside is Families Together (LIFT), a local charity in Dumfries. The charity aims to tackle deprivation head on through events, grassroots community initiatives and artistic endeavour. Our Learning & Engagement team worked with the charity to create an exciting programme of storytelling and story making, accessed virtually to help combat isolation in young families.
As part of this work, the Creative Learning & Engagement team engaged with regional storytelling practitioners to help create accompanying resources.
The Magical Travel Guide Book with Grimm & Co
Beginning early 2021, the Magical Travel Guide Book Project is an exciting collaboration with Yorkshire based Grimm & Co. the world renowned Apothecary to the Magical. The initiative brings together children from England and Scotland to write, illustrate and publish their very own travel guide book, detailing the journey and locations found between Sheffield and Dumfries.
… however, this isn’t a normal travel book, this is a MAGICAL travel book, a travel book for both humans and magical creatures!
The resulting book will be published by Sheffield Hallam University Press, with the young people working alongside industry professionals from the worlds of publishing, illustration, and expert facilitators from both Grimm & Co. and Moat Brae. All participants will receive a free copy of their book, and will become published authors.