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in schools, and challenges young people to use art and creative writing to explore these themes. It is run with a number of partners, including SecEd,

Winning arts and minds T

EACHERS HAVE barely three weeks left to enter their students’ creative work for the seventh annual Arts and Minds competition. The initiative, run by the NASUWT

teaching union, promotes cultural diversity, equality and tackles racism

and students from schools across the UK, including short-stay units and special schools, can enter creative writing – short stories or poetry – and art. Entries can be from individual students or groups of pupils. Each year’s competition carries a theme to help inspire

entrants and this year it focuses on the “global element”. The winners of the competition will be invited to

attend a prestigious ceremony in central London, which will be held during Black History Month on October 12. With the competition also being supported by Love

Music, Hate Racism, previous awards ceremonies have seen performances from Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and singer Mellow Baku. The prizes include up to £1,000 for winning schools

and individual pupils receive vouchers worth up to £100 as well art materials and an exclusive Arts and Minds badge. As a partner in the awards and to celebrate the many

high quality and inspirational entries the competition has seen over the past few years, SecEd this week publishes some of the past winners and encourages all schools to get involved with Arts and Minds 2010. Last year, the competition took the theme of

community and the top prize was taken by Oakhill Secure Training Centre in Milton Keynes. Around 80 Oakhill students worked in teams to

produce a series of portraits of well known British icons, from Her Majesty the Queen to Derek “Del Boy” Trotter, which they set against a background of famous UK landmarks. The piece, called Our Diverse Cities, also featured poems by the students, and monologues in a range of different languages. Rob McCafferty, art and English teacher at Oakhill,

was on hand to collect the award with student, Reece Redgate. He said: “We have students sent to us from across the country, and getting them all to work together can be difficult. One of the teams working on this piece was made up of youngsters, all of whom were members of different London gangs before they were sent here. I only hope that this prize will give them an experience of success, as so many of our students have had a terrible path through life so far.” Another winner last year was Samantha, a student

at the Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in Rugby, who won one of the national secondary prizes for her artwork entitled We All Walk in the Same Shoes.

In 2008, the top prize went to Chloe Winter, a year 5

pupil at Carlton Junior and Infant School in Pontefract, for her artwork Hold On Tight. And going back to 2004, the first year the competition

took place, Roisin McNaney from Lumen Christie College in Derry won the national secondary prize for her Aboriginal-style artwork. Speaking to SecEd at the time, her art teacher John

Kerr said he planned to use the money to expand the school library.

“You spend a lot of time as a teacher telling pupils

how wonderful their work is when it’s not so wonderful, so its great to be able to say it and really mean it,” he told SecEd. “But so often the work is just exhibited at the school.

It’s nice to be able to show it off to a wider audience,” he added. Other supporters of the awards include Unite and the

Refugee Council. To register and for more information, visit


Inspiring: (top, right) Rob McCafferty over- saw the work by students at Oakhill Secure Training Centre in Milton Keynes, who were the overall winners in 2009; (top, left) We All Walk in the Same Shoes was one of three winning pieces in 2009 by students from Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in Rugby; (above) Roisin McNaney from Lumen Christie College in Derry won the national award back in 2004 for her Aboriginal-style artwork; (left) the top prize in 2008 went Chloe Winter, a year 5 pupil at Carlton Junior and Infant School in Pontefract, for her artwork Hold On Tight

SecEd • June 10 2010 13

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