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Factory International Takeover

This year Melland High School have accessed Factory Schools Programme. Experienced, practicing artists have delivered weekly interdisciplinary workshops in our school with both formal and semi-formal learners. The workshops are linked to commissions happening at Aviva Studios, which are designed to improve young people’s wellbeing and social and emotional learning. The programme is designed to build aspiration, ambition and wellbeing with young people which creating opportunities to visit the building to watch the shows and experience exhibitions. These shows have included; Free your Mind by Danny Boyle, Kalabanté Productions: Afrique en Cirque and Robert Wilsons Jungle Book to name a few.

Over the course of the year both groups have been preparing with four other schools to ‘takeover’ Aviva studios. On Tuesday 25th June the takeover become a reality.

Inspired by Robert Wilson and CocoRosie’s interpretation of Jungle Book the pupils designed and built huge masks and puppets of a Tiger, Elephant, Snake and an Eagle. This was lead by amazing artist Caroline Daly. We used bamboo to build the structures and Papier-mâché for the base and painted.

The designs were then used in a dance and movement workshop with The Night People. They used the latest technology of motion capture to create a video of the performance of all students involved to be showcased at Aviva Studios.

Four other schools collaborated in the takeover, all contributing ideas of what they would want to feature including Bruce Asbestos’ playful sculptures, mindful music with Manchester Camerata, Doodle Wall with Pete Obsolete and printing with Ibukun Baldwin. There were also performances from all the collaborating schools and headline performances from STUDIO88.

Both groups were able to attend the takeover day and access all activities and show their work from the year. We were also able to invite our LG3 pupils in 6th form as special guests.

The event was a huge success and our pupils’ showcase was received well with fantastic feedback. The highlight must be the headline acts of Madi$on, Millz and LayFullStop from STUDIO88 performing which has everyone dancing and having a great time. This moved into a rap cypher where students from all school were able to join in with a rap freestyle. Three representatives from Melland High School hopped on stage with no prompts and wowed the crowd with their amazing raps.

Factory Schools project has been an amazing experience throughout the year that has not only built on confidence and creativity but also friendships, experiences and lifetime memories. The event itself was so inclusive and created such a safe environment for our students and huge thanks has to go out to the event organisers.

A lot of credit for the achievement must go to staff involved, particularly Paul Morgan and Kerry Bowie whose commitment to the project was integral for it to be a success. Also, Reece Williams a poet, actor and presenter and Tallulah Millington a dancer who were our main facilitators were amazing. They were so adaptable and creative throughout the year that inspired and supported the students along the way and felt like full time members of staff.

Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
Melland High School
Gorton Education Village
50 Wembley Road, Gorton, Manchester, M18 7DT
Ofsted CEOP