Immerse was an ambitious and immersive three-year project working with 6 primary schools in Edinburgh (based in areas of greater need and high index of social deprivation).
In Year 2 (2020/2021), the project included the following elements:
A literacy project for primary schools, which aimed to inspire and develop imaginative teaching practices for literacy, whilst placing the teacher at the centre of the creativity. The project starts with children reading a picture book about two mischievous characters who then disappear, leaving tiny footprints on the blank pages. Children are then tasked to rescue them by writing stories. The teacher received training and a box of props and the project was teacher-led (unlike the Immerse Year 1 Lost Lending Library project which was led by independent artists). A Small Tale aims to engage pupils with books and stories, inspire a love of writing and raise standards in reading, speaking and literacy.
Each school spent one term working with Artists in Residence. Due to COVID-19, most elements of the residency were delivered online using virtual meetings with artists working remotely and participating teachers and children at home or in the classroom (unlike Year 1 when all sessions were delivered in person). A mix of recorded and live sessions were used across schools. Artists shared knowledge and experience to help both pupils and teachers develop new skills, explore aspects of live performance and push their boundaries.
All schools were also invited to engage with the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival which, in 2021, was delivered digitally.
A four-day artist intervention project, with 2-3 artists in each school leading various creative explorations with children. Activities were undertaken outdoors and in person. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this was the first and only ‘in-person’ activity which was delivered in schools during Year 2 of the Immerse project.