heartstone project at ugs

Year 7 take part in the Heartstone Project

This year UGS was delighted to be approached to take part in the Heartstone Project. Led by Sita Kumari and inspired by Arvan Kumar's book The Heartstone Odyssey, Heartstone is a non-profit arts, cultural and educational organisation founded in 1990 following publication of the book. 

After meeting with Sita and learning more about the Heartstone Odyssey book, and Heartstone's involvement with schools through story circles, photo-documentaries, exhibitions, events and performances, our Head Mrs Wall and several members of staff were keen to take the opportunity to participate in this nation-wide project and to give our Year 7 students the opportunity to engage and to be inspired to produce work that would reflect, develop and promote the core values of the project.

7M were selected to take part, and after being provided with photo-documentary materials and copies of the book, read, reflected and participated in peer-led discussions on the central themes and issues of challenging racism and intolerance in society, of crossing borders and boundaries, of awareness-raising, and of strategies to build empathy and a wider understanding across nations and diverse groups within society and culture.

Working with current Head of Art Miss Bamford and Literacy Co-ordinator Miss Hammond, 7M's early art-work comprised of drawings focusing on the mice protagonists who feature in the Odyssey story, and who support lead character Chandra in confronting prejudice and racism:

7M then progressed towards creating inspired beautiful pieces of stained-glass art that is reflective of all the issues that they had discussed, and their creations have been on display for students and staff to enjoy and to stimulate thought and discussion.

Finally today, in a culmination of the project and a celebration of all the work that has taken place, we were fortunate to enjoy a final presentation from Sita and some of the staff and students from schools and organisations that had taken part in Heartstone this year, including several Trafford primaries. And the Trafford-based Pulling Together Asian Women's Group, who were inspired to work together to create a beautifully crafted sewn multi-component banner, that will be given to local primary schools to display.

With huge thanks to Heartstone for inviting UGS to take part, to our Year 7s for their inspired creativity, and to the staff who supported them in their work.

If you would like more information about Heartstone and to see examples of the art-work, projects and performances of the groups involved, visit:

Sitakumari | Flickr