‘THE MAP OF WONDERS’ – how creativity mixed with Jersey’s history and folklore supports children’s wellbeing

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ArtHouse Jersey​ is delighted to announce ​‘The Map of Wonders’​, an initiative that is being implemented right across Jersey’s primary school sector. It seeks to improve the wellbeing of schoolchildren by encouraging communication and relationship-building through creative collaborative work, all the while raising the standard of arts and creative education. It is the first project of the Genesis Education Programme, a partnership between ArtHouse Jersey and the ​Government of Jersey’s Department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES).

‘The Map of Wonders’ ​project is a seven-part series of quests to be rolled out across primary schools between now and June 2021. Supported by seven uniquely produced films, created by ArtHouse Jersey, featuring locally born performer The Story Beast aka John Henry Falle, each of the episodes focuses on learning about aspects of Jersey using tales of local history and folklore to engage ​children in their island history and the creative arts, while​ enhancing their sense of belonging. ​The first Jersey story being explored is ‘Treasure – the Story of the Câtillon Hoard’. The key objective of the project sits within the Education Department’s ​‘Recovery Curriculum’​, a learning structure that supports children’s wellbeing in light of the ongoing pandemic. The nature of the work will encourage relationship-building while providing a creative space to talk with fellow classmates and teachers, supporting the development of social skills and reigniting a sense of connection for children of all ages who might have been affected by the restrictions COVID has imposed.

The​ Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, ​said: “This is a wonderful programme which will help Jersey children to find out more about the place they call home. The arts are something that we should encourage our children to take part in and this project is a great opportunity for our young people to get creative.”

The project has been made possible by a generous donation from Saltgate Ltd that complements funds provided by the Education Department as part of their Covid relief response.

Hannah Culshaw, Saltgate’s Chief Corporate Officer,​ said: “Promoting education and enabling young people to reach their potential is a key area of focus for Saltgate Giving. We have a track record of working with charities that strive to enrich the local communities where we operate and ArtHouse Jersey sits directly within that work. The Map of Wonders project has the potential to make a huge impact on thousands of children’s lives in Jersey, at a time when anxiety may be heightened and wellbeing compromised. We’re delighted to be able to support something that so creatively aims to address those areas in so many young people’s lives at one time”.

Director of ArtHouse Jersey, Tom Dingle, ​said: “We are extremely proud to announce this exciting project, which couldn’t happen without the support of CYPES and Saltgate Giving. The Genesis Education Programme is designed to help nurture a sense of wellbeing within young people, whilst also seeking to extend arts provision across schools islandwide, both of which sit right at the heart of our partnership with CYPES. We hope that children and teachers alike will feel as inspired as we have by the stories and work that has gone into making ‘The Map of Wonders’ such an engaging, creative artistic tool for children. We are extremely grateful to Saltgate Giving for their invaluable support in enabling this inspirational project.”

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