Before COVID-19 scuppered our plans, we had been developing a project to work with the first schools in Lowick, Ford and Norham-on-Tweed, supporting Yr4 pupils prepare for transition to middle school.

We had planned to use some of the stories we were developing for our Lost, Found and Told: New Tales of Northumberland live production as the basis for a storytelling, visual art and drama project where pupils explored the prospect of new journeys; what physical tools and emotional resources might be needed; what challenges might be faced, and how they could be overcome.  The project was to culminate in a performance by the children of the work that they had produced.

Lost, Found & Told Digital Storytelling Project - an oil pastel and black marker pen drawing on the page of a book depicting a large yellow moon behind a forest of trees and casting shadows. © Hannah Fox/November Club

However coronavirus closed the schools and stopped groups performing. Undeterred, we used our own creative skills to fashion a digital version of the project.  Newly created films use ​animation, storytelling and music to tell the story of ​'How the Forest Came to Be​'; it involves a Hob (a Northumbrian Goblin), a Pele Tower, and two brothers called Ford and Etal.  The story explores change, resilience, friendship and adventure; what challenges we face during times of change and how can we support each other. 

We are releasing an episode a week for five weeks between 8 June and 10 July.  Each week the children will be given a creative activity connected to the story, which when completed they share online with their friends and teachers.  The activities will also enable the children to work towards achieving the Discover Arts Award. 

We can’t show you any detail of the project at this stage, because it is hosted on the November Club website in a private password protected ‘members only’ area, which only parents who have signed up to the project have access to.  We thought long and hard about how to safeguard the needs of children who contributed to the project and the private website area solved those needs.

Depending on how the project proceeds (and we are currently very pleased) we hope to offer the project to other schools.  We’ll keep you posted.  If you wish to find out more, contact our Participation Producer, Louise Taylor-Asheg, through [email protected].

Credits:

Original story written by Fiona Ellis:
Adapted by Hannah Fox and Zoe Lambert
Directed and animated by Hannah Fox
Narrated by Zoe Lambert
Music by Hans Troost

Partners:

Norham St Ceolwulfs Church of England First School
Lowick Church of England First School  
Hugh Joicey Church of England Aided First School, Ford

Supported by:

     Hadrian Trust - a logo with Hadrian written in white on a black background, and Trust written in black on a white background.

Banner Image © Hannah Fox