Kielder First School pupils get photographing for art show in Bellingham

Children from a Northumberland school captured one of Kielder's most famous sights as part of an Arts Award project

Fiona Lander. The children at Kielder castle Scarlet Mumby, Tom Storey, Jenson Mumby, Lucy Nichol, Jakin Iden and Ben Storey
The children at Kielder castle Scarlet Mumby, Tom Storey, Jenson Mumby, Lucy Nichol, Jakin Iden and Ben Storey

Children from Kielder First School captured one of their village’s most famous sights as part of an Arts Award project.

Pupils teamed up with the Heritage Centre at Bellingham to photograph Kielder Castle, which they can see from their school windows.

They learned how to compose, take, crop, edit and manipulate images, and the best pictures will go on display at the Heritage Centre.

The project was initiated by Bridge North East, which provides practical support to promote young people’s engagement with the arts, culture and media in the region and will result in the school getting a Discover Level Arts Award.

David Walmsley, the Heritage Centre’s education and curatorial adviser, said the inspiration for the exhibition was famous Northumberland photographer Walter Percy Collier, who captured the landscape around Kielder in the early 20th century.

“The Heritage Centre has a vast photographic archive and so a photographic project seemed the perfect way to engage these children with their own heritage,” said David.

He added: “The pupils explored the inside and outside the castle. I taught them different camera angles, framing techniques and how to compose photographs.

“Back in school I enjoyed showing them how to enhance, and manipulate images, as well as using creative effects using simple software. I was amazed at how quickly they picked up the skills and technical knowledge.”

Each pupil has selected their best six images, which will be the centrepiece of an exhibition in one of the recently-restored old railway carriages used as education space next to the Heritage Centre.

Jak Iden, seven, whose father Malte is recreation ranger at the castle said: “I thought the photography project was very good fun and I enjoyed taking photos of Kielder Castle from all different angles. I am going build up a scrapbook with all my photos.” Headteacher Fay Hartland said: “This project has been a wonderful opportunity for the children at Kielder First School. We have all thoroughly enjoyed undertaking the Discovery Art Award and are excited about seeing the work displayed.”

A preview will be held for families and guests on Thursday, with the photographs remaining on display until the end of November. The pupils will also showcase their work alongside other projects at an event at Belsay Hall on November 29.

Helen Green, head of Bridge North East, said: “The partnership between the Heritage Centre at Bellingham and Kielder First School in producing this exhibition is a great example of how resources can be used to inspire future generations.”


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