LAST CHANCE FOR SCHOOLS & GROUPS TO PLACE ORDERS

Schools and youth groups across the city have until 31 January 2017 to secure their very own Big Sleuth bear cub to decorate and see on display this summer.

Blank sun bear cub sculptures, one metre tall and made of fibreglass, are available to order until Tuesday 31 January as part of the Learning Programme, The Big Sleuth’s creative education initiative for Birmingham’s young people.

Jenny Leonard gets creative with a cub sculpture

Jenny Leonard gets creative with a cub sculpture

Following fun in the classroom, turning a ‘bare’ bear into a work of art and learning about local history, the environmental plight of sun bears, South Asian arts and culture, or even famous bears and fictional detectives, young people will see their colourful sculptures join the giant bears on the trail this summer. At the end of the display the sculptures are returned to the schools and groups that designed them to become a lasting legacy for pupils, their parents, and staff.

Featuring Wild in Art’s latest sculpture of a sun bear, The Big Sleuth will see 100 giant bear sculptures individually designed by local, national and international artists. The giant sculptures and the cubs will be displayed across Birmingham and its surrounding areas for 10 weeks on a free art trail to help raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The Big Sleuth – so named because sleuth is the collective noun for a group of bears – will bring together business and creative sectors with schools and local communities to celebrate the city’s heritage, and showcase its rich and diverse cultural offer.

Alan Beale, Head Teacher at Regents Park School, said: “Having taken part in previous projects, The Big Hoot and The Big Read, we are really looking forward to being involved in this year’s project, The Big Sleuth. We have planned some fantastic, creative activities that will take place in our Forest School woodland and children, parents and staff will all be invited to take part. It is exciting to know that we will be creating a piece of art to share with the rest of Birmingham and that we will be helping raise vital funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in doing so.”

Briefing sessions to help teachers get the most out of the project will take place in January and February at Peters, the UK’s leading specialist children’s book and furniture supplier. A handy resource pack has also been produced, which contains sample lesson plans and cross-curricular ideas for Key Stages 1 – 3. The resource pack gives ideas about how to get the whole school involved and get young people excited about arts and crafts, while learning about important topics, from citizenship to health and wellbeing.

Packages for the Learning Programme start at £695 (+VAT). This can be supplemented with Writing West Midlands training for teachers, which is designed to provide imaginative ways to help children discover and develop a passion for creative writing, and exclusive Paint Your Own figurine packs for participants.

Annie Laughrin at Wild in Art said: “The Big Sleuth 2017 is taking shape and we’re delighted to have teamed up with Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and Educational Sponsor, The Schools of King Edward VI, to once again deliver an exciting Learning Programme for schools and groups.

“The cub sculptures are proving a hit, so much so that we’d love for even more young people to get involved! Teachers, join our learning programme and see decorated cubs created by your pupils on this summer’s bear-illiant trail in Birmingham!”

Annie Eytle, Acting Events and Regional Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity said: “At our hospital we are passionate about the development of children and young people, and The Big Sleuth Learning programme is a great way to bring the excitement of the project into the classroom and beyond.

“The Big Sleuth is a major part of our fundraising plans this year and we hope that by giving young people this level of ownership of the project, they will play a key role in helping us to raise much-needed funds.”

Denis Ramplin, Director of Marketing & Communications for The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham added: “We were delighted to have been involved in both The Big Hoot and The Big Read, and if designs on the sun bears are as fantastic as those we saw in previous events, then we are all in for a treat!”

“As Educational Sponsor we are also looking forward to meeting colleagues from primary schools at the briefing sessions, where we will be presenting a fabulous competition for their pupils to take part in.”

Visit our Learning Programme pages to find out more.