In partnership with Westleigh Methodist Primary School, the Turnpike was awarded the MaxLiteracy Award 2021 for the Concrete Poems creative writing project. Working with poet Elmi Ali and pupils from Year 5 and 6, the project unlocked confidence in writing through playful explorations of The Turnpike Centre brutalist building and William Mitchell's Concrete Frieze.
The MaxLiteracy Award provided a timely opportunity to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Turnpike Centre building, drawing on its artistic features and the original architectural vision as a dedicated community space for art, learning and wellbeing. The children also used creative writing to imagine the building’s future post-pandemic and beyond.
The Concrete Poems project built on the recent excellent work Westleigh Methodist Primary School have been doing to improve the reading and writing attainment of their pupils, by implementing an approach which draws on the arts as a key driver for learning. We are delighted to share outcomes from this project here, along with a Resource for Teachers which will be available through Max Literacy in 2022.
Funded by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, MaxLiteracy offers funding for museums and galleries in England to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work within learning settings through the visual arts. The Awards are run in partnership with Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education and the National Association for Writers in Education (NAWE).