postcard to commemorate the past
LIVERPOOL'S Lord Mayor has
been busy making an embroidered postcard as part of this year's
World War One commemorations.
Over the past year Up For Crafts, a local arts organisation, have
engaged over 200 people from the Merseyside region, including Lord
Mayor, Councillor Erica Kemp, to create embroidered postcards
inspired by those sent back from the front during the First World
The finished project, Posting to the Past, will be displayed at
Liverpool Central Library from Saturday 8 November until Friday, 5
December, with a drop in workshop available on Saturday, 8 November
2014, from 11am to 3pm. Councillor Kemp, said:- "This is a fantastic initiative and I
am delighted to have been involved in producing one of these
beautiful embroidered postcards.
This has been a great way to commemorate the start of the First
World War and for community groups to get involved in this year's
World War One commemorations. I hope we can encourage as many
people as possible to go along to Central Library and take a look at
some of these stunning postcards."
These postcards were initially produced at the end of the Victorian
period, but became popular during the First World War when an
estimated 10 million postcards were produced for men on the front to
send back to their loved ones at home. Many of them featured images
of birds, flowers and loving messages however as the War progressed,
Allied flags, patriotic messages and regimental badges and crests
were also incorporated.
Workshops were held at venues across Merseyside including the Museum
of Liverpool, The Atkinson, Southport and The Williamson Art Gallery
on the Wirral. People of all ages created thoughtful embroidered
images, some of which carry dedications to family ancestors who
fought in the War.
Becky Waite, workshop co-ordinator said:- ""We have been
overwhelmed at the response for Posting to the Past from lots of
very talented stitchers in Merseyside.
We're honoured to be able to share these beautiful embroidered
postcards. During our workshops we met lots of people who hadn't
done embroidery since they were at school but once they took up a
needle and thread, they couldn't stop, and for some of our
contributors creating a postcard was a way of paying tribute to
grandfathers and great grandfathers who fought during the First
Up For Crafts also collaborated with community groups including the
Kaleidoscope Collective from the Bluecoat Riverside Housing and Age
Posting to the Past is a Liverpool City Council funded project from
'Up For Crafts'. 'Up For Crafts'
is an initiative from Voluntary Arts
England (part of the 'Up for Arts Project') in partnership with BBC
Radio Merseyside and aims to harness the power and reach of speech
based radio to raise the profile and visibility of heritage and at
risk textile crafts.
travels to explore best practice in foreign language teaching
CHARLOTTE Bailey, a teacher
of French and Spanish from the Wirral, Merseyside, travelled to
Australia and New Zealand for 5 and a half weeks on a Winston
Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship (WCMT).
Inspired by a 2013 report by The British Academy entitled 'Languages
The State of the Nation', which revealed that the UK is
suffering from a growing deficit in foreign language skills, she
wanted to investigate best practice in foreign language teaching for
young learners, whose mother tongue is English, to find out how they
are motivated and engaged.
In the UK, the age at which children can opt out of learning foreign
languages was reduced in 2002 from 16 to 14, which led GCSE entries
to plummet. Numbers have begun to rise again as a result of the
introduction of the English Baccalaureate, which favours a foreign
language component at GCSE.
Since 2014, the teaching of languages at
primary level is now a compulsory element of the curriculum.
However, the status of languages in schools and the progression from
primary to secondary are still key issues. Teaching methods and the
assessment process are also integral to the debate.
Whilst on her Fellowship, Charlotte visited many classrooms, and
spoke with both teachers and students, as well as to language
professionals and government departments. She realised that the most
successful language programs were those where students were so
involved in their language learning that they were unaware it was
taking place. These programs were either 'immersion' programs or
examples of CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)
Back in the UK, Charlotte will be investigating ways in which she
can implement some of the strategies she has seen into her own
school, and also hopes to disseminate her ideas through
language focused publications.
Charlotte told us that:- "If language learning is carried out in an immersive way, much
like how we learn our first language, then the most successful
linguists will emerge from this process. It is time for schools to
take languages on board as integral to students' cognitive
development, with language programs that offer rigour, progression
and real learning, in as authentic an environment as possible."