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Suffolk at Play

New community project for Year 8 students...

What was it like to be a young child in Suffolk?   What toys, interests and games did you have as a child?

These are the type of questions being asked of our students as part of a new 12 week intergenerational project capturing childhood experiences of five communities across Suffolk,  under the banner of ‘Suffolk at Play’.

‘Suffolk at Play’ , led by Suffolk Artlink, brings together different groups within the same community – in this case students from the Academy with members of the Felixstowe Library Top Time Group – to take part in reminiscence and creative writing sessions and create original animations, based on their shared memories and experiences of childhood play.

Each week, a group of Year 8 student met to take part in professionally facilitated sessions to record the memories and views of the group.  These sessions are very hands on, and involve using heritage resources to help stimulate memories, thoughts and create discussion. 

Eva Porter has really enjoyed the sessions ‘It’s been very fun so far, hearing other people’s memories.  It is surprising that so many are similar to mine.’

Zelal Bicen felt the sessions have helped her to get to know new students saying ‘This project has been really fun – I have met new people and found out what they used to enjoy playing with.‘  Finley Sheppard agreed with this adding ‘it has been great to have the opportunity and time to talk to other people from my year, not just the people of my age or the people I hang round with.  I’m looking forward to meeting the older group.’

Jess Ozanne was already looking ahead to meeting with the other Felixstowe group saying ‘I am really excited about meeting the older people next week and seeing what they did as children.  I enjoyed seeing what people used to play with years ago this week, it is going to be fun!’

‘Suffolk at Play’ will help students to develop creative writing skills, stop frame animation skills, story board creation and help create new relationships with a different generation. 

The project will build an audio and visual archive that will become part of an exhibit that will be housed at the Museum of East Anglian Life and Suffolk Records office, but feature in a county wide tour.   The project will also include a celebration event, which family and friends will be invited to share in. Each student will receive a copy of the animations, a set of cards printed with images and creative writing, and a certificate of attendance.  

To follow regular updates from this group, make sure you check out the 'Suffolk at Play' blog by clicking here

Reminiscence project concludes with public presentation of students creative work...

‘Fun’, ‘exciting’ and ‘creative’!  These were the words repeated over and again by students when asked to describe their participation in  the ‘Suffolk at Play’ project which ran every week throughout the Autumn Term.

Year 8 students Zelal Bicen, Levi McAllan, Jessica Ozanne, Eva Porter,  Calise Roadnight, Finn Shephard and Harrison Ward all volunteered to take part in the reminiscence project, facilitated by Suffolk Art Link.  Our students shared stories of their childhood with members of the local community from an older generation, recording these discussions to create a booklet and produce an animation video.  The booklet and video were presented to the public at a presentation in Felixstowe Library.  

Mrs Collin loved being part of the project, saying ‘I was really pleased to have been involved with such a wonderful group of students in ‘Suffolk at Play’. It was lovely to talk about how we were the same, but different in our youth and it brought back lots of memories from my childhood. 

Seeing the project at the end and all the work that went into it from everyone was very rewarding. All the students involved showed real commitment to the project and really enjoyed taking part.’  

Eva was surprised to find that ‘we had similar interests as the older group when we were really young.  It was great to hear about the games they had played and to find that we had things in common’.

Jess enjoyed the interaction with the older group too, saying ‘we had lots of fun with the other group – I saw them in a different light when they talked about their childhood, and their favourite sweets!’  Zelal added ‘it was great to be able to put these memories into an animation video and booklet.  I was excited seeing the final version of the animation video on the Cube and seeing the other group once again.’ 

If you have a chance to pop into Felixstowe Library you can see the animation on the Suffolk at Play Cube, as well as look at the scrapbooks and 
booklet of their shared memories. You can  also view them at the Suffolk Art Link website.