Walk up the road to Thorpe Primary School and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were approaching the edge of the world – a hop, skip and jump from the school gates is the thundering, shuddering roar of the motorway. Once inside the lovely old redbrick school, though, the deep hum of engines is replaced by the wonderful high-pitched chatter of children, coming and going through the open library that sits in the centre of the building. It’s in here – and across the adjacent classrooms and hallways – that Space2 with 5 artists and 3 final year dance students from Leeds City College have come to set up camp with the children to make, create, dance and sing; to shout to the rest of the world about this little-known corner of West Yorkshire.
The ‘I Am’ project has been set up to help give the children at Thorpe a creative voice, a voice that tells its stories in all sorts of different ways. There are shoeboxes packed with memories and tales, dances and poems swapping words and movement across the corridors, bird boxes to fill the surrounding trees with chatter and songs to annoy the much-loved caretaker! And all of this noise, these words, movements and colour, all start with the phrase “I am” and will be celebrated with an exhibition across the school and 2 performance in March.
I am me, I am here, we are Thorpe Primary School. Expect this collective ‘I Am’ to be louder than the roar of the traffic, louder than the caretaker’s bellow, loud enough to be heard from Wakefield to Leeds!
Written by Boff Whalley
All the children of Thorp Primary School
Michelle Scally Clarke
Partners : Thorpe Primary School and Leeds City College