As part of their enrichment activities, ten Perse pupils are currently working on a Sketchbook Exchange project with students at Christel House Schools in India and South Africa. The art project was inspired by Look at Book, a collaborative sketchbook exchange and exhibition by four artists on both sides of the Atlantic – Oliver and Rory Jeffers in Belfast and Mac Premo and Duke Riley in Brooklyn, New York.
The ten students taking part in each school are given a sketchbook and asked to work on one of four themes – Identity, Family, School or Recreation. The students are paired with one student from each of the other two schools and work in response to their partner's work. Once each theme is completed, the sketchbooks are posted to the next school in rotation. The exchange works as a visual stimulus and it is hoped that students from all three schools will benefit from being inspired by their partner's artwork, as well as developing an understanding of the cultural similarities and differences.
Once the exchange has been completed, the sketchbooks will be exhibited and the Perse pupils will publish a book to send to the schools in India and South Africa.
Christel House schools are a foundation of six charitable independent schools around the world located near deprived areas with the express aim of helping children escape poverty through education. Students are carefully chosen from the surrounding, most deprived townships. The criteria for entry is unlike any other school : the children must be the poorest of the poor. From these desperately poor beginnings with children who cross the academic spectrum, the school provides everything needed to flourish: free uniform, equipment, food, transport and most importantly a high-class education with the power to change their lives for ever. The Perse has begun a long term relationship with Christel House to support them in their work and to benefit our students and staff with the diversity of culture, life-experience and charitable opportunity which their schools provide. This joint project has already involved a member of staff visiting the Cape Town school for two weeks to review and assist with Maths and ICT. A visit to India is planned for this summer and a student enrichment activity planned for next academic year.