Innovative and creative engagement

Carousel has an active arts based approach to heritage learning.  Through an innovative and creative engagement programme, Carousel increase children’s and their families understanding of, emotional involvement with, and support for their rich local heritage.

Songs and storytelling have been used for centuries as a way to communicate information, excite listeners and stir up curiosity. Carousel artists explore this method of learning, to inspire children to create stories which can be passed on through generations, as our ancestors did.


“It [the arts based approach] did improve the level of engagement as the facts that came through the story telling were reinforced through art and dance. This gave all children a chance to learn no matter how they learn (aurally, visually or kinesthetically).”       Stuart Ridge, Key Stage 1 teacher, All Saints Primary School

“The learning aspect was so well thought out and the children loved it!” Jo Portway, Chard Library Worker.

Carousel are unique in our area in bringing heritage to life for young children. For all the children at our session it was the first time they had learnt about the local heritage of ironworking and to do so through dance, craft and storytelling meant the children were fully engaged.

It was wonderful to see the children taking their first steps in discovering archaeology as well as thinking about the science of extracting iron from the earth. I am delighted that the public library could facilitate that learning.”

Sarah Jones, Library Supervisor, Axminster

Stories from the Landscape

Stories from the Landscape, The Carousel Project in partnership with NT Killerton and Stoke Canon C of E School

During academic year 2016/17, Carousel have secured funds from Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver ‘Stories from the Landscape’, an ambitious community heritage project in partnership with Stoke Canon C of E Primary School and National Trust Killerton.

The project will look at features in the landscape of the Killerton estate, focusing on the traditionally managed orchards, the Iron Age site of Dolbury Hillfort, and Killerton gardens with its collection of plants and trees from around the world.   All three sites reveal important and exciting stories about the local heritage and are examples of how the landscape has been shaped by people in the past.  The sites will be explored in three six week projects, one per term, through site visits, workshops, living history activities and events.

The project launched in September 2016 when the Year 2 pupils spent six weeks investigating the importance of Killerton’s orchards which not only produce apples for cider and apple juice, but also make an important home for wildlife.  Through a range of creative workshops, including a bioblitz, wildlife web and trip to Clyston Mill, pupils, teachers and parents celebrated life in a traditional orchard.  They even made their own special cider (apple juice), harvesting, squeezing and pressing their own apples as well as seeing the 200 yr old press in action.  Lou Prideaux, Education Volunteer at Killerton summarises the Orchard work below.

While this and the other activities educated the children in creative ways, the whole project had two further functions.

Firstly, it was clear that many of the children grew in social and communication skills as they worked consistently in small groups. Teamwork was essential, and a positive outcome of these burgeoning skills was self-confidence. I witnessed quieter children take a little more initiative each week, and those who were naturally more extrovert became more focussed in their energy and their attention.

Secondly, the project promoted an ethos of care for the environment which went beyond the level of education. Children who know they should care for the landscape may grow up to do so. Children whose imaginations are caught by the magic of the countryside will want to work for a healthy and more beautiful natural environment.  In partnership with the National Trust, the Killerton Orchard project achieved these goals in a short space of time. As a teacher and education volunteer I learned a great deal from it, and I very much enjoyed being a small part of the project.” Lou Prideaux, Education Volunteer at Killerton

After Christmas, we’ll be moving onto explore the Iron Age site of Dolbury Hillfort with pupils from Key Stage 2, then Summer will see the reception children enjoying six weeks exploring the Victorian Gardens, including the famous Bear Hut.