After researching the central role of waggonways in the history of the coalmining industry of the North East, the children worked with an environmental artist and teaching personnel to produce designs for a waggonways-themed stage as a new resource for school and community creative and performance-based events.
During their waggonways art workshops the children enjoyed opportunities to develop new skills working with wide range of creative media, producing a series of mosaic and wood relief panels depicting waggonways history.
The children’s mosaics and wood relief panels now provide stunning detail, telling the story of waggonways within the waggonways stage now installed at Whitehouse Primary School. Taking forward the waggonways theme, school caretaker Mr Ian Thompson has further developed the stage facilities, creating a seating area in front of the stage using reclaimed railway sleepers supplied by the Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields.
The waggonways stage has proven a very popular feature at Whitehouse Primary School, providing an exciting stimulus for a wide range of creative activities both during and out of school hours for children and the wider community. Recently, Year 1 children used the waggonways stage to perform Peter and the Wolf as part of their RE and Literacy curriculum. Out of school hours, children use the stage during breaks and lunchtimes to practice and perform improvised drama, music and dance for their friends. Also, the waggonways stage is used a key outdoor performance resource by the Stagecoach Theatre School, now based every Sunday at Whitehouse Primary School.
The school also hosted a celebration event for children, families and friends on Friday 15 February 2008. At this event, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside John Harrison, performed an official opening ceremony for the waggonways stage installation, congratulating the children of Whitehouse Primary School on their achievement and contribution to the local community through their Waggonways Project.
To view images of this project please click on the galleries at the top left of this page.