great arts & cultural stuff to do at home


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Meet your Virtual School's Arts Champion

We asked Helen Hardwick - Artslink Lead, Education Development Officer KS1 & Year 3 and SEN at Sandwell Virtual School - about her arts interests:

Q: What was the first live music gig/concert you went to?

Helen: The Drifters


Q: If you were in a film or story, which character would you like to be?

Helen: Rita (Susan) in Educating Rita

Q: Quick fire questions: choose one option for each quick fire question. Would you prefer to…

  • Dance or watch TV? Dance

  • Art gallery or cinema? Cinema

  • Be in a performance or be in the audience ? Audience


What is your favourite arts activity to do ?

Helen: Going to the theatre

Here's a sample of some of the arts organisations in Sandwell....

Black Country Touring

Performances, podcasts, events, projects.

Creative academies Network

Events and projects.


Project and events

Sandwell Music Education Hub

Instrument lessons and events.

Blue and White Creative

Events and projects.

Creative Black Country

Project and support for groups to develop creative activities etc.

Ingestre Hall

Residential Arts Centre

Sandwell Libraries

libraries and events

You can find out about some of the arts & cultural activities on offer in Sandwell through a useful search function at Sandwell Family Life


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What does your Virtual School believe that ARTS (music, dance, drama, art, literature, digital, etc) and CULTURE (museums, libraries, historic places of interest etc) offer your young people?

A shared experience with others. Those with different backgrounds, age, ethnicity. Arts and culture offer opportunities for learning, entertainment, leisure, personal growth, and improving communication with others. we do need to explore as a Virtual School committee to start getting the museums/libraries side of the council to develop an offer for children and young people in care.

Arts and culture also help feed and grow creativity, develop exciting and bright communities and enable people to showcase talents and knowledge.

Describe your Virtual School’s local arts and cultural offer

  • We have offered every family in Sandwell and those placed out of Sandwell with a child in care an annual pass for The Black Country Living Museum, The Iron bridge Gorge Museums or the National Trust.

  • The Participation team have offered projects which include Christmas at the valley, they made free tickets available for our young people and also set days. 

  • The Bear Project where young people worked with a local art company in Cradley Heath to develop the Big Bear by children in care.

  • We usually team up with SHAPE to do the arts activities at their events and host talent shows at Coneygre and participation events with many arts activities at various different sites such as t-shirt designs, 3D printing, etc.

  • All children in care and their household are offered free Leisure Passes for Sandwell Leisure Centres and Walsall have also provided free Leisure Passes and swimming lessons for those Sandwell children placed in Walsall.

  • Free Music lessons in school are offered to years 4, 5, & 6. We hope to continue this into secondary.

  • Via the PEP, we agree arts experiences on an individual basis.

Any particularly effective or successful partnerships and projects that you currently have/previously have had with local artists or arts organisations?

All of the Artslink offers have been enjoyed, such as the Give it a Go in Walsall, poetry writing, Hip Hop. The Participation Team also offers Floetry – which is poems and rap combined.

What local arts events or venues are you personally looking forward to visiting once they open after the latest lockdown?

Personally the theatres are top of my list, and live music venues.