On Thursday 28 September, pupils from participating schools converged on Bulwell Riverside to unveil the Kindness Quilt they helped Create as part of RSE Day 2023.
More information on the Kindness Quilt is available below.
Nottingham City Council founded RSE Day in 2018 and continues to lead this nationwide celebration of excellent education around healthy relationships and positive sexual health. The day is a call to action for schools, families, communities and organisations to take an active role in educating in this area and share their fabulous work via events and on social media.
RSE day always takes place on the last Thursday in June, and ChalleNGe has worked closely with RSE day Coordinator Catherine Kirk over the last 4 years, to support creative ways to celebrate RSE - from livestream broadcasts during lockdown to this year's collaborative Kindness Quilt project. We've gathered and recorded Kindness Stories from children in schools across the city to add an interactive element to the quilt - which will go on tour to Nottingham City libraries and Newstead Abbey in 2023/2024.
You’ll find lots of great RSE Day Resources for Primary and Secondary Schools and Parents on the RSE Day website.
Browse through the brilliant kindness stories as told by the pupils of the Nottingham schools who joined us at Nottingham Council House on RSE day 2023.
We've commissioned Textile artist, Rebekah Johnston, to lead a collaborative schools project for 2023. Rebekah delivered a creative CPD session to teachers from 19 schools across Nottingham City in April 2023, and each school went away with a lesson plan and question prompts around Kindness, and pack of fabric to make their school's quilt square - which was to be stitched back together by Rebekah into a quilt.
'Stitching is important because it’s chance to detach from our screens, carve out moments for reflection, and foster human connections'.
Rebekah also worked with pupils in year 4 at Whitemoor School and Glade Hill Primary to create embroidered samples to include in the Kindness Quilt. These samples were inspired by her 'Ups and Downs quilt.' They explored how shapes and colours could represent a wide range of emotions. During the workshops Rebekah said that the students showcased remarkable skills in deciphering meanings, and it actually made her re-evaluate her own work from fresh perspectives.
The act of making by hand can create a mindful experience, and the rhythmic process of hand stitching allows for a calming space for participants to open up and engage in meaningful conversation. So alongside stitching, the students were also discussing various ways to be kind, and how their actions can impact their community and the environment, as well as each other.
As part of the project and to celebrate Nottingham’s Year of Stories, we’ve also been recording children telling stories of kindness which will be accessible via QR codes on the quilt. These stories will highlight the impact that even the smallest acts of kindness can have on the world around us and the importance of kindness to children growing up here. This was also one of the key findings in Nottingham’s Discovery phase to become a Child Friendly City – children want others to be kind and we’re hopeful that the Kindness quilt will share this message when it’s touring to libraries and at Newstead Abbey in 2023 and 2024.
We hope the quilt will inspire people's empathy, compassion and understanding and act as a catalyst for people to have conversations about kindness.
The idea of being kind to the environment is also symbolised through the sustainable and responsible practices this project has used. Rebekah’s work encourages the use of environmentally friendly materials, and emphasises the importance of garment mending and repurposing. Pupils engaging in the project are being taught transferable skills that can be used to reduce waste, and the ability to live a more sustainable lifestyle. As Nottingham aims to be Carbon Neutral by 2028, we’re always keen to find ways to support this goal and promote environmentally friendly ways of being creative.
Written by Olivia Gough, Liberal Arts BA at University of Nottingham while on placement with ChalleNGe.
For RSE Day 2022, schools in Nottingham created welcoming community spaces using children's RSE inspired art-work. With the theme Celebrating Differences - Everyone Can Sparkle, Artist Rachel Scanlon developed a series of Star-themed creative activities resulting in some wonderful displays and reflections.
the 2021 RSE Day was a great success with a Livestream full of great activities. You’ll find Nottingham artists, poets and writers setting challenges linked to the theme 'Faces' and healthy relationships for children and young people to work on. Scroll down to see the gallery of all the work that shared with us by Nottingham city schools.
What an amazing day of activities and workshops organised by Nottingham City Council in partnership with ChalleNGe. Thank you to everyone who watched and took part. If you missed the live stream, you can watch it here.
It was a full day of creative workshops around the key relationship themes of communication, cooperation, trust, resilience and respect, all created by local artists and hosted by Jon Rea. You can see the individual artist's workshops on our YouTube channel.