Monday saw the launch of the Heartstone Odyssey Project with Year 5. King’s St Alban’s is lucky enough to be one of ten schools across the county to be participating in this exciting project, in partnership with the South Worcestershire Hate Crime Forum. Built around a novel, the project teaches respect, tolerance and understanding of past prejudices through common human experience in a safe, child-friendly way.
Year 5 began their journey through ‘The Heartstone Odyssey’ adventure story by Arvan Kumar and had a thoughtful discussion about the things we have in common with those around us and also our differences. The journey will deal with issues of identity and how historical events and past prejudices and stereotypes affect society’s tolerance of difference. The novel has begun in earnest and the children have met Chandra, our ‘heroine’. There is much excitement about what might happen next!
The organisation running the project, Heartstone (www.heartstonechandra.com) has over 20 years’ experience in this field and has won national and international recognition for the approach used with children in this age group.
The project has secured the involvement of several famous names, including Sir Derek Jacobi, who has become Heartstone’s Patron, Dame Judi Dench and Dame Joanna Lumley. It has been commended at national government level and its development has received Arts Council funding. In the summer there will be a final exhibition for the project in Worcester.
This is an exciting project for King’s St Alban’s pupils to take part in and we look forward to sharing their journey with you in due course. Year 5 will have a timetabled one hour sessions each week focussed on the Heartstone Odyssey and will include many areas of the curriculum, particularly English, PSHE and Art.