The music room in the education building at Stratford was transformed thanks to students on the MA Interior Design course, who imagined a pirate ship, sea and island with a volcano using materials, lights and sounds. Students from the music technology department assisted in the creation of a soundtrack. Students and lecturers from applied drama also participated. The setting allowed teachers from the Hackney Pirates to set the scene of pirates being shipwrecked on a desert island to inspire children to create stories.
Anastasia Karandinou, programme leader for the MA Interior Design course said, "Working with the children and the Hackney Pirates is a chance for our students to be able to participate in civic engagement and work with talented colleagues in other departments at UEL. This was an excellent learning opportunity for the students to be involved in a real life project from conception to completion."
UEL students sat with small groups of children and helped them create short stories about what might happen to pirates on an island. The stories involved treasure, mystical creatures and Lamborghinis.
Jennah Brewer, a childhood studies and special education third-year student, helped some of the children create stories. She said, "It was an amazing experience and really good to work with local kids and help them develop their creativity. This was a great insight into the imaginations of year 6 pupils and I loved how they came up with all these crazy, fun and fascinating stories."
Jude Williams, the chief executive of the Hackney Pirates, said, "An interest in education and the potential of children and adults is what has brought us together. We all care about young people's success and it is important to help them explore the creative side of writing and feel energised about their own creativity. By working in partnership with UEL we have been able to achieve the creation of an immersive environment in which children can be creative. The partnership has brought children, students, volunteers and staff together to give the children a chance to really love their writing and feel proud about it."