In 2016, CCI began working with Mayfield, a two form entry local authority primary school in north Cambridge.
In just three years, the school transformed their approach to outdoor leaning, introducing 'out and about' time for everyone - the commitment for all children in the school to spend half a day outside every week throughout the year, being creative, whatever the weather.
Half a day outside. Every week. All year. Imagine if all children could have this. Below is a one minute film of an extraordinary day in March 2019 when 300 artscapers from Mayfield worked together across one day.
In 2019 a group of Mayfield Artscapers spent the day in the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education as 'artists in residence'. Together with their parents and educators they created a manifesto for 'how we want to be in our world' which has been shared and published in many places:
In 2020, Mayfield’s co-headteacher Paula Ayliffe, together with CCI’s Ruth Sapsed, Esther Sayers from Goldmiths, University of London, and David Whitley from the University of Cambridge, drew together an in-depth account of their journey together over those four years. Packed with many pictures and the voices of those involved (children, artists, parents and teachers), this publication offers a thrilling account of transformation.
An inspiring story, beautifully told: of how children are wondernauts; of how art and making can change minds and lift hearts; of how using the outdoors as a classroom can transform learning, and bring joy and hope. It's a chronicle of the ongoing, unfurling adventures of the imagination in one place, with one group, which ripples outwards in powerful ways.
Rob Macfarlane, writer and CCI Patron
In these pages you will find something glorious, splendid and deeply familiar blinking awake, but for too long marginalised and forgotten. Don’t avoid its gaze, rather allow yourself to fall in love with it, to trust what you discover and allow yourself to be transported by it. This is a precious gift, and I am deeply grateful for it.
Rob Hopkins, founder of Transition movement and author of From What Is to What If.
Artscapers: Being and Becoming Creative is not just pleasurable to read, it also serves an important function. It will act as an encouragement and inspiration to thousands of others in the English School system, including the many school leaders and teachers who currently feel lonelier than they should, following the unimaginative turn in education policy and unnecessary privations of austerity in recent years. It will act as a vital resource for their own boldness and practice.
Melissa Benn, writer and journalist