This week saw the exciting grand reveal of Under Liberty Skies and Ozzie the Osprey, literacy projects created with OitC, Literature Wales, Sea View Primary and Townhill Community School.
Over recent months there’s been an exciting programme underway at the Liberty Stadium as Ospreys in the Community linked up with Swansea Council and Literature Wales to help parents and pupils from the city’s Sea View and Townhill Primary Schools produce a book and a film.
The two schools attended weekly sessions at the home of the Ospreys, exploring the Liberty Stadium and even meeting Ospreys players to help get their imaginations flowing to produce the finished article.
Renowned children’s author Mike Church worked with the pupils and parents of Sea View Primary on a book, and after a few creative lessons and brainstorming exercises they came up with the fantastic story of “Ozzie the Osprey” and how he became the team’s mascot.
Mike also joined filmmaker Natasha James to work with Townhill Community School on their poem and film about Ospreys match days, “Under Liberty Skies”. The group came up with the wording, acted in the piece and worked with green screen technology to create the film.
Following a summer of production it was time for the big reveal of both projects this week, with Cllr. Jennifer Raynor - Cabinet Member for Education, Improvement, Learning & Skills, Cllr. Mary Sherwood - Cabinet Member for Better and Rachel Moxey - Head of Poverty & Prevention, joining the schools, Ospreys in the Community staff and Ospreys player Bradley Davies at the Stadium to see the finished projects.
It was also an opportunity for the schools to see each others work for the first time with Mike Church doing a reading of the book before the film was premiered to the waiting audience. Everyone then received a copy of the book, which was produced in English and Welsh, before getting a surprise from Ospreys in the Community as they were all invited to the Liberty Stadium to not only watch the Ospreys take on Zebre, but see the films public premiere on the stadium’s in-bowl mega screens twenty five minutes before the match kicks off.
Paul Whapham, Head of Community – Ospreys Region, commented on the project:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have been part of this project with Swansea Council and Literature Wales. It’s been a very unique opportunity for the parents and pupils to work together and the feedback we’ve had from the participants has been fantastic with them saying it’s not just been a lot of fun to work on but has brought them together as both families but also as a group with the other parents.
“I’m delighted that they have all enjoyed the experience so much and that they will treasure the memories they have made and their copies of the book and film. It’s also wonderful to hear that they have discovered new passions such as acting and writing through taking part in the project that they would now like to pursue.
“We’ve really noticed a difference in the pupils and parents from the start of the project to today with their confidence having really grown and they should be very proud of themselves for their hard work and effort to produce two really wonderful literacy projects. The programme really has had a big impact and hopefully is something we will be able to do again in the near future to extend the opportunity to even more people.”
Feedback from parents and pupils of the schools about the literacy project included:
“I thought it was amazing. It was brilliant spending time with my boy, I would definitely do it all
“It was not a typical school day – a whole new experience and I’d love to do it again.”
“Amazing family bonding and learning all in one. Appreciate the opportunity”.
“Really enjoyed the experience and hope it keeps going for other children. We made some good memories”.
“The project is an absolutely fantastic way to get kids and parents working together as a group, would love to do it all again.”