Case Study: Celebrating MK50 with Milton Keynes Academy

Cultural Providers: Katie Allen & Mini Map-Makers

Teacher: Stephen Darby

The Culture Challenge providers, Katie Allen , and Mini Map-Makers, were thrilled to be able to join 22 young people from years 8-13, at Milton Keynes Academy to create work to celebrate MK50.

The 22 students – also known as the school’s Cultural Ambassadors – came together to work with our providers to produce a map and various booklets depicting what Milton Keynes might look like in 50 years time – in 2067. The work that the young people produced during these workshops was then used in their presentation at the Capital of Culture Conference.

Before the workshops, teacher, Stephen Darby, wrote on The Culture Challenge application form, how he hoped his students would benefit from taking part in this activity. He said:

“The Milton Keynes Academy are responding to the MK50 campaign in a number of different ways and the school would like to take a group of young people through a series of activities that will help them explore their heritage and culture. This group will be named ‘Culture Club’… and will serve students in Year 9 plus, including pupil premium students. Students will be visiting different cultural sites in the city and they want to create a legacy piece to summarise what they find out. The funding will be used to enable the school to run a carousel day for students to explore which art form they want to use for their final piece…”

After the workshops, teacher, Stephen Darby, went on to score 4/5 for overall quality, suitability for the group, and the supporting materials that Katie and Mini Map-Makers provided – which we think is a great result! He also gave plenty of feedback –

“Really enthusiastic providers who were passionate about their areas of expertise. They were able to get students to engage with the project and develop work.”

“At times, pace was an issue, but this is understandable especially when the facilitators don’t know the students.”

“The supporting materials were great, and the final result was fantastic.”

Stephen also went on to say that the students particularly enjoyed illustrating their leaflets, and that there were a few lightbulb moments, which were “…all to do with the placement of different ‘sectors’ of Milton Keynes and how planning can influence all of these different sectors.”

When asked in what ways he might use The Culture Challenge website in the future, Stephen commented that he, “really likes the questionnaire tool and the ability to access potential artists.”

We think you’ll agree this is great feedback from Milton Keynes Academy. We hope we can work with them again on another new and exciting brief in the not-too-distant future.


The map created by Milton Keynes Academy for MK50
The map created by Milton Keynes Academy for MK50