Edinburgh International Festival and Leith Academy Celebrate Partnership by Launching Brand

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A SCOTTISH ARTS Festival has teamed up with a local Leith School to unveil a new brand today in collaboration with the school to help with personal development.

The Leith Academy Residency was set up with the marketing team at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Leith Academy.

The brand-launch marks the end of a successful initial year of a three-year partnership between Leith Academy, Edinburgh International Festival and the City of Edinburgh Council, designed to enrich the life of the school by supporting the social and vocational development of pupils and create cultural opportunities for the wider community of the school.

The International Festival’s marketing team worked with third year Art and Design as well as Craft, Design and Technology pupils.

L to R Pupils Harmony Gosman, Martha Barr and Rhiannon Donnelly launch the Leith Academy Residency brand (C) Ryan Buchanan

Together they created a brand which incorporates both the yellow identity synonymous with the International Festival, and the blue of the Leith Academy school crest and uniform.

Activity reached over 4000 interactions in 2019 between the school and Festival stemming from a variety of projects around the theme of ‘identity’.

These projects included a Personal Development Award qualification for senior pupils to equip them with social and employability skills.

The second year will deepen the impact of existing successful projects whilst developing new initiatives exploring the theme of ‘diversity’.

New artists-in-residence include local theatre-makers and performance artists Emma Jayne Park and Peter Lannon, working with pupils to explore masculinity and gender; whilst Mamoru Iriguchi, Lou Brodie and playwright James Ley, will test and inform with Sex Education Xtreme, a project to collaborate on the development of a performance for young people aged 12-15 that seeks to give insight into sex education and the evolution of gender.

Other projects launching in 2020 include the establishment of a mentoring programme, which will pair International Festival team members with individual students at the school.

L to R Students Martha Barr, Brodie Birnie, Aaron Clason and Harmony Gosman with a special cake celebrating the Leith Academy and International Festival Residency (C) Ryan Buchanan

Caroline Donald, Head of Learning & Engagement at Edinburgh International Festival said: “Leith Academy has been a phenomenal partner in 2019 and has really welcomed the Festival into the school, which has been key to the partnership’s success. One of the school’s driving values is ‘success and learning for all’ which also underpins the Festival’s learning and engagement activity across the city, all year round.

Mike Irving, Head Teacher at Leith Academy said: “In 2019/20 there is an ever greater need to look creatively and collaboratively at our curriculum. Our work with the Edinburgh International Festival helps us harness the skills of creativity, team work, problem solving and communication daily. This particular branding event allowed our young people to not only see how branding ‘comes alive’, but to actually be part of creating it from start to finish with skilled professionals.

“In a world where the jobs young people will do is a dynamic and fluid one, we are very grateful to the wonderful opportunities the young people of Leith are being offered through the residency in order to open their horizons of what their ‘next steps’ may be.”

Councillor Ian Perry, Education, Children and Families Convener at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This fantastic residency at Leith Academy marks a real commitment from the Festival to working in a really sustained way with a school and its community. It builds on the previous successful Castlebrae residency and offers pupils and staff unrivalled access to cultural and creative opportunities. It also develops skills in real world situations and is supported by mentoring for pupils and high-quality professional learning for staff.

“We are very supportive of this partnership between the festival, the school and ourselves. I’m really looking forward to finding out more about the residency, how it develops over the next two years and the positive benefits for the school and the whole community.”

 
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