2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta; to celebrate the university launched a ‘Modern Magna Carta Challenge” in which primary and secondary school pupils were challenged to create a physical response to the Magna Carta by creating their own idea of what a modern charter might look like.
106 pupils from five different schools took part in the challenge and the exhibits can be seen on exhibition in the Museum of Oxford from the 29 July – 19 August 2015.
In total the exhibition contains 24 physical exhibits from the students including paintings, photographs and sculptures as well as a DVD showing a collection of videos, including both original exhibits and students commenting on their physical exhibits. In addition there is also a large board designed by some Brookes Art students who helped curate the exhibition, which enables visitors to the exhibition to write down their own thoughts on the Magna Carta and human rights in general.
To support this project staff from the School of Education partnered with schools by running workshops exploring how to approach the challenge. During school visits, staff focussed on key issues like slavery, trafficking, religion, education and gender equality.
Rachel Payne, Senior Lecturer in Education: Art said:
“Through this type of engagement in real life contexts and through experiential learning students and teachers can offer lasting, deep engagement with key issues embedded at the heart of the Citizenship agenda in education. “
A one day Magna Carta symposium was also held on 18 June aimed at secondary school pupils featuring workshops delivered by staff from the school of education including Jane Fletcher, James Percival and Susannah Wright, as well as a keynote address by the rapper Akala.
See /magnacarta/ for more details of the project and a downloadable resource pack for use in schools.