About Learning Programmes

We help to bring out creativity through our artist commissions and educational resources. The goal is to make connections between what’s inside you and the world around you.

To offer the most varied and stimulating year-round programme, Factory International will also develop relationships with schools, colleges, the city’s universities, young people’s support groups and community hubs.

Our approach focuses on three key stages of learning: early years, at school (9-14) and in later life.

As we open our doors to our new home at Factory International, we will be inviting the youngest of our audiences to get involved in a little creative mischief for them to start building their cognitive and social skills.

Our early years programmes are in development but they will harness the power of art, play and creativity to catch little ones’ curiosity and trigger their imagination. One of the first commissions to mark the opening of Factory International will be First Breath – a celebration of new life in the city.

If you have any questions and suggestions, or you would like to partner with us, then please get in touch with us on creativengagement@factoryinternational.org.

Adolescence is the second most prolific period of brain development, building on formative experiences in early years.

Greater exposure to arts and cultural learning not only improves a teenager’s chances of success in their studies and future career, it boosts health and wellbeing.

Our year-round programme of collaborative sessions are inspired by commissioned artists at Factory International. They nurture creativity in the widest sense, from making things to problem solving and critical thinking.

Factory International new school’s partnership programme will be open for applications in Spring 2023.  Through this new year-round programme we hope to inspire young people across Greater Manchester to gain confidence from working together, build resilience and develop a deeper sense of empathy as they use art to find meaning in their own lives. To find out more about our schools programmes, please get in touch on creativengagement@factoryinternational.org.

Educational Resources

We have created several activity packs that can be used in classes and group sessions to encourage collaborative learning. Click to download:

Throughout the year, young people can experience what it’s like to work at Factory International with priority given to pupils in our partner schools and colleges who wouldn’t usually get the chance to work in the arts. To find out about becoming a school partner, please get in touch with us at creativengagement@factoryinternational.org.

There is no age limit at Factory International, or on creativity. Curate, design, deconstruct, film, write, reimagine… Anyone can have a go, in any number of ways.

You will use commissioned work as your starting point to question and make sense of the world around you.

Along the way, you will meet new people, pick up a skill or two and find a new perspective on any number of topics – all you need is a sense of curiosity!

Factory International’s Lifelong Learning Programme will launch in Spring 2023 in partnership with our Community Hub partners across Manchester. Get in touch on creativeengagement@factoryinternational.org to find out more.

Case Studies

Today I Feel Like Manchester

Artist Jeppe Hein asked around 1,000 primary school children to follow a breathing exercise and then paint a face that depicted their feelings in that moment. These artworks were then displayed in Festival Square during MIF21 and will be on permanent display at Therme Manchester wellbeing resort from 2023.

Animals of Manchester (including HUMANZ)

Thirteen pupils from Claremont Primary School were selected as Young Ambassadors to work with artist Sibylle Peters and curator Lois Keidan, as part of their epic Animals of Manchester project at the Whitworth art Gallery for MIF19. The young people invited applications from artists across the world to deliver talks on animals, and picked six to create 30-minute performance lectures at the gallery, alongside installations throughout the park, which the Young Ambassadors also hosted.

An illustration showing a group of animals in profile - a pigeon, hedgehog, rabbit, human child, tortoise, dog, cow, mouse and a squirrel.

A Podcast For All Animals

Atmospheric Memory Educational Programme

Atmospheric Memory

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was exploring how to visualise words and sounds for MIF19 and invited more than 600 primary school pupils to create their own responses.

In cross-curricular group activities, the children used their bodies to represent words and phrases (such as “razzmatazz”, “hard-boiled” and “over the top”). Along the way, they considered the emotional impact of the things they say and hear every day.

Pupils even invented a few words themselves. “Nigebow” anyone? It’s “a “special rare rainbow that comes out once a year in Nigeria.” Of course. How about a “Potatoghini”?

And you should see the number of ingenious word machines they designed.

Schools were then invited to Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory exhibition at the Science and Industry Museum, commissioned by MIF and FutureEverything. They viewed several artworks including the world’s first 3D-printed speech bubble and an invention that writes what you speak into a vapour cloud.

The Walk: When Birds Land

The Walk: When Birds Land

In July 2020, Little Amal, a nine-year-old refugee girl in the form of a 3.5-metre puppet, set off on an 8,000km journey from the Turkish-Syrian border to Manchester.

To celebrate her arrival, we co-ordinated a region-wide participatory programme: distributing activity packs to 4,000 pupils to help them develop empathy and an understanding of belonging; running music sessions at 10 primary schools with Music Action International; and dance and drama workshops with Magdalen Bartlett.

Manchester Street Poem, an art collective of people with lived experience of homelessness, produced a book of stories. Caring and Sharing, Rethink Rebuild Society and Support for Wigan Arrivals Project – community organisations who support asylum seekers – also created a patchwork quilt for Little Amal with local artist Ibukun Baldwin.

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