Great Exhibition of the North

On Monday Year 6 completed the City Trail of the Great Exhibition of the North. We started outside Newcastle Theatre Royal where we read some poetry. We discussed the permanence of words, once something is written it is final but in this piece the words disappeared after a few seconds and replaced by others. No line is ever repeated.

We visited Grey’s Monument to talk about the rights of workers and an exhibit in Eldon Square about the ‘Little Black Dress’. The dress is made from a material called graphene which is 1 million times thinner than human hair yet 200 times stronger than steel! We had an interesting discussion about the design of the dress and what we might change about it, most agreed that it was a bit revealing!

From there we visited the City Library where we viewed ‘Delicate Shuttle’ a piece of art by Henna Asikainen who is a Finnish artist. She created the piece, inspired by refugees and migration, with falling poplar leaves. The class commented about how the art made them feel, what they thought it represented and how they would improve it. Some comments were:

‘the clusters of leaves represent families staying together’

‘they’re all the same colour to show that everyone is the same and equal regardless of their background’

‘to improve it I’d put something at the bottom to show they were heading to safety’


In the afternoon we visited the Great North Museum, where there was an exhibit which appealed to everyone. John Lennon’s piano, Jessica Ennis-Hill’s shoes, a spacesuit that has actually been in space and a floating shark! The children enjoyed looking round and trying to spot all the items in their activity booklets. It was lovely to see them engaging with the exhibits permanently housed at the museum too, especially as they’ve studied most of the topics throughout their time in primary school.

All in all, in was a pretty good day. The exhibition is on all summer throughout Newcastle and Gateshead and I hope the visit inspired the children to visit other venues around the city.


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