Unwritten Handbook: The School and the Neighbourhood
Stephanie Cubbin, Chris Jones and Janna Graham launched The School and the Neighbourhood: A Subverted Curriculum, a curriculum for use by teachers and students to bring their schools into conversation with their local area.
The curriculum was based on knowledge produced during the Edgware Road Project at St Marylebone CE School, a Performing and Visual Arts multi-faith Church of England School in West London. The project was a four-year residency that took place between 2009-2013, in which the art collective Ultra-Red worked in the context of the school and the neighbourhood, involving teachers, administrators, students and local activists
In a moment where the arts were being systematically removed from the education system, the authors discussed the collaboration, what it meant to have artists in residence in schools, and the benefits and challenges that the introduction of radical education approaches brought to the school. The development of the curriculum came from the desire to share approaches and strategies with more teachers and students, as well as the need to reflect on the legacy of the project and how it influenced the practices of teachers at the school.
This publication was part of the pamphlet series Studies on a Road, which documented projects commissioned through the Serpentine Galleries’ Edgware Road Project.
Unwritten Handbook was a seasonal series of conversations with artists commissioned through Education and Projects at the Serpentine Galleries.
Stephanie Cubbin is an Artist and Educator that has been at St Marylebone School since 2001. Stephanie now works as an educational consultant for St Marylebone Teaching School alongside teaching and has supported many heads of departments developing their curriculum, improving results and supporting middle leadership. She advises on policy implementation and attends the All Party Parliamentary Group for Art & Design Education.
Janna Graham is a writer, organizer, educator, and curator who has initiated community, pedagogical, artistic, and research projects in and outside of the arts for many years. Prior to her current appointment as Head of Public Programmes and Research at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, Graham was a curator at Serpentine Gallery in London, where she worked with others to create The Centre for Possible Studies, an artistic residency, community research space, and popular education program in the Edgware Road neighbourhood. There, artists and local people developed “studies of the possible” in response to the social inequalities of urban space. She also ran a three-year program of artists working in care contexts, culminating in the recent publication Art + Care: A Future (2013) to which she contributed. Graham is also a member of the international sound and political collective Ultra-red and has been an artist, researcher, and educator at institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; and Plymouth Art Centre, Plymouth.
Chris Jones is a member of Ultra-red and the long-standing community social centre and archive 56a Infoshop in The Elephant. As part of the Edgware Rd Project Chris spent many hours with pupils of St Marylebone investigating together what it means to be a pupil in the current policy-led overdrive for vocation and career. They also worked through issues of work, regeneration and migration through free-from work experience and curriculum based investigative processes using sound and collective listening.