Songs from Stones

Following a month-long programme of cultural and artistic activities in Beaumaris Castle and at prehistoric sites across Anglesey during August 2008, Cadw began an exciting five-year education project in 2009.

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This project is a unique and engaging way of delivering the skills based curriculum in and out of the classroom, and provides challenging yet high-quality experiences over an extended period for the teachers and pupils who take part.

The teachers and pupils are given the training, software, cameras and rostrums to enable them to create short animations inspired by and interpreting a historic site. The creation of the animations requires careful planning, research, the creation of a soundtrack and many hours of stop-frame animation.

The animations are shown at an end of year 'premiere' event in the local area, where the pupils and teachers involved in the project give short presentations about their involvement in the project, and all the animations created during the summer term are shown.

In 2009, the project involved five Anglesey Primary schools, who created animations focussing on Barclodiad y Gawres, Bryn Celli Ddu, Din Lligwy, Llyn Cerrig Bach and Parys Mountain.

In 2010, four Denbighshire and Flintshire Primary schools and a Welsh Language youth group created animated films inspired by and interpreting medieval castles in north-east Wales: Denbigh, Ewloe, Flint and Rhuddlan.

In 2011, the project involved five Primary schools in Monmouthshire, Newport and Powys, who focussed on Roman sites in south-east Wales: Brecon Gaer, Caerleon and Caerwent.

The project in 2012 travelled to sites and schools in south west Wales focussing on the remains of abbeys and religious buildings in the area such as Strata Florida, St Dogmael’s, Neath and Talley Abbey.

The final year in 2013 focussed on sites in Powys, looking at monuments relating to the princes of Wales including Sycharth, Montgomery and Dolforwyn Castles, Abbey Cwm Hir and the Scheduled Ancient Monument site of Strata Marcella Abbey near Welshpool.

The digital storytelling project used skills in communication, thinking, literacy, music, languages, team working, geography and art as well as history and ICT skills, tying in with the Curriculum Cymreig.

You can see the animations created by schools as part of this project on Songs From Stones website or the Cadw YouTube channel.