Engaging families with creative learning at the Towner

Staff and students from three primary schools worked alongside a creative, inspired by the collections at the Towner Art gallery, Eastbourne. Each school project aimed to engage families with the creative process and culminated in a shared event – the Towner Takeover Day – where students exhibited their work and led creative activities in the gallery spaces.

Who was involved

  • Young people and teachers from Bourne, Langney and Oakwood primary schools, East Sussex
  • Creative practitioners: Ed Boxall (illustrator) Saj Fareed (visual artist), Karen Taylor (visual artist)
  • Helen McAleer, Education and Learning Manager, Towner Gallery


How can families become actively and creatively involved with the learning of young people through experiencing the Towner gallery?


  • To encourage teachers and young people in Eastbourne to collaborate on an event at the Towner Gallery
  • To engage local families with the programme of family events and activities at the Towner Gallery
  • To encourage local people to visit the Towner Gallery
  • To encourage teachers to develop schemes of work across the curriculum, based on the resources of the Towner Gallery
  • To engage families with creative learning in general


Teachers and practitioners benefitted from shared planning sessions facilitated by Creative Partnerships and the Towner Gallery, sharing ideas and good practise.  All partners were brought together at the Towner Gallery event and the gallery spaces curated by students and were used in untraditional ways (for example, with one exhibition space in the lift!)

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I enjoyed planning the tour for our parents because we all got to take part, I feel nervous but excited.

Pupil, Bourne School

It was great because I’d never been to the gallery with my parents before and we got to take them in the art store.

Pupil, Langney School

Kids enjoyed themselves and were enthusiastic, it was a joint learning and sharing experience.

Parent, Bourne School

Towner is such a vibrant place, dedicated to learning at every age.  The gallery offers lots of ways to learn together as a family both at Towner and when you return home, filled with creative inspiration. These events will no doubt inspire teachers and parents with lots of new ideas to make homework exciting!

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Councillor Neil Stanley