Learning Projects




Learning Projects

With families staying inside their homes and schools on pause, there is more need than ever before for interactive, engaging, hands-on learning opportunities for young people that can be undertaken at home.

Carnival art is the essence of creating something magnificent from very little.

Our emphasis on recycled and reused materials means we are perfectly poised to present you with creative learning made with items found in every home.

Supported by the University of Oxford

We are working with three groups of researchers at University of Oxford Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division: Zoology led by Liam Crowley; the Museum of Natural History, led by Chris Jarvis; and Earth Sciences led by David Pyle. Huge thanks to the University of Oxford for funding and supporting our virtual learning projects.

Our Artists

Caitlin Howells

Caitlin is an expert in  home-schooling and a community carnival artist with a specialism in cross-curricular projects delivered in schools.  Caitlin is sharing her expertise to ensure our projects attain the highest quality while being approachable, and within the capacities of parents as well as pupils!

Caitlin has been working with Liam Crowley of the Department of Zoology on the bee hotel.

Emily Cooling

Emily is a carnival artist specialising in large structures and lanterns, working with willow, withy and other materials to create beautiful 3D carnival art. Emily has extensive experience of working with young people.

Emily shows you how to create your own paper insect collection. 

Groovy Su_Jeff Slade

Groovy Su

Su Frizell – or Groovy Su as she is better known – is a specialist in inclusion and eco arts. Su is resident artist at the Ark-~T Centre in East Oxford and expert in carnival arts – costume, headdress and structures – made from recycled and reused materials.

Su has made an amazing Buff-tailed Bumblebee from materials you will have at home as one of our Carnival at Home Learning Projects.


Andrew Manson – or Mani – is Oxford’s most prolific street artist. His graffiti can be seen all down Cowley Road and at the covered Market in the city centre. Mani works with apprentices at the MINI Plant to design and create the amazing Mini cars which make a stunning focal point in the Carnival procession each year. Mani has also worked with the Virtual School ad Chilworth School, notably making the man-eating shark for the procession in 2018.

For our Virtual Carnival Learning Projects in 2020, Mani shows you how to make a fire god mask. 

Following These Projects Will

Improve scientific understanding

Workshops delivered by University of Oxford academics will give young people the opportunity to engage in practical, scientific workshops and gain access to new subject matter.

Challenge you to rise to a new academic level

Working with top academics and museum professionals will encourage and challenge participants to think of themselves as scientists, and to rise to a new level of engagement with the science we explore.

Provide an introduction to academia and expand aspirations

A creative opportunity to engage with the University of Oxford, broaden horizons to find out what the University does and what it can offer.

Photography by Anthony Morris

Young People Will Gain

Access to creative thinking and developed artistic skills

Use their imagination, to respond creatively to a theme and, with the support of a professional artists, given  free reign to respond creatively using materials available at at home.

Research skills

Young people are encouraged to delve into the thematic matter, history of carnival, and to work individually and in groups to input their knowledge into their designs, music and dance.


Envision their own creation and bring it to life, with the guidance of a professional artist.

Improved mathematical and physics skills

Often those who struggle to engage with maths will flourish in the practical approach which is offered by engaging with how to create and assemble a large willow make, or keep a dance or music rhythm. Accurate measurements, drawing diagrams, or writing music engages practical learners and supports their maths and physics education.


Young people will gain confidence and self-esteem through positive evaluation of their work by scientists and artists.We will provide opportunities for interaction, using of film and photography. Our technical team will create slideshows and film footage celebrating these projects and the young people’s fantastic hard work.