Charlie Cuhl 10, Lili Jenkins 9, Flora Perkins 10School children from London have been using their ears to identify the sounds of the River Thames as part of a new educational resource launched by Thames Tideway Tunnel.

‘Soundscape’, a specially commissioned piece of music embedded with sound effects that reflect the tidal River Thames and London, was played to politicians at the Houses of Parliament yesterday.

In partnership with Action for Blind People, Thames Tideway Tunnel created the project to stimulate children’s imagination through sound, and encourage them to respond creatively using art and literacy.

The cross-curricular resource is the newest addition to the Thames Tideway Tunnel’s education programme, Tunnelworks, which aims to help address the shortage in engineering skills by promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Nick Raynsford, MP for Greenwich and Woolwich and host of the launch, said: “London is one of the greatest cities in the world, one that is full of mystery, excitement and interest. I am delighted that the Thames Tideway Tunnel has developed this new education programme for children attending schools across the capital.

“It will help to ignite a passion in children for science, maths, art and literature, all through an exploration of London and the River Thames.”

Work from pupils at Telferscot primary, Millbank Academy, Green Gables Montessori and Wyborne primary schools was on display, revealing the artwork and literature they had created using Soundscape.

Mike Gerrard, Managing Director of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: “Soundscape is the ideal way to engage all children with the environment around London’s river and encourages them to think about why it is so important.

“The river is at the heart of this city and we are passionate about cleaning it up. By learning about the sounds of the Thames and what it means to London, we hope to pass on this passion to future generations.”

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a major new sewer that will help tackle the tens of millions of tonnes of untreated sewage that discharge into the tidal River Thames every year, for at least the next 100 years.

Susan Wright, from Action for Blind People, said: “Children with visual impairments from our Actionnaires clubs have had a great time making friends, whilst boosting their confidence through this unique sensory experience of sound.”

The Thames Tideway Tunnel already has a comprehensive educational programme on the Tunnelworks website, which includes a series of teaching and learning resources about the engineering behind the project. Additional materials on careers in engineering and construction will be included from March 2014.

Soundscape is suitable for use in Key Stages 1 and 2.

For further information email: education@tidewaytunnels.co.uk

For further information about Action for Blind People, visit the charity’s website: www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk

Soundscape can be access through the Thames Tideway Tunnel’s educational website www.tunnelworks.co.uk

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