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The Amygdala Project

2008


The Amygdala Project For several years now we have worked closely with Professor Helen Storey on a range of challenging projects which have had a profound impact on our thoughts about learning. Our collaboration with the Helen Storey Foundation began in 2004 following a visit to the Creative Lab. This led to a project entitled Teacher Exchange. We have since worked with Helen to set up Eye and I at Thomas Tallis and, this year, we have helped to develop learning resources for the Wonderland project. In September 2008, we were the fortunate recipients of the model for Helen’s installation entitled Amygdala. Amygdala, or Amy for short, is a two metre high handmade book, made by Rachel Hazell, that examines creativity as a place of refuge and aims to capture the self-containment and privacy felt when reading. The amygdala represents a key part of the limbic system, which mediates emotion. It receives sensory inputs even before we are consciously aware of them, and helps us respond to dangerous situations, so in some ways it is the source of fear. It can also store fearful images and emotions. When we are being creative, appreciating art, (or sometimes even doing mental arithmetic!) we calm down the amygdyla thereby supressing its activity. Baby Amy is currently housed in the school library and we were keen to encourage our students, praticularly those in Year 7, to reflect on the meaning of this strange object. We decided to ask all Year 7 students to reflect on a time when their amygdalas were probably working overtime - the transition from their primary school to Thomas Tallis. In the spirit of the original Amy, we accepted all responses in whatever media, form and style the students felt appropriate. The only restriction was that it must all fit on a side of A4 paper. Our aim all along was to publish these responses in a book. This is it.


For further information about this project or the work of Thomas Tallis School, please contact: Jon Nicholls Arts College Manager Thomas Tallis School Kidbrooke Park Road London SE3 9PX T: 020 8331 3054 E: fotologic@mac.com


The Amygdala Project 2008 Thanks to all the contributors in Year 7 for sharing your feelings with us and for all your kind words and thoughts addressed to next year’s cohort. Thanks also to Professor Helen Storey for donating the model for Amygdala to the school since it has provided the inspiration for this book.

Profile for Jon Nicholls

The Amygdala Project 2008  

Year 7 students share their feelings about the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 inspired by a model for Professor Helen Storey's book "Amygd...

The Amygdala Project 2008  

Year 7 students share their feelings about the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 inspired by a model for Professor Helen Storey's book "Amygd...

Profile for fotologic