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NCFE and Isle of Wight Council develop range of carnival courses.

David Grailey is chief executive of NCFE, the national awarding organisation

Carnival fever has hit the Isle of Wight following the implementation of a new range of qualifications aimed at adult and community learning.

The Isle of Wight Council has recently developed a range of qualifications aimed at encouraging local people to get more involved in the many carnivals held on the island. The courses have been developed using NCFE’s Level 1, 2 and 3 Certificate in Creative Crafts (Carnival Skills).

Carnival culture is deeply embedded in the history of the Isle of Wight and England’s earliest recorded carnival took place on the island in Ryde in 1888. Each year the Isle of Wight holds 19 summer parades and 8 winter parades.

The qualifications explore a range of key elements including the history of carnivals, carnival designers, researching themes, pattern cutting, sewing, creating headdresses, accessories, costumes and choreography.

Frankie Goldspink, Carnival Development Officer at Isle of Wight Council, explained: “We were looking for a carnival course to run but found there wasn”t one so we decided to write our own programme. We selected NCFE for the accreditation as it is a respected awarding body which is nationally recognised and provides a good range of arts qualifications that are accessible and easy to adapt to suit community learning situations.”

Frankie Goldspink continued: “The courses have had a huge impact on the whole community. The number of adults working as skilled volunteers in schools and community groups has increased, there has been an increase in the number of locally trained and skilled carnival tutors available to deliver extended programmes and there has been an economic impact due to carnival regeneration.”

David Grailey, Chief Executive at NCFE, said: “We are delighted to support the Isle of Wight Council by accrediting the carnival qualifications. We have now had over a quarter of a million registrations on our creative craft courses and the carnival qualifications are an excellent example of how NCFE courses can benefit individual learners and whole communities,” he added.

Madeline Westbury recently completed NCFE Level 3 in Carnival Skills and commented: “Being accepted for the 20-week NCFE Level 3 advanced course was a major boost to my confidence. I am very proud and feel quite privileged to have taken part. It enabled me to expand my skills and I met some brilliant people along the way. We all had the same brief, but everyone came up with utterly different pieces and each person had their own distinctive style. I have gained a lot more faith in myself and my ability.”

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