Students Shine with Splanna! A curriculum enrichment programme for young people

Splanna Group from Bodmin College in the woods with Footsteps of Discovery

Splanna! means ‘shine’ in Cornish, and is the name of a project, which is part of wider Kernow G7 Cultural Programme commissioned by Cornwall Council with support from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Fund.   

At Bodmin Keep Splanna! project work started in January with Learning and Participation Manager, Jo working with three groups of young people from Bodmin College and North Cornwall Academy.  Ali Perrin, Work Skills Coordinator at Bodmin College said:

When Jo contacted us about the Splanna project we jumped at the chance of signing up! To have this opportunity to see and learn about aspects of the military including the artwork, survival skills and medical remedies used has been brilliant. Our students are interested and engaged and relish the chance to try new skills such as woodcraft and metalsmithing. Splanna! is certainly living up to its name.

The project enables young people to access interactive learning experiences while exploring the museum’s collection of objects made by soldiers, often as part of their post-trauma therapy. Splanna! also inspires creativity, problem solving and promotes connection and wellbeing through the development of digital and heritage skills.

Active Plus – unlocking potential

Groups of young people have taken part in several sessions including some with Active Plus.  Active Plus uses the skills, experience and expertise of injured and retired military veterans to deliver unique programmes that build confidence, improve motivation, generate a sense of belonging and self-worth; helping people to unlock and fulfil their potential. Pete Fox, Lead Instructor Health Works for Cornwall said: 

Active Plus are delighted to be part of the Splanna! project and deliver sessions to the young people involved. Our instructors were able to talk to the groups about their own military experience, the struggles they have experienced since leaving, and the coping strategies they use to overcome these.  

We also put the groups through their paces with some of our practical activities which focus on confidence building, team work and communication skills. It was pleasing to see the enthusiasm and creativity which they brought to the tasks!

Survival Skills with Footsteps of Discovery

Each group of young people have also visited Footsteps of Discovery in Nantillio Woods near Truro for bushcraft and survival skills sessions.  Footsteps were established 17 years ago and deliver activities on a ten acre purpose built site.

Splanna! groups learnt fire starting techniques, catapulting and axe throwing.  Mark Sainsbury, Director of Footsteps of Discovery said:

It was lovely to see the students evolve in their time with us and start to bond as a team. Lots of laughter and new skills!

Woodcarving, military medicine and metalsmithing

Students have also been exploring natural materials and developing their making skills through woodwork sessions with John and Jane, instructors from Cornwall Woodcarvers. Metalsmithing sessions began mid February with Laura Brown of Elby Brown Jewellery with students learning practical skills to create rings made from copper and silver.

Local resident Sue Robinson, an expert on the history of military nursing, delivered a session on medical treatment during the First and Second World Wars and how crafting was used by soldiers to support healing after trauma.


Splanna! will culminate in an exhibition of the students’ woodcarving and metalsmith work in Summer.