Walking the dogs led to a new idea to inspire us all about Norfolk life

A sail boat on the Norfolk Broads

Appreciating what we have in Norfolk is key to Inspiring Norfolk - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Discover the amazing parties surrounding Queen Elizabeth I’s journey across East Anglia, take a peek behind the scenes of the Royal Norfolk Show, find out how to survey otters, which Norfolk man battled a giant or what it means to be a midwife or artist.

Inspiring Norfolk is an education project celebrating living and learning in Norfolk, bringing the richness of our county into classrooms and homes.

A website packed with videos and ideas of what to enjoy about our county, it’s the vision that if something is fun, exciting and interesting, learning comes naturally.

It’s the brainchild of Penny Sheppard, headteacher at Queen’s Hill Primary and Nursery School, who had the idea on an early morning walk during lockdown, after filming school dogs Molly and Jasper to share in remote assemblies. 

Penny Sheppard, Head TeacherQueen's Hill Primary and Nursery School and co-founder of Inspiring Norfolk

Penny Sheppard, head teacher at Queen's Hill Primary and Nursery School and co-founder of Inspiring Norfolk - Credit: Inspiring Norfolk

“The children have loved finding out about what has been growing in the fields and hedgerows. I thought it would be good to expand on this idea by asking others to provide a film to share something about Norfolk, its people, places and history. I thought other schools might like to use the films and the concept of Inspiring Norfolk was born!” she says.

Partners involved include Norfolk County Council, where senior advisor Jonathan Nice says: “During the pandemic, children didn’t have access to places, experiences and activities that were normally available, and we wanted to give children the opportunity to realise what Norfolk had to offer by highlighting places, people, careers, activities and experiences.”

Redwings Horse Sanctuary staff with a donkey

One of the Inspiring Norfolk videos features Redwings Horse Sanctuary and the amazing work they do in equine welfare - Credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Fred Corbett, chair of St Benet’s MAT and governor at Thorpe St Andrew High School, says the project brings the enrichment opportunities that have been hard to access during covid lockdowns.  

“The more we can appreciate a place’s heritage, its people, its events, its inventions, its place in the nation’s life the more we can appreciate deep down feelings of the place … and ultimately our pride and love of the place.”

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The Inspiring Norfolk website is packed with video resources about all aspects of Norfolk life. Here are three to get you going...

Chloe Jennings from Banham Zoo holding a bug

Chloe Jennings from Banham Zoo talks through the many different jobs there are at the zoo - Credit: ZSEA

Working in a Zoo
It’s not only cleaning out the birds and animals or checking tickets on the way in – there are masses of different jobs at the zoo.

This film meets Chloe Jennings, education officer at Banham Zoo, who started her zoo career painting faces in the summer! She shows us some of the many jobs from toy making, enclosure repairing, sweeping, animal training, gardening and train driving, along with work for electricians, managers, graphic designers and more.

Britten Sinfonia orchestra

Find out what it takes to put on a Britten Sinfonia orchestra performance at Norwich Cathedral in one of the Inspiring Norfolk videos - Credit: Britten Sinfonia

Britten Sinfonia

Listen to this world-famous orchestra playing in concert in Norwich Cathedral. Meet the musicians and find out about all the preparation that takes place before a concert – there’s a lot to do! 

Spot the different sections of the orchestra and try to identify their sounds as they play.

Emily Jupp of Milly J Shoes

Emily Jupp of Milly J Shoes talks about her passion for upcycling shoes in one of the Inspiring Norfolk videos - Credit: Sonya Duncan

On A Shoestring

Emily Jupp, of Milly J Shoes, creates new shoes and upcycles existing pairs as her part in the move away from fast fashion. We see how she transforms old shoes into ready-to-wear beautiful new 
and unusual bespoke designs using fabrics, bows, modelling clay, buttons, beads and paint. Give it a go, she says.

Get involved by exploring www.inspiringnorfolk.co.uk – and use the videos to inspire your own adventures this summer!