Glue, paper, plaster and paint…

Through drama, dance, art and writing opportunities, the Ancient Greek Myth ‘Theseus and the Minotaur‘ was brought to life. Action, energy, structures and words drove the creativity. Well done 5MJ for completing a learning journey that definitely made you think, engage and persevere.

Do you know the difference between a labyrinth and a maze? After their time in the art studio creating and making, building and painting one, Y5MJ now do.

Their relief labyrinths were made using newspaper, glue and acrylics. The intricate passageways becoming ‘tedious’ to make as they didn’t just materialise but required focus and concentration as the newspaper was folded and then manipulated to follow their designs. The labyrinths demonstrated the skill of creating tints and tones as well as learning the complementary colour to the primary colour. Together they looked beautiful. Hopefully there was a sense of pride at what had been achieved over a number of hours!

In addition, 5MJ made their own Ancient Greek vases. Creating the vessel was quite therapeutic as the plaster was massaged in. If not wet enough, the Modroc would fail to bind and the pot collapse when dry. A few ‘lips’ and ‘feet’ were lost because of this. Black silhouette scenes from the myth Theseus and the Minotaur were painted on- a thin brush giving the detail required.

Friday’s celebration was a platform for 5MJ to share their learning journeys with an interested adult. The ‘Take Over Day Mrs J’s’, introduced the afternoon and shared some of the learning before Year 5 performed their dance and gave their honest reflections about the successes and challenges faced. A carousel of taster workshops then provided an opportunity for parents to see and experience some of the learning that took place over the fortnight.

The feedback was complimentary-except for the music playing repeatedly in the art studio. The theme tune from ‘The Crystal Maze’ was suggested as an alternative! Here are just a few:

Impressive work. Well done everyone.’

‘Good pieces of art. the children really worked so hard and it was brilliant. The Tzatziki was fantastic and will definitely try it at home.’

Very well organised. Enjoyed taking part and watching what the children had practiced. Lots of learning has been done! Thank you for sharing it with us.’

It was great to see how much Mayako had learned and enjoyed this interesting project. Thank you for the opportunity to see how she gets on at school.’

Blitz…Abram Games…evacuees…

The opening chapters of Emily Carroll’s book ‘Letters from the Lighthouse’, inspired the art, dance, baking and writing opportunities for 6SK’s Arts fortnight.

The exploration of materials and papers informed pupils on what they would use in order to capture St Paul’s Cathedral during the Blitz. As a result, collage, acrylic, pastel, pen and graphite were used in different ways on different paper size and colour. Pupil choice encouraged independence and ownership of their art even though the brief and stimulus was the same.

Searchlights, Luftwaffe, bombs, shattering glass, buildings collapsing and fire devouring were the words and phrases given as prompts for the gestural section in the dance piece. Seeing the collaboration within each group to portray the Blitz was really powerful. Thank you 6SK for the energy and commitment each of you put into your piece. As one parent shared, Friday’s performance ‘showed the experience of war-embodied’.

Inspired by Abram Games and other war artists who produced posters during WW2, we had a go at creating our own slogans. There were a number of challenges including creating a legible font and having the scissor skill in order to cut out the letters. Perseverance and patience was required. However, as the screen printing on the posters show, we got there in the end-with some prints created on the Friday afternoon in the art studio.

Below are some of the lovely comments shared by parents:

‘Really enjoyed the time with kids and teachers. We are excited to see the different dimensions they are exposed to-art, dance, cooking, history. Thanks to all of you.’ Rohan’s Dad.

‘An absolutely amazing performance. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great writing as well’ Areena’s Mum.

‘Thank you for another wonderful experience. Such high quality learning and the standard of writing and art was amazing.’

‘It was excellent learning around my kid Rayyan. An excellent way of teaching.’

‘Children have been engaged in amazing activities from which they have learnt a lot about WW2 and beyond. Thank you very much.’

‘Dancing showed the experience of war-embodied. Doing dancing helped us understand all the work that had gone into the performance. Art amazing and inspiring as always.’

Letters from the Lighthouse

Celebration of learning captured on camera

This fortnight it was the story ‘The Spider Weaver’ that inspired the artwork, dance and writing as well as the spider web buns. 

Thank you to John Sherbourne-one of our school governors- who gave up his Friday afternoon to capture 2ES’ Arts Celebration. His photographs beautifully captured the dance performance as well as the smiles and conversations of the carousel of activities. Below is a taster of our wonderful afternoon.

Thank you to parents, interested adults, members of the nurture team and Mrs Stott, for providing an audience for the dance performance. It is always a treat to see how Mrs Lynch choreographs a piece that incorporates pupils’ ideas, improvisation as well as her own routine. Spiders and webs were definitely portrayed.

Celebrating the art created over the fortnight and sharing some of the skills developed always brings a smile to faces. Well done 2ES for your beautiful webs, fabric printing and weaving. The studio endeavours to share the learning and the hooks that inspired.

 Below is some of the lovely feedback from parents, grandparents and interested adults:

‘We had a wonderful afternoon, it’s lovely to see everything the kids have been doing at school, it’s especially lovely that we get to take part in activities with them too. I enjoyed it all. I got out of my comfort zone with the dancing but it was really enjoyable! Tom loved showing me his work too, thanks for laying the afternoon on.’

‘I enjoyed watching the different groups dancing then how they all came together at the end. It’s nice to see the children’s individual work. I like watching the video of the children creating their art. I learnt a lot about spiders!’

‘We enjoyed doing the different activities together. It is so amazing to see the huge enthusiasm the children have for their work.’

‘Dance was fantastic and very complex. Good idea to split into smaller groups-breathing space! Lovely cakes! Fantastic art!’

Glowing like moonbeams…

Because of Black History month, a story from Ghana called ‘The Spider Weaver’ became the hook and inspired the arts, dance, writing and baking. It was the web of a spider that inspired a new intricate weave known as the ‘Kente Cloth’.  

Over the fortnight, we have created our own ‘masterpieces’ that appear to ‘glow like moonbeams’ in the art studio.  Oil pastel cobwebs washed with watercolour and then printed with banana plasticine leaves were sewn into and finally glittered.  Running stitch and cross stitch were the skills we attempted to use. Concentration and patience was definitely required, and as our ‘binca’ strips testify most of us mastered one or both of these stitches.

Through dance, we became acquainted with different types of spider including the Giant House spider, Hunting spider, Goliath tarantula and Web spinning spider. Creating webs required listening to each other’s ideas and then together choreographing the idea into movements. Being a spider involved quick movements (scurrying and crawling, spinning and rolling) as well as moments of stillness before pouncing on prey. In reflecting on our dance journey, we recognised how we had to follow and own a sequence of instructions and in the dance switch mode from an ‘us to me’ and a ‘me to us’.

Our research on spiders also introduced us to the Jumping spider; Mexican Red kneed tarantula and the Orb- Web spider. Great perseverance was required in attempting to create our own sock puppet spider that had eight legs, six to eight eyes as well as two fangs. These became a character in our own imaginative Spider Stories.

Working with a partner, 2CC also created their own webs gluing pipe cleaners, string, wool and lace onto cardboard-easier said than done! Sticky fingers were a frustration for many of us. These were then inked up and printed.

Thank you to those parents and interested adults that joined in 2CC’s Art Celebration on Friday afternoon. Your presence gives the audience for performance as well as that special someone to share in the successes and challenges experienced.

‘Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t.’

The early scenes of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ provided the hook for 5SW’s Arts Fortnight. Through dance and drama, we began to look at the character of Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth. His ‘deepest thought’ (to be King) prophesised by the witches started the turmoil within him, and ignited the desire for wealth and power even if it meant treason within his wife. Could she manipulate/persuade her husband to commit murder?

During week one, the eerie light, and mist and magic of Macbeth and Banquo’s encounter with the witches was portrayed using pastel, watercolour, charcoal and collage. Autumn definitely found herself in a state of ‘flow’ during this session and the result was stunning. In addition, an observational drawing of a flower was sketched and a self-portrait in paint created on A1 sheets of sugar paper. These portraits, with an emphasis on mixing skin tone colours, would support the relief work in Mod roc.

On a number of levels, working with Mod roc required perseverance. It was definitely a slow and uncertain process, messy and at times frustrating. However, 5SW demonstrated resilience. They began to appreciate how the medium worked and the importance of smoothing the plaster over the facial features with the water. Well done Charlotte for owning the frustration but being prepared to go again and succeed!

Thank you to those parents and interested adults who were able to juggle their work, lives and afternoons in order to join in 5SW’s Arts Celebration. Having an audience definitely brings the adrenaline of performance and provides the purpose in sharing the collaborative piece as well as sharing the successes and challenges in the art, baking and written work.

Watch a video of our work

Here are just some of the lovely comments written in response to the afternoon:

“It has been wonderful to share in this celebration. The children are so proud of their work and it is lovely to share that with them.”

“It was fun! I really enjoyed the dance and the artwork which was amazing!”

“It was really good as it allows us to see our child’s progress as well as participate alongside the children.”

“Wonderful art works by the kids and I can see the hard work by both kids and staff here.”

“As always a lovely afternoon not only learning about what our son has been learning, but also helping them celebrate their achievement.”

“Enjoyed the canapes very much, will be trying these at home!”