ACE and SPACE 2 want you to get creative

ACE has been talking to SPACE 2 and we have decided to encourage you all to get creative at home. Therefore, every fortnight, there will be an arty project shared on the art blog that we would love you to have a go at. Creating a postcard is your first mission. Subject wise anything goes. It can be: how you are feeling/your favourite motif/ a pattern/ something imaginary/ some text/a poem…Click on the pop-out on the postcard below for ideas.

We would love to capture your mini masterpieces so do send a photo to: and or

Have fun!  

Mrs Johnston

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Arts Home Learning Ideas and Activities

From Artforms:

Here’s some things to keep you busy at the start of another week.

  • Just before lockdown started, the Henry Moore Institute installed a new exhibition: Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body.  They’ve put together a competition, inviting you to have a go at drawing one of the art works, currently displayed outside the gallery in the city centre.  The sculpture is called Bumpman and the challenge is to create a drawing that looks as 3D as possible.  They’ve got some handy hints and tips and a video tutorial to help you out.  Find out more here.  The deadline is the 20th May, There are three categories (under 10, 10 – 18, 18+) and Paloma Varga Weisz is the judge!
  • Leeds Libraries and Schools Library Service have a weekly newsletter with lots of ideas and things to do.  Their ‘Top Picks’ select activities suitable for specific age groups (this week includes a ‘draw along’ with Nick Sharratt and listening to Saviour Pirotta read The Golden Bird of Swan Street.)
  • Some of you may have met Annie Berrington, from Get Out More if she has visited your school to deliver a workshop.  She’s been posting lots of creative activities to do outside – have a look here.
  • Playful Leeds Youtube Makers Club have online tutorials, some of them made by children and young people.  Well worth a look and lots of varied ideas.

DIVE DEEP From Bin, to Banquet

This year, aspiration, awareness and action has been part of our ACE Arts journey with Leeds Beckett University design students and SPACE2 as we collaborated on the DIVE DEEP project.

Because of COVID-19 we couldn’t actually make the exhibition launch at Leeds Central Library. A disappointment for everyone involved in this creative partnership-especially our pupils and the students. Thankfully, the students shared some photographs of the exhibition so we at least had a glimpse of how they interpreted the brief.

However, learning together has deepened our knowledge and understanding of how plastic pollution in the sea is impacting marine life.

A highlight for our young people is working with the students in their art studio at Leeds Beckett University. This year, the students planned and implemented a challenging workshop using Photoshop for our thirty Key Stage 2 pupils. In combining sea creatures with plastic pollution such as plastic bags and bottles, the children created digital images with text that clearly raised awareness of the problem. In addition, they made protest banners.

I too was inspired when at Leeds Beckett by the plastic sea-creatures the students had created and would use as platters at the ‘banqueting table’. Year 4HK reaped the benefits and created their own imaginary sea creatures back at school in our very own art studio. We had photographs of ‘what a good one looked like’ and used them as a reference for our own. Some of their animals even made it into the exhibition! Our day with the students in Leeds also took us to Leeds Central Library, where we had the opportunity to browse through books on pollution and oceans as well as see and share in the vision for the empty shell of a room that would house the exhibition.

Our trip to Redcar beach, on a bitterly cold and windy day, was an opportunity for our young people to see the North Sea and collect plastic litter from the beach with the students. Here, our pupils learnt that 88% of our oceans were full of micro plastics. This sobering statistic was committed to memory by using rocks, stones and pebbles on the beach to make the percentages. In addition, soundscapes were recorded, wind turbines counted and freedom on the beach experienced as we were literally blown across it.

Land of Fire and Ice

Once again, I have learnt so much! This time thanks to 3LT-one of the kindest and responsive group of pupils I have ever had the privilege to work with. Their prior learning of ‘Lemminkainen’ supported by the storyteller Matthew Bellwood, provided the hook for our arts fortnight and introduced me to a new story with spells, darkness and thankfully a happy ending. It also provided a scaffold for our own quests. The dance incorporated elements of this traditional Nordic myth, with Iceland’s dramatic land of fire and ice inspiring the art.

Our ice and fire pictures that captured the patterns, shapes and colours found in this landscape, inspired the sewing onto the tie dye aurora borealis.

I was so impressed with the progress made in sewing by 3LT. By the end of the week, all could competently do a running stitch and some had progressed onto a back stitch. Sequins and beads were incorporated and by adding stuffing to our shapes we created a relief. We discovered that pins were useful to hold our chosen material in place and that the embroidery hoop kept our needlework firmly in place.

The dance performed on the Friday was certainly impressive. From exploding geysers to erupting volcanoes, tranquil forests to mesmerising aurora borealis, 3LT were able to convey through their bodies this wonderful landscape. Perhaps their modelling of these landscapes using plasticine had helped in some way!

I loved how the drama simply shared how one arrow slayed our hero, but a mother’s song could sew him back together again. The cannon for the sewing up of our hero- Lemminkainen- was inspired!  

Keep being creative over the next few months and do share your creations. Hopefully the video below captures some of the learning over the arts fortnight.

Ten thousand fathoms deep…

Now, as soon as Tom had left Peacepool, he came to the white lap of the great sea-mother, ten thousand fathoms deep; where she makes world-pap all day long, for the steam-giants to knead, and the fire-giants to bake, till it has risen and hardened into mountain-loaves and island cakes.

This excerpt from Charles Kingsley’s ‘The Waterbabies’ allowed all in 4HK to do some stretched thinking  as well as  provide the setting and characters for our own fantasy story. Our initial illustrations certainly captured the different imaginative responses and provided the stimulus for own stories where the problems and resolutions were fantastical!

On their iPads, 4HK also created their own sea-creature that would feature in their own fantasy story and the class dance. There were many weird and wonderful features.

In order to take the two dimensional image to a three dimensional model, we worked collaboratively in small groups and imitated some marine life made from ‘rubbish’ by Leeds Beckett Graphic and Design students. Masking tape became a best friend as junk modelling rubbish was cut and bent, stuffed and painted and ultimately joined together. The process was certainly a challenge, but gave us a head start when we made our own sea creature.

Well done 4HK for your perseverance and ingenuity as you wrestled and upcycled rubbish. They look fantastic and you should be very proud. As you know, your creatures may accompany the students’ creations at the exhibition coming shortly to Leeds central Library.

Thank you to all the parents and interested adults who joined us for Friday’s celebration. The children do love an audience and someone to share their learning with.

As the comments below testify, many of you enjoy sharing, listening to and participating in their learning too and value this opportunity.

‘Extremely enjoyable and engaging. I love the enthusiasm of the children. It was obvious that a great deal of preparation and hard work from staff and children had been applied. Very positive afternoon indeed!’

‘I enjoyed watching the children perform and getting to see all the hard work they had put into their work. I enjoyed getting to see how my child’s confidence has grown. Thank you for inviting us to see what has been happening.’

‘Really enjoyable and fun afternoon. Always love being able to come and see what the children have been doing and also being able to join in. Thank you.’ Nihal’s mum

‘Very nice time. Thanks for everything.’ Nura’s dad

‘The combination of art, dance, writing and cooking brought the whole thing to life-wonderful!’

The arts journey was really impressive. I am really happy that Jemima is doing things like this in school.She is really excited to share her story.’

Really impressed with Jayden’s work and Miss Kallend mentioned how she has seen a change in him since doing art. He seems very interested and excited about his art work and dancing. I’m very impressed!’

Excellent learning. Really impressed in the way the arts work progresses. Keep it up!’

I am who I’m meant to be…

Over the fortnight, 4SM discovered more about themselves. Knowing and accepting ourselves is a continuous learning journey of discovery as we actively participate in our class, school, community and world.  Through dance and song, words and paint we all began to share who we are with others. There was laughter, surprise and tears…

Miss Mason let us into her life by sharing who she is through photographs and talk. Previous pupils also gave us insight to who they were and what and who had impacted their lives so far through their ‘I am’ poems. These in turn supported us in writing our own ‘I am’ pieces.  

The lyrics from ‘This is Me’, written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, were discussed in small groups and connections made. We acknowledged the power of words to encourage and build up as well as to hurt and put down. Mrs Lynch choreographed a powerful section within the dance performance to illustrate the struggles we face but how in finding an inner strength and through the encouragement and support from others we can ‘bravely march on.’ Hopefully all 4SM have a greater understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness of each other and themselves and our responsibility to be a generation that is ultimately kind.

I loved the self-portraits 4SM created. iPads certainly supported us in making us really look at our faces, notice all the tones in our skin colour and understand where our features (especially eyes and ears) are positioned! The words and pictures chosen to share with others who they are was so powerful.

Thank you 4SM for embracing your arts fortnight. As the following comments from parents and interested adults share, your performance and art certainly impacted.

‘This two weeks have had a massive impact on Sophie. To believe in herself and love her for who she is. Thank you.’ Sophies’ mum

‘I am especially impressed about how my daughter is getting exposed to the world of art, colours, thoughts and imaginations. Lovely to see her experiment with colours and pencils. Just hope she does it as one of her passions.’ Mehuli’s dad

‘The dancing was fantastic, as was the art work. I really enjoyed the whole afternoon.’

”Bless you.”

“Bless you.”

“For what?” I asked the dark.


This excerpt is from ‘The Harmonica’, a poignant story inspired by the life of a Holocaust survivor. Beauty amidst ugliness was a concept that 6KH wrestled with as we read about the horror that took place in the concentration camps. Our learning coincided with ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’. Because of this, on Friday afternoon the café became a place of conversation and sharing as ‘Shabbat’ was explained with the lighting of a candle, a simple blessing and the eating of bread.

Our colourful prints and collaborative paintings were inspired by Schubert’s music- a composer loved by the Jewish family and the commandant in the story. Our music appreciation resulted in colours, shapes and line that captured our interpretation of the piece. 

Thank you 6KH for literally immersing yourself in the arts- for the first time at Allerton CE, there was an art and dance collaboration with paint!

Below are some of the comments shared after 6KH’s Art Celebration:

”Love that the children have the opportunity to take time to appreciate art, music, dance and understanding and expressing emotions.”

”It was really good to see how my kid has learned the art. She really enjoyed the time and kept talking about this at home.”

”It was very enjoyable. Watching my grandson do things other than his tablet was great. Well done to all the children and adults taking part.” Mrs S Gardner

”Seeing children so happy and proud to show off their work. It was good to be a part of it.”

”Really enjoyed my afternoon with 6KH. The dance was amazing and the work in the art studio very creative. I wasn’t expecting to dance, but it was a lot of fun!”

”I enjoyed watching the performance and it was worth coming.”

”Really enjoyed today. The children are so proud of their work. Many thanks.”

The calm before the storm…

What a fortnight of learning we have had in the art studio. Never Eat Shredded Wheat as well as Naughty Elephants Squirt Water was the mnemonics for sharing the points on the compass. Well done 2HL for using this knowledge to find clues about Captain James Cook in and around school.

His desire to explore the world, took him on many expeditions across the oceans. As a result, much of our art attempted to capture the calm and often stormy waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Our paintings shared our colour mixing skills, included our own drawings of ‘The Endeavour’ as well wrapping material, magazine and wool of the ocean colours to create a colour wrap.

Tie dye encouraged us to use our fine motor skills as we pinched and wrapped, twisted and tied cotton with elastic bands.  A subtle pattern was the result on to which we printed our inked string shell reliefs.

Sewing was a great hit with 2HL. Running stitch and even cross stitch successfully sewn onto binca. Sequins added the shimmer and glisten of the waters.

To understand the meaning of vocabulary, drama and percussion was used, material wafted and freeze frames created. These words and phrases supported our letters to Elizabeth Cook.

Well done 2HL for a wonderful performance on Friday. Hopefully you enjoyed sharing your learning with your interested adult. They certainly did as the comments below testify!

“A really enjoyable afternoon packed full of a lot of great interactive activities. Really enjoyed the dancing and the cafe.”

“Enjoyed the whole afternoon with different things. The children are learning detailed work, how to incorporate into dance and early art and craft, learning to stitch work.”

“I enjoyed the celebration and joining in with what they have learnt.”

“Amazing work by 2HL. They all have worked really well. Some really good art work and writing, and the dancing was brilliant. Well done.”

“Leah has really enjoyed her two weeks in the art studio. She has been very excited each day telling me about her day.”

“Very good learning experience. It was good to see the many steps taken to achieve a learning objective.”

“Great to be able to see the work that has been done first hand and to be able to take part ourselves.”

“It was great to see their work and dance. Lewan has told me every thing about Captain Cook so I think they learnt very well. Thank you.”

“I have found it to be a very interesting experience, it has brought learning to life.”

“Lovely to see what the class have been learning about. Really enjoyed seeing creative methods they have used to explore this topic!”

“Think the methods used were fun and exciting. I think Amari has really enjoyed it. Better to see them all having fun and learning at same time.”

“Mason’s journey was really fun and exciting. He’s enjoyed drawing and dancing with his friends. I’m so proud of him.”

“I have really enjoyed the Arts celebration afternoon. I think it is a wonderful way of involving parents.”

And so it was…

What a creative team class 5RA are. Inclusive, encouraging and focused, they embraced all the different areas of learning -drama, oral storytelling, speech demarcation,dance, art and cooking. It has been a joy and privilege to work with them. 

Pie Corbett’s version of Daedalus and Icarus, along with Mr Ash’s poem, was the hook for the art, dance and rap. Through observational drawings, watercolour and collage we illustrated the tragedy of this myth. 

Further feather drawings were then created independently and then combined to make a collaborative piece which would become the ‘stained glass window’. One of the many challenges was to enlarge the drawing onto the acetate, another was agreeing as a group on the composition. Chalk and blackboard jigsaw pieces supported the class in drawing on a larger scale- the glitter providing the complementary colour to the outlines. Applying the lead effect required a steady hand and concentration as did brushing on the glass paints. The end result was effective and one parent in their feedback commented, “I loved the stain glass windows-very colourful and beautiful.”

Once again, Mrs Lynch choreographed a dramatic contemporary piece, incorporating the choreography created by 5RA in their groups. Trust was integral to this piece as well as timing. The final performance was an emotional one because of their inclusiveness, focus and commitment to the piece. 

Writing their own myth drew on the heroes already experienced during their learning on Ancient Greece. Labyrinths and caves, beasts and slaying all featured along with a tragic ending. Drama and different experiences- including being blindfolded on the trim trail or placing a hand into a feely bag of fish- all contributed to understanding the vocabulary we could insert into our myths. 

The following comments collected after the carousel of activities during the afternoon of celebration are below. A big thank you goes to Miss Nwaesei for standing in for Mrs Walker in the cafe- the Tzatziki dip was a great hit as was your enthusiasm. 

Great to see such a broad range of activities that the children do covering one topic. Great to see parents/grandparents encouraged to join in and share the children’s learning.”

I had a wonderful time with my son and his friends. I felt happy and inspired to watch their great activities. I’d like to thank you all teachers. Merry Christmas!”

Amazing! I thought I was going to cry but held back-a very proud parent. Zakrya has thoroughly enjoyed his Art Fortnight. Thank you to Mrs Johnston for helping Zakrya in class.”

I am pleased to be part of this years 5RA’s Art Celebration. The dance was quite interesting, the writing was good story, cooking at the cafe was good. Overall, it is great to see different part of life incorporated into the pupils’ learning. Well done.

The dance was brilliant and all the children did amazing.” 

It was a really amazing performance.”

It was great to see Fatimah’s progression in her creativity, writing and dancing.

I enjoyed looking at the wonderful and hard work of the children’s art and all the detail they have added to their art. Very impressive.” Aaliyah’s mum

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.’