We have just finished a fabulous 3 week project with Greenside Primary School in Shepherds Bush creating a colourful and creative entrance to a really wonderful school. The 240 pupils designed and made mosaics to brighten up the slightly unloved front of their school.
The building was designed by Erno Goldfinger in 1949 and is a Grade II listed building which gave us an interesting challenge as everything we did had to be portable and non permanent but still durable and part of the school. To overcome this we cast concrete in to large planters to hold the arbour and created a slide on-slide off hooking system for the large school emblem mosaic which sits on the tower of the school.
Working with local mosaic artist Emily Fuller we ran a CPD session with all the teachers prior to starting the project. They then worked with their classes using graph paper, colour paper and pens to all create their own design for their year group planter.Emily used elements from each design produced by the children and drew them up, with a colour chart (think painting by numbers) onto large sheets of brown paper. We spent a half day with each form during which they stuck the coloured glass mosaic tiles on to the paper. Each child in the school had a go at this & really enjoyed it.
All the classes from Nursery to Y4 created mosaic panels to cover 4 sides of their own special planter. Y5 spent a day with Davis Baker measuring, marking, cutting, refining and joining wood to create the arbour and trellis.
Y6 worked on the wonderful mosaic of the school logo. Emily created a cartoon of the logo by laying out a large disk on paper with the school logo on it transferred this by hand to the circular marine ply base. The children (who will all be leaving the school this year) then cut and laid the tiles to make their own special legacy which now hangs proudly on the tower at the side of the main entrance.
All in all it was a really fabulous project for everyone concerned. We are delighted with the results and thrilled that such forward thinking teachers (Bec Tossell and Karen Bastick-Styles and their lovely team) were able to see the benefit of all the children working together to create such a dramatic and special piece of art that they and the wider community can enjoy every day.
Well what would you do with a sheet of plywood and some dowel? (and an amazing D&T teacher, a brilliant RCA student and 17 children?) We were lucky enough to be back at one of our favourite places last week – the spacious and well equipped DT block at Phoenix High School.
At the end of the February camp one of regular students, Beau, asked if we could make pinball machines. Well, we didn’t really have the time to create and arcade in 3 days but David Baker came up with a plan to make the next best thing.
All 17 children were given some wood, glue and nails and a worksheet. They discussed the challenges of making their own game, planned how and where they would put their traps and came up with a theme. They measured, sawed, glued and nailed accurately and creatively to create their very own version of the traditional wooden desktop game.
Led by Adam Findlay (ex-cabinet maker and now DT teacher) and ably assisted by Monika Muller (RCA) they worked really hard both in groups and alone to solve problems and find solutions.
It was wonderful to see their ideas taking shape and by Thursday afternoon we had 17 very different bagatelles! Ranging from Batman, through PacMan, and including Night Sky and beautifully sanded and varnished wood we almost did have our own arcade!
We’ve just finished a fabulous half term break where we’ve been designing and making passive amplifiers with a group of 9 to 13 year old students.
We started with a simple brief – I want to hear sound from my tablet/smartphone. We looked at passive amplifiers and how they work – testing a number of shop bought items until we felt we know what we wanted to make. The children then designed their own to work with their phones or tablets. They looked at the speakers on their tech and worked out how they would place the sound channels to make the most of the music they would play.
After working on this for a day it was time to create their designs in three layers of wood. They measured, sawed, cut, stuck, clamped and sanded until they had a speakersthat was just perfect for them.
Our final few hours were spent decorating and polishing so that our finished products looked as good as they sounded!
All in all another great success – 19 very happy pupils with 19 very different passive amplifiers!
Well done to everyone!