Cross Phase Sculpture Garden

I like a challenge when it comes to my Teaching and I have a tendency to aim rather high and get carried away with the projects I plan…. So it came as no surprise when I said that my summer project would be to have the students create their own sculpture park in the school grounds.

I allocated this project to my year 7 class and we teamed up with year 3 to make this a cross-phase adventure.

We started the project with a trip to the New Forest Wildlife Park where the students drew butterflies and insects and went on to research sculpture parks and artists to gain further inspiration.  The groups worked so well together, with the year 7’s proving to be wonderful role models and leaders and the year 3’s proving to be talented artists and researchers.

Once the students had completed some research and initial sketching we had a lovely lady visit to demonstrate how to work with wire. Kezia is a wire specialist and built upon the basics of wire work that I had already introduced to them. Year 7 and 3 gathered on the primary patio for an afternoon of interactive fun. They each had a go at helping to complete a grasshopper sculpture that Kezia had started. Everyone had a go at bending and working with the wire and those who were waiting, drew some amazing sketches of the workshop itself as well as drawing without lifting their pencil off the paper to give their drawings a wiry effect.

The students worked in mixed aged groups and produced plenty of sketches and plans of their insect designs.  The edited these after the wire workshop, once they had a better understanding of the materials they were using.

Before they made the actual sculptures they needed to make a prototype.  So we provided them with craft wire and they made small versions from their designs.

The final step in the creative process was to build the actual sculptures.  For this we used a combination of sturdy, copper pieces, copper electrical wires and bolts mixed in with some sturdy aluminium wire.  This gave the sculptures a bit of colour too.  Our fabulous caretaker helped us source some tree stumps and fix the sculptures to them.  He also helped me build a fence around the work, using branches from trees he had cleared.  We fixed two the the trees themselves as the sculpture park is situated among the tree line.

To complete we added name plaques and solar powered fairy lights.  We invited all staff, students, parents and our trustees to the official opening and the students gave guided tours and provided refreshments.  It was very exciting as our Assistant Head Teacher tweeted about this project and caught TES’s attention.  We were asked to do an interview with them, but due to a bit of red tape this didn’t go ahead.

The finished sculptures….

I have designed this project to be an ongoing entity.  We are planning to do a similar project next summer term and will add those sculptures to the Sculpture Garden.  It is a piece of art that will grow with the school and have a variety of students contributing to it.



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