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Fernwood Infant School Big Arts Project. An idea is born….. We are a large, high achieving Infant School (360 pupils age 4-7) in the city of Nottingham.

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Presentation on theme: "Fernwood Infant School Big Arts Project. An idea is born….. We are a large, high achieving Infant School (360 pupils age 4-7) in the city of Nottingham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fernwood Infant School Big Arts Project

2 An idea is born….. We are a large, high achieving Infant School (360 pupils age 4-7) in the city of Nottingham. Our Head teacher, Mrs J. Bradbury attended a head-teachers’ training day several years ago at the National Gallery and returned with lots of enthusiasm and motivation for using the Take One Picture Scheme as one opportunity to drive forward an increasingly creative and exciting curriculum for our young pupils. Her enthusiasm was inspiring and as a starting point last year, our whole school staff chose to study a past painting from the scheme (Bacchus and Ariadne). This became the major focus for our school Big Arts Project in the Summer Term. As a community we thoroughly enjoyed the experience of all working together in a cross-curricular manner and as a result, we all very much wanted to be involved again this year using the current painting, ‘The Fighting Temeraire’, as our inspiration with a view to submitting our work to the National Gallery. We began our project in the summer term this year by inviting Mike Connelly, a local artist and advisor working with city primary teachers and students to a whole school staff meeting. He was able to promote discussion around the painting and work creatively with us to give us ideas and starting points for consideration when planning our cross-curricular approach to this project with our very young children. Staff then met in Year group teams to look at and discuss the different opportunities and cross-curricular themes that they might want to explore and develop during the project.

3 The children practised and improved their art skills showing progression over the three year groups. This is apparent in both the displays and in this report. We hope you enjoy seeing our work as much as we enjoyed doing it!

4 In the Foundation Stage, the very youngest pre-school children in our Early Birds Unit took time to look at and talk about what they could see in the painting. They enjoyed hearing about how important the ‘Temeraire’ was in a very famous battle at sea and they looked at how the ship appeared to be like a huge ghost ship coming out of the distance, relating this to their direct experience of cartoon themes. They also looked closely at the dirty blackened tugboat with its tall smokestack and this became the starting point for some focussed work on ‘smoke’. Smoke immediately made the children think of fire and fire engines. This lead to a visit and a topic discovering the role of the fire service in fire fighting.

5 The children spent time blowing bubbles using a variety of bubble-blowing instruments in order to simulate smoke rising. They also made bubble paintings and enjoyed creating pictures of the Fire Engine they had been on.

6 The Fire-brigade were invited in to talk to the children and they brought with them a fire truck which the children thoroughly enjoyed exploring.

7 Reception Year The older children in the Foundation Stage quickly became interested and familiar with the painting. They spent short focussed times looking closely at the painting as whole class groups using the Smart-board and also individually or in pairs on the classroom computers in their independent activity times. The children loved finding out about the Battle of Trafalgar with the excitement of guns and cannons and they enjoyed listening to the 1812 Overture with their eyes closed, imagining the sounds of the battles at sea. The children were also able to appreciate, feel and express their own ideas about the sadness in the painting that Turner must have felt, seeing this magnificent ship looking so worn and about to be broken up and gone forever. They related this to their own precious toys that were once so special to them that had then become broken, battered and discarded.

8 As one creative focus, the children looked closely at the sky that Turner had painted and then, over a period of weeks, they spent lots of time lying on the grass outside in order to look carefully at the different cloud patterns in the sky above them. They looked for pictures in the clouds and made up simple stories around these images. The children also painted cloud and sky pictures using sponging techniques and foot printing. When they were dry they again looked for pictures and patterns to describe to each other.

9 Another creative focus, inspired by the necessity of wind in order to power the sails of the Temeraire, was the making of large wind-socks that the children enjoyed flying afterwards on the playground as a whole year group on a lovely windy day.

10 Click to see a short video clip of the children with their windsocks


12 Year 1 In Y1 the main focus for this project involved the children considering what it might have been like below the Thames waterline. Over the course of their study, the children produced an amazing abstract wall mural full of depth colour and interest. The wealth of art skills developed in this project included weaving, sewing, felting, 3D modelling, tie dying, collage work and painting. In literacy pupils focussed on developing their descriptive language skills reflecting their knowledge of the painting. These adjectives and nouns formed part of the overall display. The ship’s bottom!

13 Year 1 Under the Thames Mural



16 Paired Work Some children worked in pairs to create some mixed media paintings

17 Model Making Some children spent time exploring 3D shape and form using wooden bricks to build sculptures with.

18 Year 2 Display

19 Year 2 Our Year 2 children developed their skills even further. They borrowed 3D models of famous sailing ships to inspire their observational drawing and took the opportunity to find out about the voyages and endeavours of both the Temeraire and other sailing ships. Year 2 explored different 2D and 3D techniques to represent the colours in the sea and sky and looked closely at the detail seen in sailing ships. They explored how the painting made them feel and used this to inspire written work.

20 Literacy The story behind the painting inspired the children’s group poetry. The resulting verses were used as a border for the display. ‘Messages on Bottles’ (from sailors) The ship was old and spooky The mast was long and creaky It smelled of rotting flesh! The sea was calm like a breeze The tugboat heaved the ship to shore To be battered, crushed and broken into pieces. To fight no more.

21 Descriptive writing provoked by the Fighting Temeraire

22 Reflections in the water were easy to reproduce on the computer using simple drawing programs.

23 Techniques This picture record shows some of the activities in progress. The children used chicken wire and modroc to make the base for their focus piece. This ship was drawn by one of the children and projected onto a piece of hardboard where it was re drawn and then built on using different skills and techniques. Creating the ship, frame and background allowed the children to try fabric dying, weaving, 3D sculpture, various paint effects, pastel work and knotting. Knotting, weaving and painting

24 William’s Ship



27 Everyone joined in – Mrs Bradbury!

28 We hope you liked our work! The children and staff of Fernwood Infant School

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