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Morris major, not minor

To kick-start our art work on the Victorians in Year 4, we clicked on to the William Morris website. This shows a range of the great craftsman's work in a variety of media and, in class, pupils discussed which wallpaper, tapestries and tiles they preferred.

I explained that Morris was fascinated by patterns in nature and wanted to reflect this in his art. Pupils made close observational drawings of leaves, flowers and natural objects collected locally.

They designed their own Morris-style tiles on card using felt tips and pastels based on their original drawings. They then copied their designs on to plain ceramic tiles.

The result was a beautiful display of Victorian tiles and happy pupils who had gained insights into 19th-century refurbishment and the ideas of an innovative Victorian.

Charlotte Dowling teaches art at St Mark's Church of England First School in Dorset.

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