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On the spot

Deborah Martin is art co-ordinator at St Peter's C of E Junior School, Farnborough

The staff were warm and accommodating, and they're very good at meeting schools' needs. It is an idyllic setting and it was really good to get a chance to look around the mill. Helen, who does the school sessions, obviously knows a lot about its history and how it works, and kept the children interested. The fact that they had a go on the hand-weaving machine was excellent - they were all thoroughly engrossed in that. Last year we did weaving, but this year we wanted silk painting, because we're doing that soon. This has taught them the basic skills and we'll be designing our own pictures and doing our own guttering in school.

The video was very informative and the children enjoyed it a lot. They particularly liked to see the life cycle of the silk worm. They were eager to get started on the silk painting and you could see them looking in awe at the way the paint spreads. They were able to achieve a perfect-looking picture and spent 40 minutes totally engrossed.

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