Answers blowing in the wind

19th May 2006 at 01:00
For a week-long whole-school project we decided to build a wind garden inspired by the book The Wind Garden by Angela McAllister and Claire Fletcher (Red Fox Picture Books).

The garden was dug by staff and a willow frame built round its edge by an artist with the help of older girls. There were 14 classes and during the week each spent one-and-a-half hours working in the art and science room to produce clay and other objects.

The smaller children made letters of the alphabet, usually their initials; and others made moons, stars and other shapes. Older children made copper tubes through which the wind could blow. They also made windmills on sticks and kites. All the pupils threaded the clay and copper items to hang on the frame.

In addition, every pupil wrote or drew a response to The Wind Garden and these were attached like flags to a pole and mounted in the classrooms.

Later they were paraded in assembly and the authors of the best pieces read theirs out. The poles were then planted in the wind garden for the week.

Every teacher had a variety of ideas they used in maths, English and science. In science, pupils germinated seeds which will be planted in the garden this term; many of these are climbing plants which will clamber over the willow frame. Shrubs have also been planted, most of them chosen for their smell, including rosemary and sage.

When asked by the headteacher if they had enjoyed the week and would like it to be repeated there was a sea of enthusiastic hands across all ages.

But it's not just one week: we will continue to use our wind garden. Each class will go out and use it as a trigger for writing, arts, listening activities and science activities and much more. We have put 24 logs there, enough to seat one class at a time.

Christine Mew

Year 3 teacher, and key stage 2 art co-ordinator, Bromley High Junior

School (Girls Day School Trust)

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