Big landmarks on a tiny scale

1st March 2013 at 00:00
Nursery pupils got a feel for architecture when they created a scaled-down town. Henry Hepburn reports

It is a little disorientating to walk through a town and look down on familiar rooftops and spires, like King Kong peering over the Manhattan skyline as he dangles from the Empire State Building.

That is exactly what parents at a Falkirk nursery were able to do, thanks to an ambitious project in which their children recreated town landmarks - and filled an entire church hall with them.

Big Falkirk Through Little Eyes, at Wellside Kindergarten, saw children aged 3-5 building a scaled-down version of the town centre. The aim was to introduce them to architecture, three-dimensional perspectives, structures and photography, and to spark creative thinking.

Working in small groups, the children visited their chosen building. They examined its stonework, windows and shape, and learned about its purpose.

Back at the nursery, they constructed their building using a range of textures and materials, referring to photos and videos.

The highlight was an exhibition in a church hall, said nursery manager Susan Adrian. It attracted about 50 family members, as well as guests from education services and Callendar Park's art gallery.

Visitors effectively walked through Falkirk: the layout of the town centre, as well as the buildings themselves, had been recreated.

"The parents enjoyed looking at the consultation boards and they were amazed at the level of learning that took place," Mrs Adrian said. "The children enjoyed the visits around town and particularly paid attention to shape, size, colour and texture." They had become very motivated by the project, she said, and staff had remarked on the excellent teamwork that resulted.

The success of the initial exhibition impressed town centre managers, and led to the whole display taking up a short residency at an empty shop unit on the high street, allowing passing shoppers to see the children's work.

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