Nature plays a part in our art

2nd May 2003 at 01:00
Our school is committed to development through play with natural materials. We are a small rural school and are fortunate to be surrounded by twigs, leaves, berries, mud, soil, grasses and a rich bounty of tree roots and hedgerows.

Last summer we decided to make the children more aware of their environment and the possibilities of play using natural materials by studying the work of environmental sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. He uses organic materials which he finds in their natural environment and fixes with thorns, sap, mud and other natural adhesives. The children found his work fascinating. The 12 children in Year 56 spent a day creating sculptures using found materials.

Tying and sticking were the greatest challenges but some wonderful collaborative pieces emerged with names such as Trunk, Bracken, Berries, Wrapped Arch and Tree Top Fort. Work was photographed in progress and again on completion. Parents and the community were invited to see the finished pieces.

It was a lovely, truly creative and playful experience but perhaps the most rewarding feature was that for months afterwards younger pupils also made sculptures around the site.

Sheila Wilkins, headteacher, Kell Bank Church of England School, Healey, North Yorkshire

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