Part of life's rich tapestry

14th November 2003 at 00:00
We first got involved in the Millennium Tapestry, involving some 1,700 schools nationwide, as an extra-curricular project. Our theme was the Melting Pot, which was the children's idea. Our part of the tapestry showed a melting pot surrounded by six symbols of the world faiths.

The children loved the thought that so many people had seen their work - the complete tapestry was shown at a lot of exhibitions. We are now working on a more ambitious project - the Golden Tapestry, a celebration of the Queen's golden jubilee. It involves 1,800 primary and special schools across the Commonwealth, and worldwide exhibitions.

The tapestry will come together at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. Each school makes a one-metre square of textural embroidery as part of the story of a year in the life of the Commonwealth. About 10 boys and girls are working on the theme of Festivals and February, focusing on that month's climate and festivals, for example Chinese New Year, Eid and Valentine's Day.

Pupils had to think hard about the theme, and to do research to understand the festivals and get the weather symbols right, and they have learned a lot about diversity, religion and multiculturalism. It has also been a good team exercise as everyone had to work out their roles and organise themselves. And they've honed a lot of design and technology skills: designing, sewing, cutting and learning by trial and error.

Pauline Cuthbert, science and ICT co-ordinator, Longroyde Junior School, Brighouse, West Yorkshire. For details of the Golden Tapestry see


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