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An Infant School Creative Project

This was a 2008 to 09 Coventry Creative Partnerships Project at an Infants School I co-led with 3D artist and sculptor Matt Shaw. It focused on developing practitioner understanding of creative-learning, as well as leading sessions collaboratively with the teachers to develop this – we named it ‘Creative Disturbance’.

It involved some teacher training sessions and we modelled approaches to integrated creativity by working with year 1 and 2 over several weeks.

During the project we used many different resources to demonstrate and provoke imaginative learning. I led some music-making sessions and we also made a ‘Potions Lab’ outside for year 1 and a ‘Construction Site’ outside for year 2.

The Potions Lab idea developed as a result of using various different resources with the children during the sessions.

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The children enjoyed experimenting in the Potions Lab by mixing various substances, using liquids, grinding, mashing, stirring and measuring things and discussing their ideas. We got some white lab-coats for them and this encouraged a scientific approach!

 

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The Construction Site idea resulted from exploring some mechanical ideas and resources during sessions. Children had specific ideas and requested a building site. This then became a project with site managers, builders, designers etc. We created a speaking tube which ran from one year 2 classroom to the other – holes were even made in the glass of their windows to make this happen. This meant that the children and teachers to talk to each other from their separate classrooms.

The Construction Site was made in the playground and parents donated building materials such as bricks, planks, pallets, sacks of stones etc. Children were given hard hats and fluorescent jackets. They enjoyed worked together to move the heavy materials and they loved using real tools to hammer and saw. Girls and boys enjoyed this equally. The teachers were very open-minded about this idea and realised the children would learn a lot. There were no issues with ‘health and safety’.

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There was also an element of the project which became focused on literacy with year 1 and during that time the children made a story using different provocations to facilitate imaginative thinking and to encourage them to explore writing.
The class rotated around different set-ups – smells, overhead projector, typewriters, sand outside with bones and treasure hidden in it, musical instruments, etc – and then came up with some stories around one idea.
They spent another session making images, creating collages, setting up placed-photographed objects, typing, writing on unusual objects and materials (such as wood or banana skins), and making sounds and a song which I then made into 2 films.