Back in late April I had a email from Paul Hood the teacher of a year six class at Ravenswood Primary School, asking if I would be interested in working with his class to produce a mural for their garden wall. I had been suggested to him by a lovely lady who is a fan of my work on Facebook (thanks Hannah). I was very pleased to be asked although i hadn't done anything like this before.
I went to visit the school in June and was inspired. Its a large school and they have so much going on including loads of funky clubs the children can get involved in. One of them is the Ukulele Club - so cool!
They also have the Gardening Club who tend to the huge school garden that was developed from a piece of overgrown waste land by Mr Hood a few years ago. The garden is around an acre and is almost split into different sections - a wild area, a herb garden, a story telling area and a pond to name a few. The wall is East facing, approx 3 by 4 metres and i was charged with coming up with something original and something that the kids could get involved with to put on it.
The idea of creating a fantasy/treasure map of the garden popped into my head, whilst i was reading the novel Wicked, as there is a map of Oz at the front of the book. It got me thinking - wouldn't it be great if the kids could come up with a fantastical imaginative name for each area of their garden and it could forever more be known by that moniker.
Paul loved the idea & the kids came up with the following aliases for their garden sections:
- the pond - The Black Sea
- the hedge running along the east side of the garden - Wild Rabbit Hedge
- the wild bit - Hunter's Cove
- the yurt/den - Samuel's Cabin
- the herb garden - Horrible Herbs (initially horrendous herbs but was too long to fit)
- the veg patch - Potato Paradise
- the bridge - Banshees Boardwalk
- the stepping stones which snake round - Serpent Stones
- the greenhouse - The Hut of No Return
- the palm tree area - Treasure Island
I went in to work with them all on a very hot Tuesday & Thursday in late June.
The kids worked in 2 or 3s on a particular section and each group came up with an illustration to define their area. A problem that we encountered was as the wall surface was incredibly rough it was v difficult to get a lot of detail into the images.
We managed though and the finished article looks wonderful i think.
The School now have a mural that they can say is completely original and I hope that kids can be heard out in the garden saying things like 'I'll water the tomatoes in the Hut of No Return, while you feed the fish in the Black Sea'.
Thanks Paul Hood and your fantastic year six class for a great 2 days :)