Brownhill St Saviours Junior

Project: Me-mento!
Participants: 32 Year 5 children
Partnering with: Field Lane JI&N
Artist: Lucy Bergman

We’ll be making journals to document personal growth and change, and how are feelings and thoughts change daily. We will begin our creative exploration of the Change theme by talking about journals and looking at the many forms they can take.  We’re going to come up with 31 different prompts, one for each day of a month, such as “Today I heard…” or “I imagined today that…” We’ll be decorating and personalising our individual journals, then every day for a month we will be photographed holding up our response – written on a large piece of card – to the day’s prompt.  We will stick the photos into our journals to create a growing record of who we each are and how we feel .  As we have a Music theme in school this term we will also be creating sonic journals of the sounds we hear every day in school, which will be put onto a CD to add to our journal books.

Session 1 – 1st February

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We started the session with a lively discussion about the possibilities of what a journal can be and the children had lots of ideas to share. After looking at some of Gillian Wearing’s work for inspiration we split up into groups and started to come up with provoking questions that will serve as daily journal prompts for the children to answer. We had some great ideas for questions such as “What makes you different?” and “What is the one thing you’d take with you to outer space?” and “If you had wings where would you go?” – and lots more totally inspired questions! Before the end of the session the children posed for photographs so that they can use them to decorate the cover of their journals. Lucy – artist

“I can’t wait for the next session, can you come back tomorrow?”

Session 2 – 8th March

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We enjoyed a whirlwind day of creativity today! The children had used the time in-between sessions to decorate their journal covers with self-portraits in vivid pattern and colour. The children had also begun to respond to the questions they’d come up with last session and we spent the first part of the morning sharing the responses with one another. The children were then given a supply of plain paper in which to write the various responses in bright and bold font styles. Each child posed to be photographed holding their various hand-written ‘signs’ and begun sticking the different questions into their blank journals ready for the photographs which they will have next session. Lucy – artist

Session 3 – 19th April

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What a whirlwind, fun packed session! I brought in all the photographs captured at the previous session and the children spent time matching them up the photographic responses with the various questions stuck in their journals. Since the last session the children had decorated the back covers of their journals with vibrant pictures of the backs of their heads which nicely match the portraits of their faces on the front covers.

The children spent time measuring and trimming down their photos before sticking them in. Although today was my last day working with the group the children are going to continue adding photographs, collage and drawings into their journals in time for the summer exhibition.  Lucy – artist

“It’s been hard but fun, we’ve learned that everybody is different.”

“We’ve made our own journals and we don’t usually do things like this. It’s been a great experience and I’d love to do it again.”

“It’s been good to work with an artist because they’ve experienced different kinds of things and can teach us the basics.”

“We’ve done our own thing.”

A final word from staff…

“The project has taken up more time than we anticipated but we’ve all still enjoyed it.  We have achieved our learning aims very well, staff have found out more about the children, and we’re using the journal prompts at the start and end of every day in our circle time.”

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Igniting Imagination