All posts by cpadmin

Primary Science Day

Each year we partner every school group up with a group at another school, and encourage them to share their experiences, learning and creative work. In this way, Change provides a great opportunity for young people from different parts of Batley and Birstall to have ‘creative exchanges’ with each other.

We also arrange for the paired groups to meet up with each other on a ‘Study Visit’, with organised activities linked to the project’s themes. It’s a chance for young people to meet up who wouldn’t normally get to meet each other, as well as to have an exciting new experience which will add to their learning and provide extra inspiration for their creative work back in school.

This year’s Study Visits took the form of a Science Fair at Batley Girls’ High School. On 11th March the BGHS Science department hosted around 300 students from the 9 Primary schools taking part in Change 2016. The day offered children an exciting carousel of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities.

Pupils from Year 2 through to Year 5 took part in a whole variety of hands-on Science experiments which they would not necessarily have the opportunity to do at their own schools. In the Biology Room, children dressed up in organs tunics to identify where their organs are located in their bodies. They used microscopes to examine slides of cells. In the ‘bony bodies’ activity, children were able to use a skeleton model and examine the use of X-rays. The Chemistry themed room included a demonstration of custard behaving very strangely! Children were able to use cabbage leaves as a chemical indicator, and they all enjoyed spraying different chemicals towards a Bunsen burner while watching the flame change colour. Physics activities included a Hotwheels anti-gravity experiment, a Knex rollercoaster and a Big Wheel. The balloon helicopters proved a big hit, and everyone was able to take home their very own hologram maker.

Cummins Turbo Technologies staff supported the event throughout the day. Their presence really helped emphasise the importance of STEM subjects in industry.

We had some great feedback afterwards!

Hafsah, Zara and Saffah from Mill Lane Primary found the Chemistry activity interesting: “the cabbage could detect and change the colour of certain chemicals”.

Lewis, Haroon, Aleem, Uzayr and Muhammed from Lydgate JI&N said they found the fire activity especially interesting: “the fire looked cool when it changed colours”.   Their classmates Aaisha, Mariam and Samah liked the ‘fun fly stick’ activity “because we were using the power of force to make things float in the air”. Lydgate pupils also said “We enjoyed the chemicals, mixing different acids and alkalis creating various colours”.

Ms Owens, Year 3 teacher at Park Road JI&N, said: “It has given the children a ‘taster’ of lots of different areas of Science, which has raised lots of questions that we can explore more deeply back at school. All the children are engaged and keen to learn more.” As for the children themselves: Juwariah “enjoyed the fly stick because it flies up and about”; Kieran and Umar thought the hot wheel car activity was most interesting, Humairaa enjoyed the cabbage investigation “because of the interesting colours”, and Zubair learnt some useful things about custard: “your finger in custard it sinks if slow, but the custard is hard if fast”.

Emily and Bella from Windmill Primary enjoyed the chemicals changing colour. Lennon learnt that “you can change the colour of fire using liquids”. Paige and Chloe enjoyed looking through microscopes at different images. Mohammed liked the Chemistry “because it included fire and chemicals”.

Staincliffe Junior children had lots of positive things to say:

“Very good, learnt lots of things” – Bilal

“I enjoyed looking at human bodies” – Moshin

“It’s tremendous, we enjoyed coming here and we learnt lots of things” – Ahad

“I liked walking through the Science Garden” – Rodrigo

“What I liked about the trip was the Chemistry because you can find what type of thing it is, like shampoo is an acid” – Tayyab

Adam and Sienna from Year 2 at Batley Parish learnt that “gravity makes the cars faster”. Lily said she learnt about the body, and Poppy enjoyed using the chemicals, and “learning where all your body parts go”. Hannah and Tillie found the balloons interesting, and learnt some important things about staying safe: “In Chemistry you have to wear goggles so the chemicals don’t go in your eyes”.

Mr Lorgat, Year 4 teacher at Field Lane, said: “The children have a clearer understanding about Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The activities in each session inspired the children to want to do Science back in school.”

“I enjoyed the alkaline and acid activity because I could experiment with different liquids” – Adam

“I loved doing Biology because I got to learn about the different body parts” – Fatima

“Today was really exciting. I enjoyed the hot wheels activity in Physics because I love cars” – Anas

“I enjoyed the Chemistry session because we got to test different liquids. I love Science” – Maryam


Project: Forces of Man
Participants: Year 5 pupils
Partnering with: Hyrstmount Junior, Lydgate JI&N
Artist: Craig Dyson
Science topic: Man-made forces

Using examples of man-made machines as our inspiration (cars, robots, bikes and so on) we will experiment with chains, pulleys, lifting equipment and mechanical components to establish how they affect and are affected by forces.   We’ll watch demonstrations of sculpture techniques such as heating and bending metals, and try out some of the principles for ourselves using safe techniques and materials. We’ll be conducting guided experiments to explore forces and look at how we as humans can exert energy to affect them. With the knowledge we gain we’ll be creating our own kinetic artwork in order to produce a large collaborative piece for the exhibition – a sculptural and possibly interactive artwork representing some of our findings about forces and energy.

Session Images

Session 1 – class 5J: 11th February 2016

We started the day learning about why different subjects like maths, science and even art can work together in a group. We met Craig Dyson who is an artist but uses lots of science when he makes sculptures. First of all we learnt about forces like gravity, friction and wind resistance. Then we looked at the forces people can make, like when they build machines. After this we did lots of experiments to see how forces work and what effect they have on things. We will be making our very own ball-rolling machine sculpture together, so we need to become scientific artists! We made designs to show Craig how our ball-rolling machine could look and work, then we had a go at using forces to shape pieces of aluminium wire and build structures.

“I am making a hand sculpture with my hands so that it can do my work for me”

“Gravity is a force that we cannot see but it stops things floating around in the air…that would not be safe”

“Craig had a magic bucket so the water didn’t fall on his head”

“I thought the presentation was fantastic, really interesting” (Mr Jones)

Session 1 – class 5S: 11th February 2016

Craig and Louise came to visit us today, Craig is an artist and Louise is a scientist but they are working together on this project because science and art can help each other. We learnt about what Craig did when he was 10 years old and how he makes sculptures today. You need to use heat and lots of forces to help bend things like hard metal and get different shapes. We learnt about forces and we wanted to see how we could use natural forces to help us make machines. Before starting to design or build anything we did lots of experiments to understand the science behind why things happen, like why a feather falls more slowly than a bowling ball. Now we have good knowledge and can begin building our sculptures. They will show other people how exciting forces can be!

“We have been explaining how things work like when you push a spring what force builds on it or if you use a pulley what is helping you pull it up”

“We are making a machine where the ball rolls, goes lots of different places and does things that you would not often see”

“Science is a very interesting subject, it can blow your mind and it can boggle your feet”

“I’m excited to see what the kids will produce and I know the kids are excited too” (Ms Suleman)

Session 1 – class 5T: 26th February 2016

We have been very excited to start our art and science project about forces, as we had been told a lot about the artist and scientists who would be coming into school to work with us. Today was our first session. We met the artist and learnt about different forces like gravity, friction, air resistance and even centrifugal force, which was hard to say. The artist demonstrated lots of experiments to help us understand the science behind why things happen. He even put a bucket of water upside down above his head, but he didn’t get wet. Then we started with three separate activities that will eventually enable us to make our very own ball rolling machine. We sketched designs and started to paint the main frame that the machine will go inside. We also used clay to create our own heads and applied a force onto them to see how they would change. That was great fun.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw! I thought gravity was there all the time but Mr Craig made it disappear”

“When I went out to play me and my friends played games with gravity and I explained how it worked”

“When I put my name badge on I felt like a real scientist, I was called Dr Clever”

“Great to see every child involved at a really high level. The look on some of the children’s faces was priceless, they were completely flabbergasted at some of the experiments. The hands on elements throughout the whole session were a clear winner!” (Mr Tiplady)

Session 2 – class 5S: 26th February 2016

Today the whole class was excited to see what we were going to do next. We developed our sculpture skills by using clay, shaping our own faces and applying the force of gravity to distort the face – it looked very funny. We also started to make our ball-rolling machine but we had to do lots of prototype parts to make sure the machine would work. We use toilet roll holders, black tracks, different balls and even toy cars to see if our ideas would work in the big machine. We are starting to see how the machine is developing and it looks like we will impress lots of people when it is finished and they come to see it.

“I know everything about science now”

“I am going to be professional at light when I am older”

“ If you think carefully you can make anything you want with your hands because they are your best tools”

“I will be a real professional artist one day”

“It was fantastic to see the boys experiment with equipment and their faces light up when they were told that their designs would be used in the final product”  (Ms Suleman)

Session 2 – class 5J: 8th March 2016

It was art and science again today and things are coming together nicely. We are working with the rest of Year 5 to create the big rolling ball machine for the exhibition but we do individual bits of work as well. We know we need knowledge and skills to make scientific sculptures so we continued to work on these on our own as well as in a group. This week we progressed with our wire sculptures. We looked at how we could make thrust and began constructing prototypes of things like tracks, ramps and spirals to see if they would work in the final machine. Some worked but some didn’t, but we weren’t worried about getting things wrong the first time because we could try again. Eventually we made some really cool scientific things happen by being creative and using our imaginations.

“I’ve liked the lessons because they were fun and creative. I learnt about gravity”

“I liked this session because I discovered more about science and I figured out how aluminium can bend”

“Not only did we create a work of art but we also learnt about gravity, which is a big part of science”

“I absolutely loved this session because I got a chance to do some nail art using my own force, and also I got to make my own rolling ball machine”

“After the activities were explained the kids just got on with it with very little help. Great to see them discovering the science applied to everyday events and using that knowledge in a creative way” (Mr Jones)

Session 3 – class 5S: 8th March 2016

This was our final session with our visiting artist and scientist. We had lots of questions but we needed to get to work – maybe we would answer them ourselves if we did experiments. We discovered lots of different things today, like how to make art using forces. We used hammers and metal pencils to make patterns into sheets of aluminium, it was hard at first but when we got the hang of it we didn’t want to stop. We also looked at nail art and learnt that one artist spent years making just one nail drawing of an elephant. Some nail drawings use over 10,000 nails! Our nail art was a Mini Cooper, a very clever man- made machine (a car) but also a work of art. This was very inspirational for us because the combination of machine and artwork is exactly what we are trying to achieve.   We now need to wait for the other two Year 5 classes to finish their sessions, then we’ll have a sense of how our giant ball-rolling machine sculpture is going to come together.

“Science is really great because you get to find out things that scientists do and what experiments they do”

“Today we found out that you can make scientific stuff with your hands, your hands are your best tools”

“Not only does science include experiments but lots of art”

“It was fantastic to see children participating in hands-on science, especially the things that brought out their creative sides! I could see some interesting ideas being formulated and created by children who often find it hard to engage” (Ms Suleman)

Session 3 – class 5T: 17th March 2016

It was a little sad today because it was our last session with Craig, but exciting because of the new skills we learnt and used. Craig reminded us that our best tools are our hands. We learnt how to refine the rolling ball machine by adding a set of stairs. Over the past few weeks, we have used a variety of different forces to help complete our project. These forces include gravity which pulls the ball down, friction to help saw planks of wood, and forces created by ourselves such as pushing and pulling, for example when we use hammers and nails. We can’t wait for our wonderful creation to be on public display at Batley Art Gallery, where the whole town can admire it. We might be even more famous than Craig and get lots of commissions!

“We didn’t realise that we would ever be able to create a ball rolling machine but our knowledge of science and forces and art has helped us to make our dream come true”

“At first we didn’t realise the beauty of science but Craig, Elaine and Mr T have shown us how closely related to the subject of art it can be”

“At first I was sad that this was our last session with the Change project but then I thought about all the things I can do at home, I can teach myself”

“It was fantastic to see children participating in hands-on science, especially the things that brought out their creative sides! I could see some interesting ideas being formulated and created by children who often find it hard to engage” (Mr Tiplady)

Session 3 – class 5J: 17th March 2016

This was our most important session today; it was our last chance to finish off our work ready for the big public exhibition, which we are very excited about. We are proud of what we have made and feel like this is the beginning of lots of artistic creations. We all feel more confident and now see that lots of subjects are not separate but support each other. If we enjoy what we are doing we seem to learn more, so it is good that we get these opportunities. We have surprised ourselves by making something we didn’t think we could – we realised that when we really put our minds to it it felt like we could do anything.   We are very grateful to the big company that has helped support the whole art and science project, and to the visitors who helped us – they were all very nice. We look forward to seeing the final exhibition and what all the other schools have achieved.

“I really enjoyed today’s lesson because normally I am silly but I was too busy hammering nails and cutting wood”

“I am so so so excited to make sculptures again, but not in school, at home with my mum”

“I will remember that all subjects can help each other like maths with science and art, all in one room having fun together”

“I could see many of my more difficult children truly engaged and excited about creating work as a collective. Their achievements were impressive but made even more so by a combined effort that is visualized in the end result of our man made machine. Hopefully the experience will stay in their minds and supplement learning for some time in the future” (Mr Jones)

A few words from our teacher:

“The sessions fully supported and complemented our science topic on Forces (a difficult concept) via the use of hands-on experience. Levels of understanding have increased and the children are more confident when using specific technical vocabulary about forces. They have been able to equate forces to real life situations. The children gained a great deal of confidence when working directly with Craig and the various members of the Cummins team who came along to assist during the sessions. Children have improved levels of cooperation and are also more willing to explain what they have been working on to each other.”

Our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies said:

“It was fabulous seeing the children so engaged and working together in teams. The final result was amazing and looked really effective” (Laura Sullivan, CTT)


Project: Forces of Nature
Participants: Year 5 pupils 
Partnering with: Staincliffe Junior
Artist: Craig Dyson
Science topic: Natural forces

Our topic is Forces, and we will be exploring natural forces in particular. Using the power of nature as our inspiration we will be experimenting with and discovering the effects of natural forces such as wind, water weight and gravity as well as the forces we can apply ourselves. Our sessions with Craig will involve experimenting individually with sculpture techniques and creating sculptural artworks to represent our findings, as well as group collaboration to design and make our final piece. Our goal is to produce a sculpture with moving parts that is static but makes an action when force is applied – for example a movement created by water accumulating and reaching a tipping point, or a construction that is changed by the force of wind.

Session Images

Session 1: 29th February 2016

This morning was the first of our four sculpture and science workshops for the Change project. We were very excited to work with a real artist and scientist. We have been learning about Forces in school so we were able to surprise our visitors (Craig the artist and Becca the scientist) with our knowledge. During the session we learnt lots more things about natural forces, especially wind. We looked at some experiments such as making a rocket out of a balloon, some string and a straw. Then we had to challenge our brains to create our own 3D inventions. There were two separate stations to explore. One was about scientific discovery and trying to understand why things happen, like why a ping pong ball moves when you blow it but a metal ball doesn’t. We also started to build wind dragons from a variety of light materials. The most exciting part was at the end when we started designing the big sculpture that we will make to go on in the exhibition at the end of the project.

“I really enjoyed trying to think about how to make sculptures that were not just art but scientific. It challenged my brain”

“My brain can think of plenty of stuff, like using it to make science art from just household scraps”

“This morning was filled with fun activities and a couple of experiments. It has also given my inspirational side a boost”

“This morning was very fun but normally I don’t like science”

Session 2: 29th February 2016

In our second session this afternoon the excitement continued. We had a different scientist called Chris with us too. We knew we had some hard challenges ahead, but we weren’t going to give up. We had two new activities to tackle. One was to create paintings using only wind and no brushes. The other was to build our very own windmill from scratch. We made a design, and with help from Craig we cut and shaped the materials into a windmill. We then tried to understand how it worked and why it was shaped in a certain way. Finally we worked on designs for the big artwork that we will finish in the next sessions. We don’t know what it will be yet because Craig needs to look at our design sketches and pick the best ones to work on as a group. One idea was to make a huge kite, another was to make a giant windmill out of lots of small windmills.

“It was a really fun session, and I even made my own windmill using card and maths and science to make it work”

“My favourite part this afternoon was when we made a paper mache wind dragon. I would like to finish it quickly”

“It was brilliant to see how well the pupils progressed in a short space of time, and to see them using creative art to explore natural forces”   (Chris Batley, Cummins Turbo Technologies)

Session 3: 10th March 2016

Today we were surprised that Craig came for the Change project because we thought we were going to be doing normal lessons, so we got really excited! We finished our colourful, bright and eye-catching wind dragons. It was tricky cutting the small pieces for the scales but we succeeded eventually. We enjoyed making the wings too because they made the dragon look like it was really flying when you blew wind onto it. When it is outside it will fly all the time because it’s always windy at our school, you can even see a windmill in the playground. We made some natural leaves too that would become part of our final artwork. Making the clay shapes was excellent, although it was dirty work. When we had finished the leaves we had a Hyrstmount leaf hospital that saved any broken ones, which was really funny! We are super-excited about finishing our leaves and seeing them on display at Batley Art Gallery when they have become one giant leaf.

“What we learnt today is something I will do when I get home, in particular making sculptures that can move in the wind”

“Look how beautiful it is, my dragon looks like it has real scales”

” I have only just started to do art mixed with science and I feel more confident. Imagine if I practice all the time now, I could be the best in the world”

“I loved how creative today was, the children were able to explore their artistic side whilst subconsciously tackling some tricky science and as a result developing their skills and knowledge through art “

Session 4: 18th March 2016

We have just finished our work for the Change project and we are very happy with the results. Over the past few weeks we have learnt so many new things. As a class we have created things we didn’t think were possible but with teamwork we made it happen. We feel like we haven’t had to work hard to remember things because we see them every day, but now we know the science behind natural forces. Things that we didn’t notice before like wind, rain and gravity have now become more exiting and we find ourselves thinking about the possibilities of how we can play with these forces. We hope that what we have made will impress people at the exhibition and we are really looking forward to inviting everyone we know to come along and see what can be achieved when you put your mind to it.

“The giant windmill was so simple; we used all the same ideas as our miniature ones but just measured everything bigger”

“I have never used metal as an art material before. At first I was a little bit scared but then when we had the right training it was really exciting”

“I am sad that we cannot do our sessions anymore but I am happy about what I have learnt and proud of what I have achieved”

“When are we doing this again?”

“It has been great to be involved with the project, it’s a fantastic opportunity for the children to get involved with real artists and real scientists. Projects like this really help us as teachers to bring subjects to life and grow children’s enthusiasm towards them” (Ms Shaw)

A few words from our teacher:

“Children were able to access vocabulary they haven’t heard before and it was a fantastic entry into the Forces topic. They really enjoyed the topic and were excited to test theories out during sessions. Due to the sessions having a practical element children were able to explore techniques they have never used before. Children’s confidence has definitely improved, and the ability to have a go without worrying what the outcome would be. They still talk about the ‘Change’ experience and look back on it as a happy memory.”

Our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies said:

“It was brilliant to see how well the pupils progressed in a short space of time, and to see them using creative art to explore natural forces” (Chris Batley, CTT)


Project: Seeing in a New Light
Participants: Year 4 pupils
Partnering with: Windmill Primary
Artist: Craig Dyson
Science topic: Light

Through our investigations we’re going to make exciting, extraordinary discoveries about an ordinary, everyday element – light. We’ll be experimenting with various materials to see how light can be transformed, for example by bending aluminium and looking at how kaleidoscopes are constructed. We’ll explore what happens when you block light out to change its colour and direction of travel, and how movement of light and objects creates shadows and animation. For the final exhibition we plan to make shadow art – one or more collaborative artworks that are incomplete in themselves and are completed by the addition of light and the movement of that light.

Session Images

Session 1: 23rd February 2016

Our artist Craig and a scientist visited us today to help us learn about light. It was very exciting because we don’t normally get to meet artists and scientists so we needed to ask lots of questions. The scientist was called Matt and he was from Cummins Turbo, a company that makes turbo engines that help cars go really fast. Cummins Turbo also help schools and other people to learn about science. In our first session this morning we had many challenges and learnt a lot about light. We know what materials are opaque, translucent and transparent and we used this knowledge to create our own individual shadow sculptures. The sculptures looked like bits of rubbish but when you used a light source to illuminate them it created a shadow that was the secret piece of art. It was a fun way to learn new things and we’ll be able to impress our friends with our new skills and knowledge.

“I really enjoyed this lesson, it was fun”

“When you shine a light on an opaque object it blocks it out”

Session 2: 23rd February 2016

This afternoon we continued to learn about light in a creative way. Working with artist Craig and scientist Matt was fun and interesting. We developed our skills and tried to challenge our brains with new information, and we started to build a giant sculpture. This sculpture is made out of opaque bits of rubbish and when you shine a light source onto it it creates a wonderful shadow of the Statue of Liberty. It will be funny to show this to people without a light source first because it will look like a pile of rubbish, but then they will be shocked when it is changed by adding a light source because it will look like one of the world’s most famous sculptures!

“Today we did science and art, we did so many different things, we even went into a den”

“ The most important part of the day was when we took some rubbish and made it into the Statue of Liberty”

“Year 4 have just had an amazing day at Field Lane with Craig Dyson. Children have been experimenting with light and shadows which has allowed them to apply their previous learning on this topic. Children wrote up their reflections at the end of each session and I was impressed with how they were able to use their scientific vocabulary. Craig was brilliant with the children and really inspired them” (Mr Lorgat)

Session 3: 25th February 2016

We were told that we would be able to create a surprise sculpture in the last workshop if we all worked well in this one. We all worked extra hard so that we could get the surprise. We listened very carefully and created tin foil people. We also looked at how to paint with light in our dark den. Callum from Cummins Turbo came to see us again and helped us with our scientific words so that we started to talk like scientists as well as working like artists. After a short break we started to decorate our small shadow sculptures by painting every little part with one bright colour. We also learnt about the different parts in a kaleidoscope and how it works.

“My brother told me science was boring and I told him it wasn’t”

“Can we do this every Wednesday?”

“I feel inspired and I am going to try what I have learnt at home”

“The children were very inspired. The visitors’ enthusiasm and creativity definitely rubbed off on them. There was a good balance between art and science. Having read some of the evaluation booklets, I am able to see that the children have been using the science vocabulary relating to light and shadows” (Mr Lorgat)

Session 4: 25th February 2016

Because this was our last workshop we were adding the finishing touches to all of our work so we needed to be very careful. First of all we added translucent colour to our tin foil people by adding tissue paper. This looked really cool when you shone a light source onto it because the light went through the translucent material and reflected off the shiny material underneath. We continued with our big Statue of Liberty and just got it finished in time. The secret shadow looked amazing but we are keeping the secret to ourselves until it appears in the exhibition. At the same time as making the Statue of Liberty some of us were creating the surprise sculpture, which was a kaleidoscope. We had learnt about how kaleidoscopes are made so we made a giant one of our own. It looked amazing and there was just a little bit of work left for Craig to do to make it ready for the exhibition. We are all excited to show everyone how hard we have worked, what we have learnt and what amazing art we have created.

“The final day at Field Lane was just as inspirational as the first day. The kaleidoscope that the children made looks fantastic and even the staff at school enjoyed using it! My personal favourite today was the ‘light art’. I was amazed at the art the children were able to create by just using a torch and camera” (Mr Lorgat)

“The sessions have been truly exciting. It was great to see pupils using their scientific knowledge practically in a creative setting. This further increased their skills in using scientific and art vocabulary. It was also great for children to learn about the life of an artist and see some of the art that Craig had created, it gave them a real insight into being an artist” (Ms Motara)

“I really enjoyed the workshop. It was great to see the children so intrigued and Craig had them hooked on his every word. They really enjoyed the surprise of the kaleidoscope and making a giant sized version that they could see working. Year 4 were very interested in the science behind the shadow tasks and they were using their new vocabulary throughout the day. A fantastic workshop!”  (Ms Walton)

A few words from our teacher:

Children have shown a deeper understanding about light and have been able to use key scientific vocabulary in relation to the topic. Having a full two days with a sculptor was a great experience. Craig spoke about his own work and what inspires him as an artist, encouraging the children to think of their own options for later in life. A fantastic project. Children and staff have been really inspired.”

Our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies said:

“I enjoyed being involved with the Change Project with the students, and seeing and hearing their imaginations while working on the light animation project” (Callum Parkinson, CTT)



Project: Science Alive!
Participants: Year 4 & 5 pupils 
Partnering with: Field Lane JI&N
Artist: Shelley Burgoyne
Science topic: Scientific Investigation

Working with the topic Scientific Investigation & Experimentation we have chosen to focus on changes in scientific research and discovery, and how particular scientists changed our view of the world. We will look at what has been discovered through microscopic research over time and how this information has changed the way we see the world. We will be making observational drawings of each other using microscopes, and supporting each other to use the microscopes and learn about the different levels of magnification. We will be using the school pond as our main resource and will be viewing collected samples made into slides through our microscopes. The images we collect will be used for drawings and printmaking and will finally be brought together in a large multi-layered hanging artwork.

Session Images

Session 1: 11th February 2016

We got off to a great start today with our drawing and investigating. We have been finding out about famous scientists and their research. We are focussing on changes in our world, brought about through scientific research. We used microscopes to magnify some incredibly minute samples of different things like pine roots, potato, water beetle and pollen. They have really long Latin names as well. We worked in pairs and also started some portraits of each other as scientists. There was so much energy and enthusiasm in the session! We also enjoyed seeing a drawing demonstration and have started to build images in our project books. The effects we achieved were very interesting. The whole thing was fun and we learnt a lot.

“I found this lesson very interesting as we learnt a lot about art and science at the same time”

“I really enjoyed this afternoon. We drew things and even drew each other. Shelley was very helpful and taught me lots”

“I found this lesson interesting because we looked in microscopes and we drew spider lungs”

“Doing art today was very philosophical as we found out loads about science. I really enjoyed it!”

Session 2: 25th February 2016

We have spent part of our afternoon at the school pond where we had to break a thick layer of ice on the water surface! We collected small animals and plants and brought them into the classroom to study them and make drawings in our sketchbooks. We found worms, water snails, two diving beetles, fresh water shrimps, a centipede, woodlice, slugs, one beetle and lots of interesting weed growing there. In fact although it is winter and many creatures are not active we found a lot to look at. We used pipettes as well to collect samples of water which had tiny traces of green weed floating in them. We have been magnifying the animals and plants with hand held magnifiers. We hope to look at more of this next week in the microscopes. It was a challenge to look at the creatures and draw them at the same time, but it was also very enjoyable.

“Today was really fun, we went pond dipping and found a lot of insects and plants in the pond”

“We have been using magnifiers to look at insects that we found at our pond and then drawing what we could see”

“We have been pond dipping today with our artist Shelley and it was very fun. I found two Diving Beetles that were silver and grey and beautiful. We brought our collection inside to look at them and draw them”

“We went pond dipping to find water insects and weeds. Then we did sketches of them looking through magnifying glasses. My favourite activity was drawing the bugs in our sketchbooks”

Session 3: 3rd March 2016

This session was full of surprises! Previously we have done a lot of scientific research, we went to the school pond to collect samples and we discovered new creatures that we didn’t know existed! We have made drawings looking through microscopes and magnifiers. Today we began transforming our drawings of pond creatures into prints and it was incredible to see what happened! We have been making relief prints and using very bold colours. Another surprise was that we have been developing a large drawing of a microscope which is full of creatures. We have been taking inspiration from our sketchbooks for this. The third surprise was that Donna Skeldon, who is a research scientist, came to visit us from Cummins Turbo Technologies. She joined in the session and also showed us some of the research that she is involved with. Our science learning has been really challenged finding out about the turbo technology. Our artwork research will carry on next week and there will be more discoveries then.

“We drew into the Polyblock with a pen, and it had to be deep. I liked the printing images and the coloured paper”

“Today I enjoyed drawing pictures and also the PowerPoint that Donna the scientist showed us about turbochargers and all the metals. One of the pictures looked like when you look out of an aeroplane. I also liked printing with the ink, I did something amazing and awesome”

“I enjoyed looking at the turbochargers that people make and sometimes they are not safe”

“The prints we made look really pretty. We drew onto polystyrene to create the print and then covered it with printing ink. It was fun and joyful”

Session 4: 10th March 2016

This was an action-packed afternoon. We had another opportunity to use the microscopes and look at our pond samples again. We made our own slides with the pieces of plants, weed and algae we had collected. It was exciting to do this and then do our own first-hand research using the microscopes. We made more drawings in our sketchbooks then put these into the giant microscope drawing image. This is now a huge collection of natural forms and creatures from our own observations.   We have made more prints from our Polyblock and learnt how to do a second colour. The colour prints were really amazing, we love them. Our other task was to make portraits of famous scientists. Shelley had brought a whole selection of photographs and demonstrated how we might use the images for drawing. We have found out about Alice Hamilton who was a pathologist, Anne McLaren who studied genetics, Mary Anning a palaeontologist working in the early 19th Century, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and others including our big favourite Stephen Hawking. We are looking forward to seeing all our drawings and prints at Batley Art Gallery in the summer.

“Today’s lesson was really busy with lots of activities. We drew scientists, put our research drawings into the big microscope and did printing as well. I wish this was not the last time we will be working with Shelley. It was exciting”

“I felt challenged in this lesson. We learnt about seven new scientists. We made more artwork of the pond animals and looked in the microscope. We made our own glass slides for the microscope”

“I enjoyed today because we did microscope work and drawings too. I felt like a scientist called Dorothy Hodkin. I did a drawing of her as well”

“We did a lot of fun and educational things today, including using the microscopes. We made drawings of inspirational scientists including Sir Isaac Newton – founder of Gravity. I felt really happy and pushed to learn new things. It has been an amazing experience in this project”

“We learnt more about scientific investigation again today. Alexander Fleming used observations in the microscope during his life time as a scientist. I felt inspired”

A few words from our teacher:

“Our project was effective in increasing children’s understanding of scientific enquiry and the usefulness of science. They were enthusiastic about finding out how scientists made discoveries and really enjoyed using scientific equipment. Their participation and engagement increased over the four sessions as did their inquisitiveness about science and scientists. Children create a large hanging piece of art and it was lovely to see them all gathered round this, co-operatively, sketching onto it from works in their sketch books.”

Our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies said:

“I have never previously worked with a large group of children like this and it was certainly eye-opening as to how exhausting but fulfilling it is!  The class was very enthusiastic and a delight to spend time with.  It was a great opportunity for me to open their eyes to my specialist area of work in Materials Engineering and also to share in their artwork creation using microscopes to view their pond dipping findings.   It was great working with Shelley and I am looking forward to seeing the final art work at the exhibition. Having come from an artistic background myself it was great to see how the scientific principles I work with on a daily basis can be converted into some amazing artwork. I really enjoyed learning about Shelley’s involvement in scientific research and how it relates to her own artwork” (Donna Skeldon, CTT)


Project: Microbe Journey
Participants: Year 7 students
Partnering with: Batley Girls’ High
Artist: Shelley Burgoyne
Science topic: Food Chain, Microbes & Decay

Working with the Food Chain and Microbes topic we have chosen to focus on changes in the food chain and aspects of decay. We will look at what happens in the cycle of growth and decay and the changes to cells and the appearance of surfaces.   We will be preparing Petri dishes which will be inoculated with microbes ready for our art research. In our research we will look at the colours, patterns and textures that are created during the growth and decay processes. We will use microscopes, magnifiers and digitally projected images of our growing microbes. Our artwork will incorporate drawings, coloured inks and creating new surfaces. We will experiment with paper making and printmaking as potential media for a large collaborative artwork. Our science and art experimentations will also be built around creating and observing an archive of moulds and decaying objects in the art room.

Session Images

Session 1: 10th February 2016

Today our science and art teachers joined together for the start of the Change project. We spent time discussing the Food Chain, Microbes and Decay topic. Mr Bailey from science brought samples of microbes growing in Petri dishes and we also looked at some images of samples of other microbes on the Smart Board. The variety and colours were amazing. It was interesting to hear about links with science and art research from Shelley. We then looked at paper samples and talked about creating paper and how these textured surfaces might decay or break down and be similar in a way to the decay processes in the food chain.

“Today was fun as we were linking our bacteria and microbes project with our new art project. We learnt new things about making paper and using a diffuser to spray ink”

“It was interesting comparing science and art in the session today. It was good having Shelley the artist here and Charlotte from the engineering works at Cummins Turbo. Charlotte helped with my papermaking”

“I always wondered how paper is made and now I know! I also learnt a lot more about microbes”

“We learnt about some links between art and science. In art we can look at pictures of microbes and make realistic pictures of them, in science you can look at the bacteria and describe them and look at them in microscopes as well”

Session 2: 24th February 2016

We have all completed making some paper now. The paper making was fun and sometimes a bit messy! It takes time and patience to get the pulp just right on the mesh so that the paper comes out evenly. Mr. Bailey from Science and Charlotte our visitor from Cummins Turbo Technologies were really good at the papermaking. We all helped each other to lift the paper and blot the water out.   Everyone also worked very hard today to develop the microbe drawings with inks and painting with brushes and diffusers. We started some detail drawing with graphite pencils too.

“I have been practising a new skill with the blow diffuser. It makes the paint spotty. I also learnt about corrosion talking with Charlotte our scientist visitor today. We looked at metal samples as well”

“I enjoyed using the pastels on my drawing. I have been drawing microbe details onto my ink and collage from last week. The lesson today was also good when I was learning about corrosion”

“I feel fantastic about today’s lesson as I have learnt how to make paper as well as work with a diffuser. I have noticed that bacteria links with art and science”

“I have enjoyed using the special graphite pencil and putting ink and colours onto my work with the blow diffuser”

Session 3: 2nd March 2016

It was great to see how our paper making turned out. We made 45 sheets altogether in the previous two sessions! Now we can start to use the paper towards our final artwork. We are going to make images about microbes and decay on the paper. We started the session with a printmaking demonstration. Shelley made different drawings on Polyblock from our microbe research. We saw how you can print two colours and print onto different surfaces. We were all very keen to get on with the printmaking then. The main task today was to print onto our handmade paper. We also started to make some small ink paintings onto filter papers. We all especially enjoyed this; it was fun putting the paintings into the Petri dishes. Our science teachers saw the results and liked what we made as well.

“Today I loved the session because we drew with ink on filter papers from science. I dipped it into water and then used a small painting brush to make the painting. Then I put it into a Petri dish. I have learnt that if you put water onto a filter paper and then put the ink the colour spreads. I also learnt that if you overheat germs they die”

“Scientists and artists study and draw microbes. Bacteria grow an agar jelly. I learnt how to mix and paint inks”

“The microbes transform in the Petri dish on agar jelly. The ink transforms on the wet filter paper”

“I have been learning to do printmaking using rollers and printing inks. I felt very creative. I like printing on the handmade paper”

Session 4: 9th March 2016

This really has been quite a journey over the last four sessions. Our Microbe Journey has involved all the aspects of researching and finding out new facts about microbes. We learnt about what they are, the different categories, virus, bacteria, fungus, and how essential they are to all life.   It has all come together with some lovely pieces of artwork produced and Y7 have thoroughly enjoyed the project. Two students did interviews with Shelley and Charlotte for the school website as well.   We have learnt new techniques in our drawing as well as making paper and printmaking. We also made small ink paintings.   We printed onto the ink paintings today and these are now inside the Petri dishes which really make the artwork interesting. They are really fun, colourful pieces.   Charlotte came from Cummins again today and brought a Turbine Engine and told us some more details about the engineering aspects of this. She also joined in and helped us with our drawing and printing.   It’s been a good experience all round, well done everyone for all the hard work!

“I realise now that in art and science you can be creative. I feel good and happy about the work I have done”

“I have learnt a lot about the way that microbes look. It has been fun looking at the diverse colours and shapes”

“I liked making the print today and putting it in the Petri dish. The final artwork is going to be really strong, the colours are great”

“Today I loved making my art in the Petri dish as it became like a framed picture ready for the gallery”

“I liked making paper most of all. The result will be good with all our images together in one large artwork”

A few words from our teacher:

“Learners quickly developed individual earning styles during the course of the workshops, and used different techniques confidently. They also felt confident enough to evaluate each workshop session. Evaluation was done throughout the workshops, with comfortable discussion and conversation with peers and staff. This developed a wider understanding of Science and Art, thus creating independent thinking and learning skills and a feeling of freedom to produce outstanding work.”

Our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies said:

“I was thoroughly impressed by the questions the students asked about what I do as an engineer and about how my job relates to the project they were doing. They asked some brilliant questions which were relevant to the “decay” topic and I found that when I returned for more sessions they had remembered what I had told them and clearly thought about it, making them want to know more. The whole experience of working on the project was thoroughly enjoyable and I feel I got a lot out of it. I can’t wait to see the finished artwork at the exhibition” (Charlotte Wolstenholme, CTT)


Project: Tree of Life
Participants: Year 3 pupils
Partnering with: Batley Parish JI&N
Artist: Shelley Burgoyne
Science topic: Plant Lifecycles

Our topic is Plants – Life Cycle and Requirements for Life. We will be focussing on the life cycle of plants and the continuously changing anatomy of plants, and investigating what plants are made of and what the function of each part is. Before the project starts we will grow plants in the classroom ready to use as a resource for dissecting and looking at the parts of a plant’s anatomy. Our growing plant collections will be used as a resource for observational drawings and learning about the variety of plant life. We will make drawings of the different stages of growth and develop these with relief printmaking techniques. The whole class will be contributing to a series of images which will eventually form a large ‘tree structure’ of all the different parts of plant anatomy.

Session Images

Session 1: 10th February 2016

Our classroom looks like a jungle at the moment as we have plants growing everywhere! We have all been preparing quite a bit in our science sessions before we started working on our Change project today. We told Shelley lots about what we have learnt and also did a quiz. We started with some really detailed drawings and looking through magnifiers at the different parts that make up a plant. Our collection of plants is very varied and some have grown huge. We also did some drawing of very tiny plants. We started to make small books separating out all the plant parts onto different pages. What an exciting afternoon!

“I enjoyed being with the artist today and it was a different kind of research not using a computer. We cut parts of the plants open and dissected them. We cut open fruits and flowers and stems”

“I enjoyed analysing what we were looking at and I really loved using a magnifier and looking inside things”

“The cress shoots were very tiny, and I loved drawing the raspberries as well eating them”

“I liked investigating the seeds and plant parts with our drawings”

Session 2: 24th February 2016

Today we started to learn about printmaking. We have used a detail of our plant drawings from our concertina books and made another drawing onto a piece of Polyblock. It took time to make the detail with the pen. We all loved inking the Polyblock and making our first ever prints. In the other part of the session we spent more time using the magnifiers and developing our drawings of roots, stems, shoots, leaves, buds and flowers. Last week we had spent time looking at the inside of a bulb. It was interesting this week to dissect the flowers and find out what was inside those. They are really different and have a different function as part of the life cycle of the whole plant.

“Today we were doing some art. We did two types of things, drawing and printing. I really enjoyed the printing, it was very creative. We were using rollers and printing with ink. It was fun”

“We have been doing more drawings of plant parts in our concertina books as well as making some very colourful flower drawings”

“We used the magnifiers again. We took the little flowers to pieces so that we could look inside and see the stamens and the pollen”

“I loved drawing the petals of the flower and the other plant parts. Our art lesson is interesting with science in it as well”

Session 3: 2nd March 2016

We have worked in our small concertina books with very detailed drawings of the plant parts. Our drawings are long and tall. This session was quite hard as we have also been drawing our images very large onto the Polyblock printing surface. It was difficult to know how they would look but Shelley did a demonstration so we understood. Last week we printed with colour so this result was very different. The plants now look big, tall and very bold. The prints looked very dramatic all laid out on the floor together. We were all excited about the results. Next week we will complete our printing and do a second print using the same printing block. Steve from Cummins came to work with us and he was really helpful with our drawings and encouraged us lots.

“Today we did a fun art session. We did printmaking and drawing. We used rollers and ink to make the prints. I enjoyed the work I have done but mostly the printmaking because it was an interesting activity”

“I challenged myself by drawing the flower bigger, we drew life cycles and used Polyblock to print. I enjoyed it all very much”

“I really liked the part when we went over the pencil and then used pen. It was hard but worth it when we saw the results”

“I loved using the colouring pencils to draw the lifecycle image on the front of my concertina book”

Session 4: 9th March 2016

This was a busy session. We all completed drawings in our little concertina books and produced some really wonderful colour work. We had to try and be as detailed as possible and look carefully. It was surprising how good our drawings looked, and good to see how our drawing skills and confidence with drawing have changed during the project. We also printed our large plant prints – this was the most exciting thing to do. After we had printed our Polyblock pieces we needed to clean them and that did get a bit messy but we managed really well. We have made about 40 prints altogether as some of us had time to print two. We made two versions as we also cut out the Polyblock image, so some of the big flower prints are on a black background and some are on a white background as well.   We all agree that our final prints look stunning, wonderful, amazing, marvellous and magnificent. The great thing about this project has been learning the science of plant anatomy along with making art. We have also learnt about printmaking, and we have learnt to look in detail and use magnifiers for our drawings. Our science work has been brought to life in a new way.   We did a quiz at the end of this last session to check out our knowledge. One really big word that is very important to remember about plants is ‘Photosynthesis’!   Shelley says we all worked very hard, and we’re all looking forward to seeing our work displayed at the gallery.

“In today’s session I did some cutting. We had to use scissors and cut the Polyblock shape and it was hard. We did some cool pictures of flowers. What I enjoyed most was the drawing which was really fun and interesting. At the end the prints looked fabulous!”

“I really enjoyed doing the printmaking because it was really creative”

“I loved the last task. This was the best session too. The final prints look awesome! I also enjoyed drawing poppies and tulips”

“I loved inking my large print picture with the roller. This was very fun as I didn’t know how it would look until I took the paper off”


Project: Creative Chromosomes
Participants: Year 6 pupils
Partnering with: Staincliffe Junior
Artist: Shelley Burgoyne
Science topic: Circle of Life, Living Things

For our Circle of Life, Living Things topic we have chosen to focus on our individual makeup and our cells, and ideas about identity and uniqueness. We will be looking at changes and variations that occur in the unique DNA codes and changes that occur in the life cycle through growth. We will find out about DNA, what it is and where it is and how this knowledge is used in scientific research. We will be collecting images from science research of cells and will look at the patterns within them. These may be developed as pattern and repeat images as well as large drawings and collages. We will incorporate our visual research into experimentation, drawing and printmaking and aim to create a large artwork printed on textiles.

Session Images

Session 1: 11th February 2016

We have all been preparing quite a bit before we started working with Shelley today. Our science lessons have been focussing on DNA, chromosomes and how our individual identities are made of a recipe of components that form the basis of life. Today in our first Change session we looked at all sorts of images and representations of DNA structures. The variety of images we found in our research has inspired us to draw and try to understand how these structures are built up. We had a demonstration of drawing techniques and have tried to use line and tone in our drawings. The possibilities in our images have also been interesting to see, for example seeing how making repeats using photocopies placed together can extend the length of our DNA structure drawings. We loved the results and it was an exciting morning.

“I enjoyed the time in art today. We have been linking art and science which is a cool idea. Now I know what DNA looks like and it helps a lot in our artwork”

“I loved mixing pencils with water and watching Shelley demonstrate drawing”

“Working with Shelley was a privilege and I liked having an artist in our class.  I enjoyed everything and it was fun linking art with other subjects.  I had a lot of fun drawing today and learning new techniques”

“I enjoyed everything, but in particular linking the creation of art with science.  I could express myself in a whole world of art whilst learning about science and DNA especially.  I learnt as well that DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid!!”

Session 2: 25th February 2016

We have been developing our DNA drawings and using more colours and working with the patterns. We watched a drawing demonstration as well as a printing demonstration. We also experimented with the light box to make our drawings. It was interesting to see how we could use our simple drawings and make them into repeat designs using our printing blocks a second time. It was lots of fun printing, and it was good to have scientist Chris Allen from Cummins Turbo working with us today (he learnt how to do printing as well). We worked together in small groups and used photocopies of our DNA drawings to build on the big collage activity. We will do more with this next week. This was a very busy session.

“I enjoyed letting my imagination and creativity flow free. I enjoyed learning about printmaking”

“I am very grateful for this exciting lesson! I enjoyed using the light box for my drawing. I enthusiastically printed my inspired DNA with some colourful printing ink. I had different activities to participate in and I really appreciated your time and work with us!”

“I am going to do some more internet research about DNA and also look at Shelley’s website. Thank you Shelley for bringing the Sharpies, special crayons, graphite and light box”

“I loved doing the huge collage activity with our DNA drawings and working together on it”

Session 3: 3rd March 2016

This was certainly a very lively session as we had lots to do. We began with transferring our drawings from our sketchbooks onto the Polyblock. We did some printing last week so it was easy to know and understand what was happening. Also we were all very enthusiastic and keen to do more printmaking. Shelley then set up the printing area with the large piece of fabric for our banner. It was amazing to see what happened next as our images were printed onto the surface and we began to slowly build up the overall design. We also worked on the large collage ideas which was a fun way to create a sort of large drawing using photocopies to repeat the designs. We all had a lot of fun in this session with lots of enthusiasm and energy for our art and science work.

“We have been creating a huge and magnificent collage of DNA, it’s been a great experience! I enjoyed creating a mix of colours and blending them in. I enjoyed Shelley’s enthusiasm for our work. I also learnt with the collage that sometimes things I haven’t intentionally done can actually make the picture better!”

“It’s been a pleasure today. I have enjoyed everything but mostly the printing. It was fun.   I have loved drawing the DNA which I now know means Deoxyribonucleic Acid! Doing this project has been an excellent experience”

“Today we did some printing and drawing in sections. Shelley and Chris played a big part in helping us with the printing on the large banner”

“I enjoyed printing my pattern on the fabric, it was amazing. Our patterns and designs are legendary

Session 4: 15th March 2016

The whole class was still feeling excited and inspired by the trip to the Science Fair at Batley Girls’ High last week.   We talked about some of the things we had done – experiments with lots of colours, testing things out, new activities with strange objects and equipment.   Nevertheless, there was a good feeling of concentration today, we all wanted to make the most of our last session. The textile banner print is now complete! This was a really a challenging task which we got through with flying colours.   Shelley was very proud to see how well we all worked and printed as cleanly as possible!! A lot of care was taken and the end result shows that. We also completed two very large collage drawings which represent a wonderful group DNA image. Everyone’s individual DNA pattern is included as well as everyone’s own individual style of drawing, which makes these collages very special pieces of work. We had a discussion about names for these pieces and there were some very good suggestions. We also learnt a new technique – working with Brusho dye to colour some textile pieces and then printing an image on top. All in all we and Shelley feel we’ve produced some great work during this project and that we have worked very well as a group.

“I loved working on the large colour collage. Thank you. I also found the Brusho dyes interesting as you didn’t know what colours they would turn out as. It was exciting and surprising to use our Polyblock on top of this as well”

“I enjoyed printing the large textile banner. The last session was the best as we could see everything being completed”

“It’s been an amazing experience on this project and will be amazing to see the exhibition. The whole thing has been awesome and I hope to do it again”

“Today I enjoyed finishing the colour DNA and then also doing the powder ink Brusho. It was really fun”

A few words from our teacher:

“This has been an amazing opportunity for our children to develop a new and creative way to think about science. As soon as the project began children wanted to research the DNA subject for themselves both at home and on the computer in class. Their artwork was displayed on a grand scale as it was created and the children couldn’t wait to share their scientific knowledge with any adult who ventured in to look at the work in their classroom. The project has been an amazing opportunity for our children. They have loved working with a real artist and it has given them new experiences in their art and science learning.”


Project: Lightbulb Moments
Participants: Year 3/4 pupils
Partnering with:  Fieldhead Primary Academy
Artist: Tim Curtis
Science topic: Light and Electricity Circuits

For our project we are combining investigations into the properties of light, learning about low voltage electric circuits and our spring term Humanities topic, for which we are studying an Anglo Saxon hamlet and a Leeds cityscape. We’ll be using sculpture techniques and junk and reclaimed materials, working in pairs and groups to make collaborative 3D light sculptures of the hamlet and the cityscape. In order to construct our light sculptures we’ll need to learn about how light works with our eyes, series circuits, LEDs and battery power, as well as how to translate ideas from 2D into 3D. We’ll be doing it with great care and attention to safety, of course!

Session Images

Session 1: 25th February 2016

This week we met Mr Curtis our artist and Steve our engineer and scientist from Cummins Turbo in Huddersfield. Steve worked with a small group to use a digital SLR camera to experiment with light and dark. The rest of our class worked hard in teams of two to try and make a simple serial electric circuit to light up a bulb. We all found out that if your battery cell is too powerful for your light bulb then you will overload your circuit and blow your bulb! We learnt that 2 or 3 bulbs in our series circuit are just right for the electric current from a 9 volt battery. Next week we are going to use what we have learnt about circuits and light to help us light up a model Saxon village.

“I learnt that if I change the F numbers on the camera I can let in more or less light and I saw that light travels in straight lines. Thank you Steve”

Session 2: 3rd March 2016

Wow! At Mill Lane we have some great electrical engineers and model designers, and some people who are getting very clever at understanding photography and how a camera and lens work! This week we all learnt some artistic model making skills with reclaimed card. We worked in pairs and managed to make a model Saxon roundhouse fixed to a base by creating flaps and slots in the different pieces of card. We learnt safe ways to handle scissors, and how to use a piece of clay, a flat stable surface and a sharp pencil to push two holes into card and start to cut a line or shape. Most of us worked as a team and remembered how to wire a series circuit with two bulbs and carefully slot the bulb holder into holes in the model to create the fire pit and the candlelit roundhouse. We combined art and science and history in one learning experience!   Our two different teams of photographers learnt firstly about shutter speed and how a faster shutter speed gives to a darker photo but a slower shutter speed gives you a brighter photo. Then they learnt how to use the zoom lens, viewfinder, display and straps, and how to hold the camera properly and shoot a photo.

Session 3: 10th March 2016

Another busy, full-on workshop this week at Mill Lane saw everyone extrapolate their knowledge and apply it in a brand new context!   By that Mr Curtis meant that everyone was able to take an idea and a way of working we had already learnt, and put it into good effect in a brand new piece of work. Steve (from Cummins Turbo) and Mr Curtis helped us remember our trip into Leeds last week on the train. Everybody remembered finding the golden owls and the skyscrapers. Then Mr Curtis showed everyone a couple of his Leeds Cityscape line drawings and some photos of the Leeds skyline. Everyone tried drawing the long, tall, straight, vertical and stretchy horizontal lines that we could see in the photos and drawings of Leeds. In teams we got to turn old cardboard boxes inside out and carefully use masking tape and glue guns to stick them together. Then we used what we had learnt about cutting, gluing, taping and fixing card to try and make some of Leeds’ tall buildings. Some of the class used a safe way to make holes in cardboard (using modelling clay, a table and a sharp pencil) to cut windows and doors in the model buildings. Mr Curtis demonstrated how they would look with our new set of LED string lights. It was Goodbye and  thanks to Steve today. He helped one group of us take stunning photos of everyone working and building, and he checked how much we had learnt about light and electricity with him. We’ll have a new volunteer from Cummins Turbo joining us next week for our last session.

“Can you show me how the power gets in the new lights, we had crocodile clips and a battery pack last time?”

“I’m going to cut one window for one lamp so we can all see the light through the holes”

“We need to glue gun these flaps inside out of each other then we want you to glue gun this cylinder tower to the end on the edge, look it’s got a folded line”

“I got the camera and I pointed at the tower, and I zoomed in so it was big, and Steve told me to make the a number bigger so the photo was light”

Session 4: 17th March 2016

We did it! We built and finished our cardboard city skyline, and used electricity and LED lighting to illuminate the windows. In our final workshop we met a new volunteer from Cummins Turbo because Steve had to go to meetings in America this week. Laura really helped us in our team model-making session by getting stuck in and helping build and make and join materials. We had our cardboard boxes assembled as buildings and shapes, but we still had to safely cut out the windows and doors we wanted in our buildings. After that we had to try and carefully thread, trace and run our LED electric strings so that our LED lights illuminate the windows we have cut in our buildings. We used what we know about light travelling in straight lines to help us place the LED’s and we used our class trip to Leeds on the train, and what we know about Leeds’ tall buildings, to design and make our own Leeds city skyline. When our city is in Batley Art Gallery, everyone will be able to see some of Leeds’ golden owls and some landmarks like Bridgewater Place, The Merrion Centre, Matthew Murray Engine House, Broadcasting Place and Leeds Town Hall from the shapes, forms, and details we have included.

“Look Mr Curtis, the lights shine in the windows, can you see them there?”

“Please put the glue just there on the fold so that the tube sticks to the tower”

“How do I open the battery box? Oh, click, push, slide. Can I have two batteries please?”

“We’ve got the owls and the dalek on our building and we have cut some windows. We don’t need a back for our model because it stands up. We have stuck masking tape to keep the lights in every window”

A few words from our teacher:

“Children have shown they are eager to talk about what they have learnt in other areas of the curriculum, and keen to share their experiences with other members of staff and children. In science lessons they relate what we are learning to the circuits they made in Change sessions. Children have developed a more positive attitude to working in groups.”

Our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies said:

“I was impressed by the way Tim engaged the children in applying art as a medium to help them understand the technical topics of light and electrical circuits.  I was equally impressed with the enthusiasm and teamwork of the children, and how quickly they picked up and were able to apply their learning. I spent time at each session working with small groups of children, teaching them how to use a DSLR camera, experimenting with aperture size and shutter speed and their effects on light in photography.  I shared some practical uses of light in industry, for example lasers and solar panels. I thought the quality of work produced by the children was excellent” (Steve Mosley, CTT)


Project: A Birds-eye View over Fieldhead
Participants: Year 4 pupils
Partnering with: Mill Lane Primary
Artist: Tim Curtis
Science topic: Which wild animals and plants thrive in our locality?

We are using creative activities to investigate which living things thrive in Fieldhead, and what kinds of habitats there are around us. We’ll be discovering that the creatures and plants living in our locality can be grouped in different ways, and exploring how living things can be affected by changes in their environment. Equipped with maps, quadrants and ipads we will be going on Habitat Walks, using surveying, coding and ‘data handling’ techniques to explore different areas outside the classroom. We’ll collect, plot, analyse, make maps and sketches, take photos, and create a habitat/creature survey. We’ll also be bird watching, learning how to identify and classify birds, then creating drawings of the birds we have found using a variety of materials. We plan to develop our drawings into scenes depicting the different habitats our birds visit and what happens to them there, adding backdrops and props and using stop frame animation to create an animated story about a bird’s journey around Fieldhead.

Session Images

Session 1: 25th February 2016

This week we met and worked with Tim, our artist. We thought about lots of scientific survey skills like seeing, touching, recording, photographing and sketching. We walked around Fieldhead estate and found lots of creatures and habitats even on a cold day in February at the end of winter. We saw birds in their habitats, collected plants and seeds and brought them back to school. We discovered that plants, flowers and seeds are homes and habitats for an amazing range of mini-beasts from worms, slugs and snails to flies, woodlice, ants and aphids. Next week we will learn to draw birds or mini-beasts and animate them in three parts so they look like they are moving.

Look, I’ve found little green thing, it’s got six legs and wings and it came out of this dandelion

“Look at this Tim, I think it’s a slug and it’s got no feet”

Session 2: 3rd March 2016

This week we met David Radcliffe, our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies.  He showed us a model engine with pistons, spark plugs and turbo charger attached and told us about what Cummins Turbo make. They make engines for buses, trains, lorries and wagons all around the world, and in Huddersfield they make the turbos that go on them. They have over 9 factories in places like the USA, Brazil and the Netherlands and David gets to visit them each year and talk with colleagues there on video conferencing most days.  He tried to explain to us what his job is: he looks, listens and checks things carefully and pays a lot of attention to quality. In the hall we played a few drawing games to get warmed up on a massive 12meter long roll of paper: drawing with two hands, drawing with your other hand, drawing with your favourite hand. These games were designed to help us focus and listen and use our fine motor skills. When we returned to the classroom we had a drawing demonstration, where Tim showed us how he looks at the art of other artists and copies their lines and marks as best as he can. We looked at how two book illustrators have drawn a magpie and a raven (a bit like some of the birds we saw last week on our nature survey walk), and we watched Tim try to copy them, really big and filling a page with charcoal pencil. Then we had a go ourselves. We also tried to draw two made-up birds from our imaginations and made a sparrow type cartoon in profile and an owl type cartoon flying head on towards us, wings out and in flight.  In case you’re wondering about the costumes we are wearing in some of the photos, is was World Book Day so we had all dressed up. David and Tim really enjoyed the chance to share Billionaire Boy with three or four children at the end of the day.

Session 3: 10th March 2016

We had a really busy and productive workshop at Fieldhead this week, well done everyone! Since Tim visited last week, the class had all managed to draw a bird in three different positions, including wings out and wings by the side. To start today’s workshop we carefully cut around our bird drawings so that we could use them in our time-lapse stop-motion animation. Then in our work teams we had to choose one of five scenes or locations that we would make. We learnt a quick ‘Mr Maker’ way of using collage to make a layered scene to be the back ground for our animation. We worked hard and shared well as teams to make some great background scenery. Then we worked as a team using our ipads to take photos of each frame in our animation, moving our cut-out birds a tiny amount around the scenery, which stays still. Tim taught us how to close crop, or zoom/focus in with a still camera to make sure that the thing you are photographing fills your lens and that it is in focus. Then we had great fun making our hand-drawn, hand-animated birds  fly into and out of bird boxes, lamp posts, trees, bushes and TV antennae – all places we had seen birds using as part of their habitat when we went out on our first walk three weeks ago. Next week we will try to use all these scenes to tell a narrative story that shows how much we now know about habitats at Fieldhead.

“We animated a movie on imovie, it was fun. We took photos about the habitats around us”

“We made backgrounds for our films and we used our birds. We used our collages to create our film”

“We used paper and we collaged a berry bush and a blue sky”

“We used our habitat knowledge to design our collage. We used our collage to create an animation about a bird going through places”

Session 4: 17th March 2016

Tim’s last day with us today! Everyone worked in teams to take close-cropped photos of hand drawn animated birds flying through the habitats we surveyed in February. We quickly agreed a structure for our story that neatly, simply and interestingly used all the background scenery we had created, and offered a chance to make some animated action. Most of us worked really hard together in teams and did things that people often find hard: we shared things, we took turns, we were patient and understanding and we cooperated together to get a finished piece of work done. Tim asked us to use hand drawn birds that may not have been their own. He also asked us to share and use each other’s background scenes in turn as we took close-cropped photos of our stop frame animation story in five parts and five settings. Tim and David from Cummins Turbo were impressed by the way everyone managed to contribute and join in with creating our habitat story. In small groups we tried to take photo frames that tell a very simple story of a bird being hungry when he wakes in the bird house, having a damaged or broken wing and being helped by other birds to get red berries, eat in safety and then go and hang out in a flock with his friends in the trees above school.   The story is based on our real-life habitat observations. We had lots of fun, did some great reflective writing in our booklets, and also enjoyed finishing our part of a collaborative illustration that we have worked on with children from Mill Lane school. Tim is now going to edit our animations together so that we can add captions and sound ready for our film to be shown in Batley Art Gallery.

“When it gets out of the bird house it falls to the ground because it can’t fly, it’s got a broken wing”

“I know that it needs to eat the red berries on the red berry bush and that its friends will fly along and help it get the berries to eat”

“I think I have got all the frames and all the scenes in imovie now”

“I saw the bird on the TV aerial when we was on the walk and I took a photo of him on the ipad”

A few words from our teacher:

“The opportunity for pupils to develop a love for Art and feel safe to explore techniques in Art has been very beneficial to their learning and progression.”

Our volunteer from Cummins Turbo Technologies said:

“The time I spent working with Tim and the children at Fieldhead was fantastic, I think I have missed my way and should have been a teacher. The faces and reactions of the children have been very rewarding. Although I was shattered at the end of the day, I had a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that in a small way I had contributed to the children’s education and awareness of their environment” (David Radcliffe, CTT)