JHQ Commission Day Six

What a fantastic day we have had at Ark School!  The sun shone all day, even hot enough to warm the metal and tools without using the forge!  I was working with teacher Mrs Rickards and her Year 3 class today and brilliantly the class decided to have their whole day outside in the tented area working alongside me an using the time to get lots of creative writing, poetry, observational drawing and making done!  This is just how I love to see my visit in a school used to its full potential!

We were working on the bird designed by Mr Rowles the art Learning Support Assistant based at school – I think every primary school should have one of these, and a sports LSA, there all the time to add extra-specialised learning for each pupil making arts and sports a mainstream part of learning rather than special time! (that and each teacher being given a sabbatical after seven years of full time teaching to refresh and recharge and experience life out side of education and then take those experiences back into school!)

The gorgeous copper wings were made last week and today we forged the body using fish-end tapers and scrolls for the lovely tail, scroll work for the wing supports and Mr Rowles to forge a head for his bird.  It has been a really successful making day today and each pupil has really got absorbed in the whole experience making for a truly memorable time!

We also had great support from LSA Mrs Davies with the copper work, she used all the new words connected to the processes and got the children exploring techniques and language; development from design to the finished piece and thinking about their experience in a broader sense than the immediacy of hand hammer work.  Fantastic!  I am so focused on the safety of the children pumping the bellows and hammering that I don’t always get chance to talk through the more detailed aspect of what we are doing with them.

It is great that this school are getting so many people involved, using the experience to let staff gain new skills alongside the pupils.

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