We were tasked by the Headteacher and Deputy-Head of Aberdare Park Primary School to create an Autumn Art Project. It needed to be a colourful piece of artwork for the school entrance which all the children in the school, in total 315 children, could take part.

The project was a real collaboration of ideas between us and the school. During our initial meetings we discussed lots of ideas and ways in which we could deliver the project whilst engaging all students and importantly, passing on some new skills and experiences. It was important that we tailor age appropriate tasks for each of the classes from Nursery to Year 6 to enable each age group to contribute and where appropriate to be challenged.


We digitally created proposals of how the artwork could look in relation to the space in the school entrance and how the children would work on the project. Once these were approved we agreed a timescale, sourced all materials and started our sessions. All session were run in the school and each class was allocated a time slot for the project.

Aberdare Park Primary School is adjacent to Aberdare Park so we wanted to reflect the colours, wildlife and nature that is just outside the school. As it was an Autumn project we focussed on the changing colours of the trees and leaves.


Groups of children visited the park to collect leaves, acorns, sticks and pine cones as source material. We then ran two days of clay modelling classes where the children created clay leaves, the younger groups focussed on mark making, cutting out clay leaf shapes. The older age groups created more complex clay tiles including insects, detailed leaves and small scenes.

Once the clay was dry we ran two days of paining sessions where we painted all the clay tiles. These were fun and colourful sessions where the children learned about mixing colours and painting. We used a lot of wet wipes over those two days, particularly with the younger groups!

Next we started painting the backing boards and when complete, glued all the clay leaves to the boards to create a textured finish.

Photographs are a great way of documenting a project but a short film is even better. We therefore created a short film of the art project to clearly document the process leading up to the completion of the final wall panel. We used a timelapse camera to speed up some of the painting processes.

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