23 May SPARKY THE PIZZA OVEN AND OTHER STORIES …
SPARKY THE PIZZA OVEN AND OTHER STORIES …
It’s been a rollercoaster few months of creative learning in the schools where I’ve worked as either a Creative Practitioner or Creative Agent for the Arts Council of Wales’s ‘Lead Creative Schools Scheme’.
One of these schools was Ysgol y Bannau, in the glorious Bannau Brycheiniog, where Year 2 and 3 children came up with the idea of transforming a corner of their already inspiring outdoor area into a multi-purpose wellbeing and creativity zone. Selecting an area that overlooked Pen Y Fan, they worked with creative practitioner Angharad McGreevy to construct a living willow circle, from where they’ll be able to hold storytelling sessions, practice yoga, dance, perform, read, or just hang out with friends. During the construction process, they also developed numeracy skills, measuring out the circle and digging holes to the correct depth, as well as design skills, science skills, and team-working skills.
In another corner of the school field, the same group of children also took it in turns to work with artist and production designer Tanwen Wilkinson to design and build a working clay pizza oven, which complements the wellbeing zone, and which the children have since named Sparky!
As with the willow circle, the pizza oven was 100% the children’s own idea, which has proven to be central to the children’s self-esteem and sense of pride and ownership over the project, helping to embed all the creative learning taking place, whilst construction of the oven also helped deliver a range of diverse skills across the curriculum.
Oh, and the pizza – topped with fresh basil from the school polytunnel – tasted amazing of course!