Creative Paths Project – Early Years

Holy Child Nursery School, Andersonstown, West Belfast
Project: Art for all Seasons
Artist: Laureen Magill
Age Group: 3-4
Participants: x 52 children
30 hours, over 15 weeks

This ‘Art for all Seasons’ project sprang from a long held desire to ‘brighten up’ the front of the nursery school with artwork created by the children, that would stimulate interest and discussion throughout the year between parents and children. Using the theme of the Seasons gave the children an opportunity to engage with the natural world in a creative way.

“We were extremely fortunate through Creative Paths to be matched with artist Laureen Magill. She was an inspiration, full of ideas and enthusiasm which in turn rubbed off on our pupils who loved getting involved in sticking, painting, decorating, and creating each Thursday morning.

Autumn saw the children collect leaves and twigs outdoors in the school grounds which they used to take rubbings from, and make drawings which were laminated to produce a colourful group piece of artwork for the wall outside. They had great fun and were very proud of their finished work!

Over the Winter the artwork outside really grabbed both children and parents’ imagination.  Being greeted by a full size 3D reindeer sculpture made from recycled plastic bottles certainly fuelled lots of interaction and discussion.

Springtime brought with it a full farmyard of animals outside the front entrance of the nursery school including pigs, goats and sheep, all made by the children with Laureen using recycled scrap materials.

The project certainly had the desired effect. It was a great source of conversation in the morning and afternoon as parents frequently stopped to look, as their children pointed out which bits were theirs how they were made. This is a great example of scrap materials used to inspire future artists, architects, engineers, and animals lovers!
Geraldine McCleneghan, Principal

“By actually working in 3D the children built their skills and grasped the concept more readily. All the staff that worked alongside me in the nursery acquired new skills and greater confidence. They learned how to turn all the free scrap materials from Play Resource into something…giving it a new lease of life. Like a pig made from an old trolley! The staff all felt they could carry on working in this way even without me there. The nursery is a very relaxed, colourful, inspiring learning environment. They quickly make curriculum links from their activities. Like how their visit to a farm translated into our Spring artwork theme!”
Laureen Magill, Artist

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