classroom fromthe View

strengths, and gives each one the opportunity to achieve a wide variety of academic, sporting and extra-curricular goals.

What inspired your latest Art and Design project, Fantasy Heads?

The idea came from a variety of sources inspired by what teenagers see around them in their world, both imaginative and real.


hismonth, in our popular Viewfromthe classroomfeature,we hear fromBeech Hall School inMacclesfield,who have recently undertaken an Art and Design project on the subject of “Fantasy Heads”. James Allen, Beech Hall School Headmaster, tells usmore about the importance of Art and Design at the school.

Tell us about your school

Beech Hall is a non-selective independent school for boys and girls aged 6 months to 16 years. It is situated in a beautiful sixteen-acre site on the

buildings, playing fields and a swimming pool. edge of the Peak District, housing two listed

which focuses on each and every individual child’s committed to providing a child-centred education Part of the Riverston Group, Beech Hall is

What did the Fantasy Heads project involve? Year 9 pupils were tasked to draw upon their own inspiration to design and create models of fictitious characters, allowing the expression of creativity to develop their interpretation of a ‘Fantasy Head’. Some pupils, who are already keen artists, took inspiration from their own drawings of mythical creatures, whereas others looked at science fiction films, books, legends and computer games as a starting point. They were encouraged to research and source lots of ideas to create their own personal design ideas within a sketchbook.

The pupils spent approximately 15 lessons on designing and making the sculptures, for which they created the Fantasy Heads. They began with constructing the head using a balloon and mod roc, applying several layers to ensure it was strong. Adding textural materials such as bubble wrap, papier-mache and card enabled them to build out areas and add detail such as eyes, scales and horns to the surface. Finally, adding a neck and shoulders completed the structure before applying paint and fabric to the finished design. The most challenging part of the project was to ensure the sculpture was balanced so it could stand alone without support. This took some time and planning to ensure it was stable. The most enjoyable part is always the painting stage where the pupils can experiment and select colours to


match their overall design, bringing the character to life.

Whatwas the outcome of the project in relation towhat the children achieved? Alongside having great fun, the children learnt a variety of new techniques, with the project encouraging the pupils’ creative, technical and personal development.

Fantasy Heads is one of many imaginative

projects completed by pupils at Beech Hall School. The children develop their artistic skills through a wide range of materials and techniques such as drawing, painting, textiles printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and ICT.

What other Art and Design projects have the pupils recently participated in?

Recent art and design projects include giant papier-mache doughnuts by Year 6, Year 4 clay ‘Meerkats’, Year 7 lino printing in the style of ‘Lowry’ and ‘Underwater’ silk paintings by the Infants.

Lower V pupils also started a new GCSE project at the start of the year called ‘Inside Out’, which enables them to develop some diverse ideas in photography, painting, textiles or sculpture. Ideas ranged from looking inside and outside our body and mind, looking through windows and mirrors to capture interesting and unusual viewpoints, and considering what lies beneath the ground, above the sky and within water. The project linked with a trip to theManchester Art Gallery, where pupils saw a special exhibition of work by Leonardo Da Vinci on his anatomy drawing – it was one of the many exhibitions of his work on show around the UK to mark the anniversary of his death 500 years ago. Pupils also viewed the ‘And Breathe’ exhibition, which features a selection of art work displayed to encourage you

May 2019

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