Rotherhithe artist Ed Gray has been working with children from Years 4, 5 and 6 from St Mary Magdalene CE Primary School Peckham to create two large scale murals.
The artist, best known for his London figurative street scenes, has collaborated with the children to create two new murals that reveal a day in the life of the school from the pupils’ viewpoint.
The first panel depicts pupils at home preparing for the school day, then arriving at school, greeting friends and learning in class as well as receiving and eating their school lunch. The second panel focuses on creativity and teamwork in the school with play, music, dancing and sport all featuring prominently.
Ed initally discussed ideas with pupils in a brainstorming session and then ran life-drawing classes that reenacted the key daily moments that the pupils described. The murals are intended to reflect the values of the school; trust, honesty, love, peace, forgiveness, wonder, thankfulness, compassion, hope and the importance of the uniqueness of each child.
“I’ve worked on a few ambitious 2D and 3D projects at St Mary Magdalene. For this project we went even further, taking inspiration from images from Renaissance old master Giotto’s beautiful mural cycles. The children have been amazing to work with. They have learnt so much about drawing, colour mixing, paintbrush control and narrative composition.
Despite the incredible talent in the huge UK creative industries’ sector Art and craft is often squeezed out of the curriculum of so many schools so it’s vitally important that creative professionals collaborate on projects with pupils that are ambitious and build confidence in new ways. I’m grateful that the pupils were able to dedicate the necessary time to making these murals such a joyous celebration of school life.”
Children from years 3, 4 and 5 went on an Enabling Enterprise trip to Multiplex Construction Company in the City. Their challenge was Brilliant Builds – they had to redevelop a brown field site which involved the children working in teams problem solving, sharing ideas and using their imagination.
Everyone had a wonderful time.
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Some of our pupils had their beautiful art work displayed at Platform 3, in Peckham Rye Train Station, and also met with Southwark Mayor, Kath Whittam.
The theme of their work was ‘Inventions,’ which was to inspire both passengers and children to think about the environment.
We are proud of them all!
It has been such a pleasure for The Literacy Tree to work at St Mary Magdalene’s this year: they have such a dynamic group of teachers who have fully-embraced Teaching Through A Text. As a result, the outcomes have been brilliant for the children. They have all experienced such a rich diet of quality literature and quality literacy experiences and the results are astounding!
We enjoyed an amazing visit from the author Ifeoma Onyefulu as part of our Book Week. She has written ‘A is for Africa’ amongst other books which our children have enjoyed.
She told all children a story during Collective Worship and then led workshops with Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 which the children really enjoyed.
She finished with a book signing at the end of the day.
We also had a wonderful World Book Day when both staff and children had the opportunity to dress up as their favourite book characters!!
Year 2 children had a wonderful day in the sun at the Wetlands Centre in Barnes. The children learnt about living things and their habitats. They took part in an activity “How do birds live in Wetlands?” and followed swans, ducks and geese to study how they are adapted to live in their environments.
Year 5 have been working with Southwark Music Service learning to play the flute and saxophone. This week they participated in a Southwark Orchestral Playing Day in The Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank. The event involved a workshop with renowned conductor & composer Scott Stroman in which they performed a piece they have been working on in school, some improvised music that they created with Scott & the secondary school children participating and performed in a piece with everyone together.
“It was an amazing experience. There were so many people there to watch us and they were really supportive,” Joshua Oyenola in Year 5.
Andy Marwick worked with classes across the School on Science investigations. Please see his quotes below:
“Year 3 pupils investigated whether there is a correlation between the distance a light source (torch) is from an object and the size of its shadow. Year three were not only able to provide a convincing conclusion, they took measurements of distance and surface area. This is normally a year 6 activity!”
“Chemical reactions was the focus for year 5 and I couldn’t have wished for a more enthusiastic and inquisitive class. Pupils explored five different types of chemical reaction and very creatively made up a few of their own! Pupils followed instructions well and were able to describe their observations in detail. I was very impressed by pupils’ use of scientific vocabulary to explain what they saw.”
“The focus for year 6 was on the heart and circulatory system. I have taught this topic many times to year 6 classes over the past 20 years. However, I have never worked with such a mature and naturally inquisitive group as your year 6. I needed to keep reminding myself that this was a year 6 class and not a group of young adults!”