In the Spring and Summer term of 2012, I was asked to work with the children of Ravenswood Primary School to create a series of banners which illustrated the ‘school values’ and to be hung in the large windows of their dinner hall. ALL the children in the school, from Nursery to Year 6 were involved in the design of the banners and painting them – well over 500 children! It was a fantastic and exciting project to be part of.
Every year group was allocated a school value and in their lessons, they came up with a design for it – often linked to areas of the curriculum they were working on.
I transferred the children’s designs onto cotton fabric, 2 metres by 80 cm to fit the windows. Then every child in school from that year group, would spend some time painting on their hanging.
Using the mid weight cotton and COLOURTEX by Specialist Crafts, we were able to create a ‘stained glass window’ effect.
As you can imagine, sometimes trying to co-ordinate so many children was a bit tricky but the teachers, classroom assistants and parents all helped to ensure it was a very smooth running project.
On each of the hangings, the children decided it would be great fun to paint a Raven, a symbol of the school, which they could have fun looking for whilst sitting in the dinning hall eating their lunch.
The large textile window hangings, also help to absorb the sound in the dinning hall, so it doesn’t seem so noisy for the younger children.
Besides the different year groups, some of the school clubs also created their own designs for a ‘school value’. The Drama Club painted the ‘Self-Confidence’ hanging and the School Council design and painted the ‘Openness’ hanging.
I must admit, one of my favourite window hangings was by the children in the Nursery. There was approximately 63 children in Nursery at the time and each one choose a butterfly shape then painted it in their preferred colours.
The window hangings are much enjoyed by the children and are a lovely talking point for them, as they are able to remember which elements they painted of the hanging when they were lower down in the school.