COSTESSEY JUNIOR SCHOOL
The project at Costessey began by focussing on the idea of making the children aware of and sensitive to the outdoor 'landscape' of a part of their grounds, including a small copse and surounding grassed slopes. The final theme, 'Stories on Poles', came from the idea of installing a permanent wooden feature at the heart of the school's new nature area, near to the classrooms. The central interest of this area was the eleven tree types that had been planted by two of the school's governors, Elaine and Paul. The poles were intended to both stand out from but also to relate to the surrounding trees.
There were two groups at Costessey Junior: one main group of pupils (years 3-6), working with the museum artefacts and making installation art; and a second smaller year 6 group working with BBC Voices and Matt Robinson from the Sainsbury Centre, who filmed and interviewed the main group, and worked on editing all the material together to make a video recording of what had happened over the two days. Both days involved studying and responding to objects brought from the museum. This stimulated, on the first day, working with thick string and foraged materials, to make a creative and environmental personal response to an outdoor area that was much loved by the pupils. On the second day, the stimulus came from carved staffs and totem poles, which led to storymaking and imaginative responses to eleven 'favourite trees'. The final event was the installation of the poles in the nature area, with singing, and a poetry reading, as well as the added element of rain.