I was commissioned to develop a project with two primary 7 classes from Whitburn which took as it’s topic the Heartlands development. This development, just outside Whitburn, is currently the largest development project in Britain. Taking the history and surroundings of this site as inspiration my brief was to create a full day’s workshop with half of the day taking place on site and the other half back in the classroom. The difficulties lay in relying upon the Scottish weather, class sizes and access to enough of the site to be able to produce a set of good quality, varied images.
I chose to focus my attentions on the beech trees – one in particular which you can see above. I used a digital projector to create a template of this tree on to A0 mount board. The children would create a collage of lots of small photographs taken during their visit, printed on to A4 sticker paper, cut up and stuck on to the Beech tree template.
We could not have asked for better weather during the two school’s visits allowing us to wander the site taking a variety of images. The children were asked to focus their attentions to photographing to specific colours; brown, green, grey, blue and white.
The children really enjoyed taking their pictures and learning the geology of rocks on the site, they listened intently to Alex Muirhead, Development Director of the site.
After their site visit the children returned to their school where I joined them and we began printing their photographs out on to contact sheets. They were encouraged to choose a job suited to their skills; cutting out the pictures, dividing them in to the separate colours, helping with the printing, taking the sticky backs off the prints and sticking them down.
We almost finished their collage! The class teachers were happy to finish their collages in class next week but below is an (almost) finished collage. The pupils and teachers alike were very happy with their work, which will go on display at a sharing day at Whitburn High School in September so I hope to be able to post photographs of the finished tree collages.
This project was successful on many levels not least of all because the children learned new photography skills, gained confidence in their creativity, worked as a team to produce a piece of work and of course built upon their knowledge of the Heartlands development.