Monthly Archives: June 2010

School Mosaic Project


Chorlton C E Primary School, Manchester


poppy design created in torn tissue paper

The first stage of the project was to create the design and this task was given to Year 6, facilitated by Tracey with help from the Y6 class teacher, Mrs. Beisly.

“Tracey came into our classroom to help us to design the mosaic. We started by brainstorming ideas. We wanted the 3 panels to represent the three stages in our school: foundation, key stage 1 and key stage 2 and link it all to Green Day.” (Sade, Y6)

The children came up with some very interesting and creative ways to represent the theme through nature. For example, life cycles of plants and animals that could be shown developing across the three panels.

“We thought of ideas from nature that could symbolise how we grow and flourish as we move through school.” (Danny Y6)

Once we had a good list of ideas, we started to create images of them, using tissue paper, lolly sticks, buttons and feathers sandwiched between two pieces of clear sticky back plastic” (Ryan Y6)

Whilst the rest of Year 6 continued with individual designs, eight children were selected by the class teacher to work on the overall composition for the mosaic with Tracey. They split into two teams of four and each team came up with their own proposal.

The two design teams returned to the classroom to make a presentation to the rest of the class. Both proposals proved to be very popular and the class found it impossible to choose one or the other. Instead, Tracey suggested that she could take both of them away and try to combine them into one design. Here is the final composition:

The final layout, combining features from both Year 6 design proposals


Each year group joined Tracey in the school hall for a half hour slot as part of the exciting Green Day activities. Tracey, assisted by  Cathy, Lisa and Luke (three parent volunteers), gave each class a brief introduction to mosaics and an inspiring slide show of interesting examples. Then the children had a look at the design created by Year 6 and heard about the themes and ideas involved. Finally, they all had a chance to make a design of their own using an improvised printing technique.

Printing Mosaic Design Ideas


The mosaic was made using the direct method and incorporated an exciting selection of materials: glass smalti and glass mosaics, ceramic tile pieces and old fragments of ceramics salvaged from the days when the school had its own kiln in operation, together with glass beads. Real treasure!

The talented pupils of Chorlton C E Primary School selected their own colours and materials and did all of the work on the mosaic themselves with just a little assistance as needed. Each class sent groups of 8-10 children down at a time to work in the basement workspace, which was ideal.

Staff and parents that assisted with the sessions had the opportunity to take part too and by the end of the project volunteer assistants Cathy Brydges, Lisa Scott and Luke Adamson had all mastered the mosaic techniques involved.


Click on the image to see the full picture

“Have had lots of complimentary comments about the mosaic already; it looks really fabulous! Well done – it has been a great project for the children to be a part of and I am looking forward to working on another next year!!” (Headteacher)

If your school would like any help with a mosaic project, please contact me on 0161 860 0387 (Manchester, UK) or take a look at the available school mosaic kits: We also produce bespoke mosaic kits.

Margaret’s Bench, Norton Priory

Update: April 2011

The mosaic has now been given a render surround:

June 2010

The cob and mosaic bench outside the Walled Garden at Norton Priory was formally unveiled on Sunday to celebrate the life and work of Margaret Walhurst, a former director of Norton Priory Museum who worked hard to make the museum what it is today.

The sculptural bench was built by Annabel Fawcus of Earthed World with lots of help from Year 6 pupils from St. Augustine’s Primary School in Runcorn. The class also worked with Tracey to create the mosaic features that have been incorporated into the back of the seat and on the wall above it.

detail, right hand side

In addition to the new bench, a new mosaic trail has been created by people with links to the garden, both past and present, and celebrates what makes the garden so unique. The Museum staff used the school/community group mosaic stepping stone kit to work with participants in the creation of the trail.