Children learn in different ways, for sure, but there’s clear agreement that being actively and physically engaged in an absorbing process is an ideal way for most children to learn. A mosaic project is exciting. It is very ‘hands on’, so there is little chance of distraction and every opportunity for personal expression and individuality. What’s more there is a tangible and very desirable end product – a legacy that the whole school community can enjoy for years to come – that will be an asset to the school building or school grounds.
The most popular projects that I have worked on in schools have been:
- Mosaic Stepping Stones for paths, patios and flower beds (as in the image above)
- Roman Mosaic Plaques (see previous post for more details)
- Large format wall mosaics that involve lots, if not all, the school pupils
In all of these projects, whilst being creative and fully occupied, children are also learning and developing a whole range of skills. To calculate quantities of materials we use maths but most of them do this without realising! Participants have to make colour choices, listen carefully to instructions, understand safety rules, co-operate in small teams and much more. Kim Grant has made a very useful list of the learning opportunities
that a mosaic project can offer to children.
The school mosaic packs have been designed for use in both primary and secondary education. The same techniques and materials can be used at each level and the tips for teachers give suggestions for differentiating accordingly, together with other practical suggestions for organising the project.
In the last few years, schools have been especially interested in improving their outside environment and this has prompted better resources becoming available to enable schools to do it themselves wherever possible. My best selling kit for schools is the Mosaic Stepping Stones Project Pack (Garden Theme) for 30
. They have been popular up and down the country and I have received excellent feedback from a number of schools letting me know how pleased they’ve been with the packs. There is also a ‘refill’ for this pack so that the equipment in it can be re-used with subsequent groups.
I had a quick look around yesterday before meeting with Gill Wright to talk about the work we might be doing together next summer. Here’s some of what I saw:
In addition to the various kits and community group and special school packages you can now choose your own combination of top quality CINCA frost resistant ceramic tiles from the website.
There are 23 colours in stock to select from, giving you plenty of choice. The selection shown above includes 5 of each of our most popular 10 colours, available to purchase on the website for £75.00 + p&p. Click here to view.
Most of us rely on a few strong characters in our communities to drive initiatives for change and the commitment and dedication of these individuals is to be greatly admired.
Liz is one of these treasured assets in my own neighbourhood so when she approached me just over a year ago, together with Angie and Becky from the Oswald Road Community Garden Group, and told me what was going on, I was delighted to agree to the project.
In their spare time, the team of volunteers has carried out the improvements to the small green space along Oswald Road in Chorlton adjacent to the fenced sports ground that’s come to be known as ‘The Field of Oz’. Planting includes a herb wheel and two spiralling lines of fruit trees and shrubs.
They have been gradually building on their achievements, applying for any community support and grants that they can find. A mosaic project was seen as a great way to introduce some year round colour, engage awareness from more local people and provide a fabulous opportunity for children at Oswald Road Primary School to be involved in making a mosaic for a community space.
The mosaic was designed and created by children from Oswald Road Primary School with the help and support of Mrs. Appleby in the spring and stored over the summer. Once the new school year began, we arranged a date and Becky, Liz and I installed the mosaic together. Here you can see Liz and I putting the finishing touches to it!
An official celebratory ‘opening’ of the mosaic will take place soon…………
In the spring I worked with three local groups to create designs for butterfly mosaics for the new Butterfly Garden at the National Wildflower Centre. The mosaics were cast into concrete shapes in the summer and last week I went over to work out how they would be sited with Lucinda and Pete, aka The Hairy Gardener.
As you can see the garden was quite overgrown on the day we did the setting out. The white card denotes the position for the main butterfly, as seen below. If you click onto the link above to the hairy gardener’s blog, you’ll see what a transformation the volunteers have made to this space already. Pete is organising the planting scheme for the garden and it is going to look sensational – I’m giving away nothing – but I can tell you that you should definitely make a visit next March when this new Butterfly Garden will be in full bloom……..
Now then, I’ve still not received any guesses for the last butterfly identification competition but here’s another one: although it is stylised, can you identify the native butterfly species that is represented in this mosaic?
Yes, it is worth commenting if you know the answer because, of course, there is a PRIZE!!!! the person who sends the first correct answer will win a butterfly mosaic stepping stone kit (worth £34), posted to their address. The usual T & C apply (ask if you need a copy!!)
We’ve been back at Chorlton Central for 6 weeks now since the summer break and there are lots of lovely mosaic projects underway.
Mosaic Flower Pot by Vicky
One or two busy bees in our group are efficiently producing wonderful handmade mosaic gifts, such as mirrors and fridge magnets, as Christmas presents for their nearest and dearest.
We’re planning to have a group exhibition in the spring and very soon I’ll be organising a visit to Victoria Baths, where we’re hoping the exhibition will take place. Confirmation and further details to follow….
So, if this sounds like something that you would like to be part of and you live in the Manchester area, why not join us? We still have enough space for two or three more people to join the group.
For further details, click here.