Exploring Materials & Processes at Ashmead School
I blogged about my previous work with Ashmead School in Aylesbury on my last blog – http://blog.jamesaldridge-artist.co.uk. I was working with the school to support the development of creative, child-initiated learning in the outdoors, starting at the College Lake Nature Reserve as part of my residency there, and following on within the school’s own grounds.
This year the school invited me back to work with the Reception children to explore how we could share new materials and processes with the children during their free-flow time. In other words, during the times of day when the three reception classes move through the interconnected classrooms and select for themselves what they want to do, I have been setting up different tools and materials in the studio.
This way they can self-select, so I don’t necessarily get to work with the same children each time, which makes following and responding to the children’s interests and learning more of a challenge, but it adds another opportunity into the mix that the children wouldn’t otherwise have, and so encourages children to take part in creative activities that might not normally.
We’ve worked with clay and found materials (construction, sensory play, exploring size/shape etc), paint and natural materials (printing/mark-making/writing), and next week on my last session at the school I’m going to provide opportunities to explore connection, weaving and tying.