The wonder of our Junior School Art projects

6 November 2023

It is always with heartfelt pleasure each week that I greet my artists, from my youngest Year 1 class to my grown-up Year 6, as they all race joyfully across the playground to join me in the Junior School’s Art & Design Centre. They enthusiastically help one another into aprons and overalls, ready to begin the “it’s never long enough Mrs Aspinwall … when do we get an entire art day’’ lesson. They take their seats and we are ready to begin……

Each year group has an area of study for the term and will pursue and sustain this project from conception to realization, through a wide variety of ideas and media. We work in 2 and 3 dimensions, inspired by past and present artists, investigating different processes from drawing and painting to construction and screen printing. There is always an emphasis on good planning, the confidence to experiment, problem solve, work individually or as part of a group, and, above all else, enjoy!

My year 1 and 2 class have been inspired this term by Rainforest butterflies and have worked together on an exciting variety of prints and resist methods, exploring different paints and pastels. My high expectations in their growing dexterity, ideas, determination and complete joy in their work never disappoints!

Year 3 have been engaged in a Cat project, exploring the work of contemporary book illustrators such as Aliso Read and Sanchia Lewis. They have produced ‘cats with character’ using ink splodges, sustained very impressive large and textured pencil drawings and are now underway with their own unique and individual sculptures.

Year 4 are exploring an ‘Expressive Viewpoints’ project, beginning with small, but very impressive pencil portraits and eye studies, before moving into collage and card construction on a larger scale. Our inspiration has extended from Picasso’s exciting multi-viewpoint portraits to the contemporary bright, colourful and decorative masks of Kimmy Cantrell.

The Year 5’s have been investigating, exploring and experimenting with the idea of dynamic movement in figures through art. We have used a wide variety of pencil grades, marker pens and wash, acrylic and water-based paints and we are now underway with the close study of the artist Keith Haring and hid brand of Street Art, taking our ideas into 3D constructions.

The Year 6 groups have immersed themselves in the exciting and imaginative architecture and design concepts of Friedenreich Hundertwasser and his realization of a well-designed yet unique environment to live and work in. They are underway with creating their own individual studio work spaces that will ultimately go on show as part of an enormous group apartment block in school. Their ideas, designs, can-do attitude and confidence and their growing dexterity as they build and construct from card and found objects, impresses me greatly. They have built up, over their time in the Department, a good and useful tool-box of skills from earlier projects and are now demonstrating excellent use and manipulation of these skills.

Each year group enjoys seeing what everyone else has been up to when they come over to the department and they all love returning to their art pads and following their own progress, many right through from year1! We continue to develop our exhibition areas around school and now have really exciting plans to extend these ideas out into the ‘garden’ beyond the Art and Design Centre; we would like this to be a practical, useful, inspiring place to work and create for all year groups, across all subjects.

The House Art Competition this term has been a great success and attracted enormous enthusiasm and excitement as it all came together. We now have a new Art Cup on display in the Entrance Hall for future competitions!

Mrs Aspinwall, Junior School Head of Art 


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