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With support from The Helen Foundation, Canada Hill School engaged artist Iola Weir to run a workshop with their pupils. The inspiration for the workshop was Commonwealth Cultures, as part of Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It involved a collaborative project to build a (part) geodesic dome inspired by, but not replicating, the Commonwealth logo. The young people used collage and mixed media. It was terrific success!

The school said:

"The children were engaged and enjoyed working with somebody different and with resources that they hadn't used before. We are always learning from each other and this project is something that we could adapt and try again. Iola the artist, noticed how many of the boys were particularly inspired to create intricate patterns."

And the youngsters said:

‘I found it very creative and professional. We got to use our imaginations. I really like the first activity with the "dotting" art. I did a sunset.’ ( Isabel)

“I enjoyed the activity and liked using everything there. I learned that I can do things that I didn't think I would do.” ( Elizabeth)

“I like making sculptures and it was fun painting with sponges to fill in the bits of the sculpture.” (Henry)

“I really enjoyed this start because I like glueing the different stuff down. It was really fun and I would like to do that again."


We know that many schools struggle to provide clay work, as it is resource and space hungry - and often just too messy and disruptive to other activities in the schools. However, we equally know that most children really love the hands on - literally the feel and creative possibilities - of modelling clay. Using THF support, and including the extra funding from the THF Arts Recovery Fund, All Saints (Marsh) School invited in Anna Boland to run an ambitious two-day whole-school clay modelling project.

Chilufaya Babbage from the school commented:

"The children absolutely loved the workshop. They produced creative outcomes where they used their imagination and also learnt some new skills.The project catered to children of all abilities and the artist was happy to challenge those with higher skills while skillfully supporting those that struggled."

The children said:

"Thank you for teaching us to make models out of clay. Next time I would like to not just do mythical creatures but I would like to do any creatures in the world." (Daisy)

" I loved doing the clay. It was really fun. Thank you, Anna, for doing it with us but I really struggled in making it. It took me over 10 minutes and I love getting messy." (Archie)

"Thank you for teaching us different skills about clay. I enjoyed adding the extra details to the mythical creatures. I struggled with making the body but I finally did it. I learned how to make all the different stages such as the body, eyes, and fins." (Isabella)


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