Sheffield pupils explore life of artist Da Vinci

Children from two schools have collobarated on a unique artistic project exploring the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

By Kate Mason
Tuesday, 18 June, 2019, 14:05
Gleadless School Take One Interest exhibition Laurel Smith and Sophie Hurst

The Take One Interest project between Arbourthorne and Gleadless Primary Schools Federation gave pupils the chance to find out about different areas of interest explored by Da Vinci during his lifetime, and which are represented in the drawings displayed as part of the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition.

Vanessa Langley, executive headteacher for the federation, said: ‘’Arbourthorne and Gleadless federation are always looking for new and inspirational ways to motivate and engage our learners and this project was simply stunning.

“We wanted our children and colleagues to be inspired and influenced by the superb Millenium Gallery exhibition and to find ways of making the artwork as accessible as possible for children and their families.  

“We have employed an artist in residence for twelve years because I strongly believe that creative thinking should be at the heart of every child’s learning experience.

“Thinking creatively, developing individuality and personality and learning to appreciate literature, poetry, art, music and dance are fundamental to our children’s futures. We must grow the next generation of artists and Sheffield offers a super base upon which to do this. The children and families are able to see this for themselves through this powerful project.’’

Working in partnership has been a key feature of the project, and staff have worked collaboratively across the federation to develop planning and share ideas. Children from both schools were also brought together for a special Writers’ Workshop which focused on collaboratively writing and performing poetry inspired by Da Vinci’s most famous painting, The Mona Lisa, and one of the drawings from the Millennium Gallery’s exhibition, The Deluge.

Laurel Smith, literacy lead for the federation, added: ‘’The learning presented in this exhibition shows the power of curiosity and creativity to inspire children to explore the world around them. From written text to oral presentations to visual media, our learners have been able to communicate their ideas to others in purposeful ways.

“It was a real pleasure to use ‘In Focus’ as our cross-school text for this year’s project, and to see the different ways in which our teachers and children have drawn on this resource.

“We are passionate about the ways in which quality children’s literature can open new doors and encourage children to dare to question and imagine.

“The Take One Interest project and exhibition celebrates this and the wonderful learning which has been produced.‘’