Willow Withies Workshop

 During October the Reception, Year 1 and Year 3 classes had an amazing Willow Withies Workshop with a very talented artist, Rebecca, who explained to the children how to make the most fantastical trees and mini beasts from willow branches.

The pupils discussed the differences between 2D and 3D shapes and then ordered the supporting willow hoops by size, largest to smallest.  Next, using approximation and estimation skills, the pupils worked out how many willow branches and the lengths of willow they would need to twist into the shapes of the structures.  It was not long before the trees  and mini-beasts began to take form.  After a layer of cling film was added to the willow frame, the pupils carefully layered coloured tissue paper to the figures.

The children learnt a great deal about how to make the huge free-standing structures - including how supports are needs to enhance strength.  Teamwork and co-operation were vital in order to make really successful enormous structures.

 The Willow Withies have created a lasting legacy within our school and bring a smile to everyone who sees them.  Each tree reveals its own theme, the largest of which focuses on ‘Africa’.  This is a visual link to our partner school in Nyansakia, Kenya and the colours reflect the vibrant oranges, reds, yellows and gold associated with the country.  The children said that “…it feels like the tree is giving us a big hug when you stand beneath its branches!”

The second tree, entitled, ‘Britain’ has spherical branches which represent the colours of the four seasons and thirdly ‘Europe’ is an enchanting European fir tree woodland.