Our Lady of The Wayside National School.

Visual Artist Jane Groves with Ms Martins first class

Session 3… Today was a beautiful bright autumn day and so we grasped the chance to take inspiration from outside, examining both our own immediate habitat, our sense of space and to take a close look at nature,

Gathering in a circle I asked the children to close their eyes and by mindful. We focused on our breath and after scanning our bodies from our feet up to our heads, we concentrated on our senses, what could we hear? birds? cars? from what direction?, what could we smell? the fresh air? the leaves?. what could we feel? the direction of the wind? the sun on our skin? Could we taste anything? I asked the children if they knew which way was north and which way was south, Where were the mountains, the sea, and the motorway? which way did the children walk to school?

The children could smell foxes and taste bubblegum, their ears were so sharp they could hear the cars off towards Dublin and even the cows in the fields!


After strolling into the church garden the children separated into 3 groups which were rotated

The first group were guided into a line, each holding the person in front of them with one hand and a small mirror up to their eyes above their nose with the other. The intention had been to look not only at the habitat at eye level but that within the trees above. The children were probably more interested in the disorienting effect of the mirror and used  words like spooky , magical and weird as well as a few gasps at the beauty of the branches and sky.


The second group were invited to go on a nature treasure hunt using words in an egg box, ‘treasure’ ‘smooth’ ‘spikey’ ‘seed’ ‘coniferous’ etc. The class had lots of fun searching for different textures.


Group 3 were given a ‘ nature palette ‘ and were looking for different inspiring colours in the garden.I encouraged the children to look at the subtlety of colour, that yellow can gradually turn to green and then blend into brown.


Taking our inspiration inside we sat down in the sunny classroom to record what we had discovered and made some beautiful drawings.


The children had been high spirited but returning to the class they were calm and relaxed, so glad we got a chance to take the classroom outside!

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