Generous funding from Rotork Engineering in Bath has allowed a sculpture trail to get underway at Three Ways School in Odd Down, Bath.
The idea of the sculpture trail is to inspire and ignite creative learning for the young people at the school, which caters for 207 children with a wide range of Special Educational Needs. The sculptures will also create an enclosed safe space for children to play and just ‘be’ within the school grounds. Three living willow spheres have been created, much like nests in the playground.
In May, sculptor Julieann Worrell Hood, worked with the primary aged children at the school to install steal armatures which will were woven with cut willow. In winter, living willow will be planted to provide natural foundations and a changing structure depending on the season, then later, fragrant climbing flowers will join the structure.
The spaces aim to provide the children with permanent and accessible small worlds outside, a space to interact, play, develop a sense of self and give a safe space during unstructured playtime. They will be multisensory spaces which will change with the seasons, inspiring lessons about nature, science and creativity as well as play.
In June, sculptor Julieann Worrall Hood returned to complete a day of workshops for Secondary pupils, creating small scale willow creatures. One of those creatures was chosen to be scaled up into a large steel and willow piece in the secondary playground – resulting in the amazing Willow Dog!
As well as funding the sculpture trail and workshops, a team of 17 volunteers from Rotork came into school in May half term to clear the bushes and brambles to make space for the sculpture. Some of the team were able to return in June to spend time with the children and weave the willow into the structure.
Another sculpture is planned for the 6th Form Area in 2018, based on tree structures to continue the woodland theme.
Lucy Knibb, Head of Creativity at Three Ways, said, “Not only is this a hugely exciting opportunity for the school but it should have a really positive impact on our outside spaces and the interaction with these spaces. We hope the project will enhance our outdoor areas promoting not only creative learning but nurture and play.”
Peter France, CEO of Rotork, added, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Rotork to be involved with the community and support the arts. We are so pleased to be able to give these young people a new space to thrive, develop and grow in the great outdoors.”
For more information about Three Ways School www.threeways.co.uk