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Willow Sculptures

School Improvement:

Curriculum Programmes

  • Art and Design
  • Supports cross-curricular learning –  English, Maths, ICT, Science
  • Applied learning on a live project
  • Learning Outside the Classroom – using the school grounds as an effective environment for learning

The Arts:

Skills Development | Arts Enrichment

  • Skills development – research, design, sculptural techniques
  • Improving the school environment – temporary or permanent artworks
  • Developing student’s pride and ownership over their school environment


Projects start with a brainstorming session to develop ideas for the piece/s (often linked to a particular topic or event). Students research the theme and the work of artists before refining their designs, either selecting one idea, or incorporating elements from a number. These then lead to making sessions: hands on practical workshops to realise the designs alongside a professional artist.

Structures can include:

Lanterns, stars and planets, characters, animals and mythical creatures, buildings, trees or functional structures (doorways, tunnels or space dividers). Some structures can incorporate other curriculum links e.g. creative writing, mathematical forms.

Structures can be moveable and used as part of a procession or event, or temporarily or permanently installed on the school site.

For outdoor pieces, either living (planted) or cut willow can be used – depending on the site.

Illustrative Outputs:

  • Planning, research and design sessions
  • Artist-led practical workshop sessions
  • 3D willow sculpture/s installed in school or school grounds
  • Processional pieces used as part of performances or events

Outcomes and Impact (taken from a recent outdoor Sculpture Project):

  • Raised attainment: 100% of pupils demonstrated an increase in skills, knowledge and/or understanding as a result of the project
  • Learnt about working with willow and the process of weaving it into structures
  • Developed teamwork skills – worked cooperatively, sharing resources
  • High levels of enjoyment and motivation throughout
  • Students learnt how to manipulate materials
  • Teachers reported feeling more confident to use artistic techniques in their teaching
  • Working outside allowed for the other staff and students to interact with the process and finished sculpture


“I learnt how to construct using withies and now I use these skills in my teaching.” Art Teacher

“I've learnt that I am an artist, even though I don't yet have any qualifications.”  Year 9 Student

“All students have progressed at an excellent rate, with some making outstanding progress.”  Year 7 Teacher

“It was really impressive how the students took on new ways of working, each exploring their own ideas, and helping one another out. The students worked much more independently than I have seen and were really engaged. It has opened up possibilities.” Art Teacher

Further Ideas:

  • Hold a CPD session to develop staff skills and confidence
  • Work with Bow Arts to create an artist brief and involve the students in the artist selection
  • Work with a gifted and talented ‘research group’ to visit examples of art in the public realm, and present their findings back to their peers
  • Develop literacy by integrating elements of creative writing into the works
  • Hold a school and community unveiling or launch event

Project Costs:

From £1,155 + materials (based on 8 workshop sessions @ £135 + planning meeting @ £75)

Costs vary dependant on the number of groups, sessions, materials and size of the final works

Contact us about Willow Sculptures