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Willow Sculptures


School Improvement:

The Arts:

Curriculum Programmes

  • Cross-curricular learning – supporting English, Maths, ICT, Science, Art
  • Applied learning on a live project
  • Links to creative curriculum/topics
  • Learning Outside the Classroom – using the school grounds as a learning environment

Skills Development | Arts Enrichment

  • Skills development – research, design, sculptural techniques
  • Improving the school environment – temporary or permanent artworks
  • Developing pupils’ 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; Functional structures (doorways, tunnels or space dividers). Some structures can incorporate other curriculum links e.g. creative writing or numbers on the leaves of a tree.

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 enthusiasm, enjoyment and motivation throughout
  • Pupils learnt how to measure and cut materials
  • Teachers reported feeling more confident to use artistic techniques in their teaching
  • Working outside allowed for the other staff and pupils at school to interact with the process and finished sculpture


“Children learnt new skills - weaving, strengthening structure, working with a new material and how to bend and shape it to their need.” Year 2 Teacher

“Children developed their ability to work cooperatively and to share resources and working space.”   Year 2 Teacher

Further Ideas:

  • Hold a CPD session to develop staff skills and confidence
  • Work with Bow Arts to create an artist brief and involve pupils in the artist selection
  • Take a gifted and talented ‘research group’ on a visit to look at examples of art in the public realm, and present their findings back to their peers
  • Develop literacy by integrating elements of creative writing into or alongside the artworks – applying literacy to a real life project
  • 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


Education & Learning

Bow Arts, 183 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ

T:  0208 709 5293