September 2011


Pupils from Thomas Tallis Secondary School and Henwick Primary School create artwork for our new learning space.

The learning team wanted to create an artwork for our new education space which would meet three criteria:

  • to reflect the history of the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) site
  • to be created by local schoolchildren
  • to be both attractive and practical.

Following discussions with Kate Hawkins, Art and Design teacher at Thomas Tallis Secondary School, we decided that a set of cushions, to be used as impromptu seating during storytelling and drama sessions, would fit the bill perfectly.

Between October 2008 and March 2009, Year 12 students from Thomas Tallis and Year 5 pupils from Henwick Primary School worked together to create our unique and wonderful cushion wall.

The Year 5s and Year 12s made a number of visits to the ORNC, and divided into groups, each concentrating on one particular aspect of the history of the site, taking photos and making sketches of the architecture.

In addition, the Year 5s made several visits to Thomas Tallis, where they started to create a portfolio of work using different media and artistic techniques such as acrylic paint, pastels and chalks.  Children then made collages of their work, some incorporating copies of historic paintings and contemporary photographs, to create the design for their cushions.

The Year 12s then took over to digitize the designs and then to print them onto heavyweight polyester satin using a sublimation printer.  Finally, as part of their work experience, they sewed the cushion covers together.

What did the participants think about the project?

I showed them [the children] a bit about different tones and shades.  I enjoyed watching how their pictures developed. Year 12 student

I enjoyed working with older students the project was really fun. Year 5 student

Henwick pupils have been enthralled by the project.  It has been a truly memorable and prestigious experience for them and for me too, their teacher. Denise Jupp, Henwick Primary School

This project gave the Year 12 students not only an increased confidence in their own ability as creative individuals, but also made them question and justify their own working processes. Kate Hawkins, Thomas Tallis School

Find out more

Download a map of the ORNC >