An Artscaping Spell for Mayfield Primary School

The whole staff team joined us on Monday for their second day in the woods. Teachers from the school had piloted our first day like this back in January 2019 and had always talked about it as their best INSET day ever. It felt especially important to offer the right mix of time in nature, creativity and companionship, especially as this time we were welcoming all the teaching assistants too.

Amazingly after heavy rains in the week before, the sun did come out and the trees glistened magically. Artists Susanne Jasilek and Filipa Pereira Stubbs had planned a series of creative adventures both in the woods and out on the meadows. These embraced our values of slowliness, generosity, freedom and space and it was wonderful to watch everyone relax into these offers. 

An Artscaping Spell for Mayfield Primary School

slowed down, feeling at ease, feeling equal, making as a way of communicating, space to be on my own, not feeling judged

These were the qualities of the day the group appreciated as they reflected at the end, whilst acknowledging also their struggles -

finding a way to start, trusting you can do it, feeling vulnerable, having to stop, frustration with work, not having enough time, matching what you make with what is in your head

An Artscaping Spell for Mayfield Primary School

We talked about how children feel each day in their classrooms and valued this time ‘to walk in their shoes’. The day ended with the invitation to note down words that mustn’t get lost from the day. These became a spell, each read aloud and dropped into a bag to be taken back to school. Here are just a few…..

magical, freedom, peaceful, not judged, ease, being equal, peace and freedom, mellow, tranquillity, calm, yes, time to reflect and appreciate, laughter, slow, relax, space, calm, giggles, exploration and warmth, storytelling, quiet, lightness, trees, harmony, respect

The food for the day was prepared again by the wonderful Cambridge Sustainable Food.