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P5-a-rama! Schools Celebration Event, June 2023

Schools Programme

Working in partnership with the two local primary schools Trinity and Victoria, groups of pupils join us every week in the Outdoor Learning Studio. Throughout the school year we work with over 100 Primary 5s.

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop has been running a Schools Programme in partnership with our two closest primary schools, Trinity and Victoria since 2012. Up until 2020 each year every Primary 5 pupil from these schools would visit the Sculpture Workshop for an hour each week for a whole school year to make work in our shared learning studio with invited artists. The classes would come with their teachers, parents and volunteers to participate in practical workshops that encouraged imagination, collaboration, play and experimentation.

Since Autumn 2021 we have been running an adapted version of the programme which takes place in our outdoor learning studio each week.  Currently every P5 pupil from Trinity and Victoria Primary visit six times throughout the school year and work with  artists. The focus of these workshops centre around play and access to materials and tools for making.

Schools Programme 2023-2024

In the Autumn term we started working with three Primary 5s classes from Trinity Primary. Over 4 weeks each class came for one hour visits and we made a banquet from recycled materials and started to experiment with ceramics. They made self portraits and one sentence stories based on observations from everyday life, jokes and their imaginations from clay. All the pieces were glazed and fired and exhibited in ‘Guess Who‘ in December 2023.

Schools Programme 2022-2023

In October 2022 we welcomed the first of our Trinity and Victoria Primary P5 classes. Each group of P5s has taken part in  ceramics workshops, wood working and sessions lead by visiting artists: Jack Cheetham, Juliana Capes, Alliyah Enyo, Madeline Wood & Hannah Draper, Isobel Leonard, Sequoia Barnes, Sabrina Henry,  Rumpus Room artists Nadia Rossi and Rachel Walker. These workshops involved; puppet making, installation art, tape loop recording, making wearable art from recycled materials that give them super powers, light displays, making collaborative creatures that move together, net making with materials from the sea & creating garden cities of tomorrow. 

After the Easter break each of the Primary 5 classes returned to work with an artist on a project over two weeks. 

P5E made Shadow Puppets with Niamh Hughes using card, an overhead projector and acetates, you can see the final works here.  

P5M worked with Frieda Ford to make masks and creatures inspired by the folk custom of hoodening.

P5J designed and played their own crazy golf courses with Bernie Reid.

Victoria P5A made architecture from bamboo skewers, tooth picks and tape with Yumiko Ono

P5B made wearable sculptures with Oana Stancui and experimented with them using a green screen.

On the 22 June we hosted P5-a-rama! a celebration event where we invited all the children we have worked with this year for a celebration event with all their families and teachers to see the results of all their work with snacks, a disco, sculpture making, green screen and game playing. 

See below for a video of the event captured by artist and studio holder Juliana Capes.

Schools Programme 2021-2022

All of the classes started by experimenting with ceramics and woodwork. They all made a small object from clay that would later be glazed and fired in the kiln. We bought the wood workshop outside and spent the sessions getting to grips with woodwork tools, using hammers, saws, hand drills and vices to assemble sculptures using off-cuts of wood.

The first visiting artist of the year was Kate Temple, who worked with pupils from Trinity Primary. We painted with inks found in nature and used foraged plants, berries, coins and other found material to dye our own tote bags through the process of natural bundle dying.

Katy Wilson brought some high fashion inspiration with headdress making using recycled materials, and larger objects such as an old cable phone and a croc shoe. The session finished up with a walk down the red carpet and a photo shoot in the shipping container.

Max Wilson (AKA Play Radical) invited us to test out some communication devices made by children from an alien planet which was designed by Max as part of ESW’s ‘Artist’s Toolkit’ project. Working in groups, the class played around with these devices, attempting to work out how you might use them to communicate with each other. The group then used ropes, switches, paint pens, tape and other materials to create new methods of communicating, showing each other how to use them.

Naomi Garriock hosted a day of collaborating, swapping, sharing and collective picture-making. We also experienced her Mind’s Eye Booth, where you can touch but not see or see but not touch. This booth was designed by Naomi as part of as part of ESW’s ‘Artist’s Toolkit’ project. The class had to pass on instructions to each other of what to do when you enter the booth, while outside the rest of the group made paintings with plasticine on tiles, connecting them together at the end to make one collaborative work.

Adam Benmakhlouf worked P5s from Victoria Primary school and led a workshop in ‘Tableaux Vivants,’ where the class responded to visual and written prompts to create ‘living pictures’, making silent, static scenes that tell a story through the use of gestures and props. Alaya Ang then lead the following session, making theatre style back-drops and experimenting with costume design. The class then performed impromptu plays at the end of the hour-long workshop.

Leading up to the end of term, each class returned to work with another artist for a final two sessions to make something that would be exhibited in the courtyard at our end of year celebration event.

Lorenzo Rangoni Robertson lead one workshop in mask making followed by collaborative totem pole building, all using recycled materials.

Keith Farquhar introduced collaging using old clothes to make collaborative artworks on recycled boards.

Victoria Smith shared some painting techniques that we used to make a giant collaborative sky painting. During the second session we made a variety of signs, thinking about what message we would like to give out to everyone in the courtyard.

Maria Wrang-Rasmussen guided the class to think about games and world making and together the class made a giant felt board game.  They made players from recycled materials, added details with 3D pens, and made spinners and dice to play the game.

Our last P5 workshops of the school year were spent making costumes (and lots of noise!) with artist Rae-Yen Song. The group thought about how they could adapt their outfits to make sound while considering new ways to move in them. We finished up the last session with some disco dancing on the courtyard dance floor, to songs chosen by the class.

At the end of the term we were delighted to invite all 140 Primary 5s back to the ESW courtyard for a final celebration of all the incredible things they had done this year. We asked the P5s what they wanted; crisps, Oreos, gummy bears, music, and a making station which we set up inside to provide a space for creative breaks from all the dancing! The event showcased the work made by each group in the final artist-led workshops and the P5s invited their families, teachers and PSAs to join them in the courtyard. We have absolutely loved working, playing and making with every group and we are so amazed by the creativity and imagination each one of them bring.

Read a new text, ‘Facilitating Magic’ by Learning Assistant, Megan Rudden reflecting on her time as Learning Assistant.


Find out more about previous years of our schools programme please visit our blog here.

Up until the pandemic the schools programme presented one public exhibition each year, see below for previous exhibitions:

WIP – Digital Magazine (2020)

Emotes  (June 2019)

After Party (June 2018)

Stop Making Sense (June 2017)

Craftwork (June 2016)

Stranger in a Strange Land (December 2015)

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lights, Camera, Action! (June 2015)

Garden of Earthly Delights (December 2014)

Junior Masters of Fine Art (June 2014)

Art School Degree Show (June 2014)

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Schools Programme has been kindly supported by Creative Scotland, The Schiehallion Group, Foyle Foundation, The Robertson Trust, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, The Golsoncott Foundation, Edinburgh College of Art, Thistledown Trust, Trinity & Victoria Primary Schools and The Binks Trust.