Hew Locke Inspired Boats

By Jan Miller

A painted boat made from card and mixed media.

In this project, children explore the theme of boats through 2D and 3D. Beginning with drawing in charcoal, the children move onto creating colourful collages of boats before developing their making skills by constructing boats from scrap cardboard, which are then painted in bright colours and decorated with objects and mixed media. The artist Hew Locke, inspires the playful making in this project with his use of found materials and his installation of 40 boats made from scratch. This enjoyable project sees confidence built as all responses are valued, with team work and supporting each other key in the success criteria.

Due to the extended nature of this project, and in order to make the most of the activities, the full content could be explored over a full half term.


Opportunity to make is incredibly important in the primary curriculum, and we are positively encouraging it! When questioned, it appears children are making less at home – whether modelling or building – so responsibility falls with schools to provide experiences to develop these building blocks of foundation skills….and they love it!

Activity Objectives

This boat project develops children’s individual response to making, using recycled and found materials. Large scale drawing from photographs, as well as design drawings support the modelling. Mixed media work develops creativity by using painted collage. Collaborative as well as individual pieces are developed. The project was thoroughly enjoyed, particularly when the children were given choices of materials, and responsibility to resource the project themselves and justify decisions. The lessons were positive, lively, busy and productive with classroom chatter focussed on decision-making, planning, agreeing and evaluating. The project was very much steered by the children’s interests.

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See This Resource Used In Schools...

Reception, Ruth at Carden Primary School
Reception, Ruth at Carden Primary School
Reception, Ruth at Carden Primary School
Reception, Ruth at Carden Primary School

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