Inspired! ‘The Tree’ by Year One and Two at Hauxton Primary School

By Pamela Stewart

In this post, Pamela Stewart shares the submission by Hauxton Primary School, Cambridgeshire for Inspire: A Celebration of Children’s Art in Response to Jacopo del Sellaio’s Cupid and Psyche by Year One and Two pupils in ‘Owl Class‘.

This post shares the pupils’ Inspire journey and all that they learned in response to looking at the Renaissance painting at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and where science and Art can meet.

The Story of Cupid and Psyche Sellaio, Jacopo del; painter; Italian artist, 1441/2-1493
The Story of Cupid and Psyche Sellaio, Jacopo del; painter; Italian artist, 1441/2-1493

‘The Tree’ by Pupils in Owl Class

A tall, thin symmetrical tree with fifteen, large leaves down one side and mirrored with fifteen on the other. The leaves are brightly coloured and have gold leaf enhancements. The tree is on a bright blue background with a brown trunk
‘The Tree’ by the Owl Class, Year One and Two at Hauxton Primary School, Cambridgeshire

Introducing Cupid and Psyche

A girl looking at a painting of Cupid and Psyche on a whiteboard in a classroom
We spent a long time looking at and discussing the painting and what it might mean.

The story was told to us.
‘Tell us again!’ we said.

A girl looking at a painting of Cupid and Psyche on a whiteboard in a classroom
Every day for a number of weeks the story was retold.
Poppy’s mum, Pippa, said that Poppy drew the story on the blackboard at home and retold it often!

A girl looking at a painting of Cupid and Psyche on a whiteboard in a classroom and pointing at a tree
We were particularly fascinated by the trees. ‘That tree looks funny,’ said Evie. ‘I like the shape of this tree, it looks like an umbrella,’ said Florence.

A boy looking at a painting of Cupid and Psyche on a whiteboard in a classroom

Let’s study trees and plants!

Linking across the curriculum during our Science week, we decided to ask Professor John Love to carry out an investigation with us on what colour of light plants thrive better in.

Professor John Love does light experiments exploring light with year one and two pupils by putting coloured filters over their eyes
Looking through coloured film with Professor John Love.
Professor John Love helps children place seeds in petri dishes for a science experiment at Hauxton Primary School
We used seeds and placed them on wet pads in sealed Petri dishes.

We then placed the seeds into different coloured bags – clear, blue, green, red and in tin foil (no light).

Children inspect seeds which have grown in Petri dishes under different coloured film to see which have grown the best - Professor John Love - Science week at Hauxton Primary with teacher Pamela Stewart
After a few days we observed which seeds looked the healthiest.
Seedlings growing in Petri dishes under coloured film at Hauxtom Primary school
The seedlings after five days!

It was the ones in the red and blue bag that grew best!

We learned lots of facts about trees!

Children sit at the front of a class and look at a class teacher at Hauxton Primary who holds up a picture book about trees next to the Whiteboard with the painting of cupid and psyche from the Fitzwilliam Museum
Having been inspired by the painting, we looked at books on trees.
Children looking at trees and filling in a fact sheet
We went outside to look at trees and their leaves.
 and then we went outside to look at trees and their leaves.
Using fact sheets, which had pictures of trees and their leaves, we identified lots of trees in and around our school.
Children looking at trees and filling in a fact sheet
There is a silver birch behind us!
Year One and Two Children from Hauxton Primary School sitting on grass completing worksheets about trees for Inspire with teacher Pamala Stewart
We looked at and drew trees!

Year Two boy from Hauxton Primary School sitting on grass completing worksheets about trees for Inspire with teacher Pamala Stewart

With the leaves we found, we produced still life pictures using pastels.

Year One boy at Hauxton Primary School drawing leaves with pastels with Pamela Stewart for Inspire

Year Two Girl at Hauxton Primary School drawing leaves with pastels with Pamela Stewart for Inspire

Year Two boy holding up his pastel drawing of a leaf in a year one and two classroom at Hauxton Primary school with teacher Pamela Stewart for Inspire

Now for the finale and our class tree…

We had learned about the Renaissance techniques of Jacopo del Sellaio and wanted to try them out ourselves.

Using poster paints, egg and wine (we had read that the wine makes the egg smell nicer!) we produced colourful leaves.

The eggs were supplied by one of our mums, Martina!

Year One and Two pupils crack open an egg into a large bowl in a classroom at Hauxton Primary with class teacher Pamela Stewart for Inspire
I love using egg and wine!

A girl at Hauxton Primary cracking an egg to mix and bind powder paint with pamela stewart - Inspire

One girl mixes egg and the other paints with egg and powder paint at Hauxton Primary School for Inspire with Pamela Stewart

Mixing powder paint with egg to make egg tempera at Hauxton Primary School for Inspire with Pamela Stewart
We mixed powder paint with egg and wine!

Girl paints a colourful leaf with egg tempera mixing powder paint and egg at Hauxton Primary for Inspire with Pamela Stewart

A Year Two girl mixes paints for a colourful leaf with egg tempera mixing powder paint and egg at Hauxton Primary for Inspire with Pamela Stewart

A girl paints a colourful leaf with egg tempera mixing powder paint and egg at Hauxton Primary for Inspire with Pamela Stewart

Gilding our leaves

A Year One girl gently rips gold leaf to apply to her brightly painted leaf at Hauxton Primary School for Inspire with Pamela Stewart
We used gold leaf to gild our leaves.
Children apply gold leaf to gild their painted leaves at Hauxton Primary School with Pamela Stewart for Inspire
We found it very tricky and hot (we had to have all the windows and doors closed because, even with a gentle breeze, it was difficult to apply the gold to our leaves!).

Applying gold leaf to painted leaves at Hauxton Primary School with teacher Pamela Stewart for Inspire

‘The Tree’ by Owl Class

A fourth close up of the finished Tree by The Owl Class at Hauxton Primary led by Pamela Stewart for Inspire

A second close up of the finished Tree by The Owl Class at Hauxton Primary led by Pamela Stewart for Inspire

A third close up of the finished Tree by The Owl Class at Hauxton Primary led by Pamela Stewart for Inspire

A close up of the finished Tree by The Owl Class at Hauxton Primary led by Pamela Stewart for Inspire

‘I loved learning about old pictures and how they were painted,’ said Jack.
‘It was such fun and I really liked painting with egg and wine!’ said Arianna.
‘Using the gold leaf was really tricky but it made our tree look really special,’ said Emily.
‘I hope we win!’ exclaimed Owl class!


Go back to Inspire: A Celebration of Children’s Art in Response to Jacopo del Sellaio’s Cupid and Psyche

Inspire ArtWork from the Fitzwilliam Museum - An exhibtion of children's work inspired by the Renaissance artist Del Sellaio, In collaboration with AccessArt

 

Inspire – December 2019 to March 2020, was an exhibition of art made by primary school children and celebrated creativity in Cambridgeshire schools. It championed the on-going importance of cultural learning and the visual arts for all children and young people.

Based on the National Gallery’s Take One PictureThe Fitzwilliam Museum and AccessArt teamed together to offer free Inspire 2020 CPD (Continued Professional Development for Teachers), focusing on one painting, Cupid and Psyche by Jacopo del Sellaio, as a source of ideas and inspiration.

Del Sellaio’s Cupid and Psyche was on display next to the children’s work in the Octagon Gallery.

With very special thanks to Kate Noble,  Miranda StearnSarah Villis, and Holly Morrison for making this project happen and Alison Ayres.

This post was contributed by Pamela Stewart with special permission from Hauxton Primary School, Cambridgeshire, edited for AccessArt by Sheila Ceccarelli.

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UK Charity AccessArt created this resource in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

AccessArt has over 850 resources to help develop and inspire your creative thinking, practice and teaching.

AccessArt welcomes artists, educators, teachers and parents both in the UK and overseas.

We believe everyone has the right to be creative and by working together and sharing ideas we can enable everyone to reach their creative potential.

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