Activity One – Installation Art
EYFS to Year 6
The schools I have worked at have all had some installation art for significant events in the school’s history or for national events and I think that the queen’s diamond jubilee warrants a piece of art that will remain on display in the school grounds for many years afterwards. There are several ways of doing this each needing different levels of input to begin with.
Carefully designed by an artistic member of staff or a parent, a mural on any plain wall inside the school buildings or out is a great and simple idea. Divided by black lines into sections, each class can have a go at painting a part and adding their names to the bit they’ve done. Don’t forget to choose the paint type to suit indoors or outdoors.
A variation on the mural approach is to get the children to paint small tiles in different colours and textures which can then be used to make a mosaic picture, again indoors or outside. You’ll have to plan the overall design and get a rough idea of how many coloured tiles you’ll need. Again, the children can put their names on the tiles they produce.
One school I worked at asked the children to design pebbles with a picture of them on it and built a concrete backed rockery into which they stuck their pebbles. It made a fabulous picture of the school members, a little like the tea towel idea, and after being sprayed with exterior varnish, remained in place for years afterwards.
Activity Two – Community Project
Year 3 to Year 6
Many local authorities are working on community based projects for installation art for the queen’s jubilee celebrations as part of a plan to smarten up areas of towns and cities. Find out from your local authority if they have any plans and if not, suggest some for them. Years ago there was a geography topic on improving our local area and as long as it was tastefully done, our council had no objections to us completing a piece of art in our local park on a building that had been continually covered in graffiti.
Activity Three – Design Costume
Year 2 to Year 6
The queen is famous (or to some, infamous!) for her fashion and it seems to many that her favourite colour is yellow. She loves hats too so for this activity you’re going to get the children to design an outfit for the queen to wear on the weekend of the celebrations.
Take a look at what she usually wears in photographs and try to be creative whilst still designing something she might wear. You can even design a hat for her.
Choose patriotic colours or designs, different materials and think about the possible weather for the day.
You may want to think of what she’ll be doing whilst wearing the clothes you designed. Is she dancing, going to dinner, at the gym or simply walking through crowds of well-wishers.
Go on, get creative!
Activity Four – Changing Faces of the Queen
Year 3 to Year 6
The queen’s portrait has been pictured in many ways over the time of her reign. In this activity the children will look at the different representations of the queen over the years and try to order them chronologically.
You need to get pictures from throughout her life and reign but try to be creative in using coins, stamps, pictures on mugs and plates, newspapers, official painted portraits and photographs. Try some unusual ones like Rolf Harris’ portrait of her and some of the ones she didn’t like!
As a group activity it promotes a lot of discussion and interest, not only in what she looked like but also how her fashion and style have changed over the years.