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‘Wild Wonder’ with Hartshill Hayes Bluebells

One of my aims when I started teaching at Michael Drayton, was to get the school to use Hartshill Hayes more. It is a wonderful woodland, literally a 5 minute walk from the school… a truly wonderful resource. I have been using it more and more and many classes have visited. 

This week, we spent the day there, with 4 different Year 5 classes. I was working with Iain Green of ‘Wild Wonder’ . Click the image below to go to Iain’s website.

Iain and I have become friends through the similar nature of the work we do. This year he came up with a brilliant idea of working all over the UK, photographing wild local spectacles with school children. We have been wanting to work together for a while and this seemed the perfect opportunity! I had heard that the bluebells in the woods were pretty amazing, so we chose that as our subject. With Spring coming rather early this year, we had to change our date to correspond with the best floral display… and we were not disappointed! This was our chance to work together and inspire children both to look more closely at the wonders of nature, but to also learn how to capture this through photography.

We took one class at a time, out into the woods and provided them with one digital camera per 4 children. We talked to them about different ways to photograph and asked them to try to really look for artistic ways of portraying the bluebells through photography. We talked about the composition of a shot and how to frame the subject, use light, shape and form and to think about interesting viewpoints and angles. They really took to the task and were SO enthusiastic. …

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You can see more photos on our FLICKR site.

Many of these children go to the Hayes regularly, but few had stopped and looked really closely at this wonderful carpet of bluebells… their enthusiasm and comments were wonderful to hear… and some of their photography was amazing!

It was a truly inspirational day and I hope to do more photography with the children in the coming year as I think there are some young David Baileys in there!

Thanks to Iain for his wonderful input. I hope to work with him again in the near future.

NEW!!!! SEPT 2014  I entered some of the children’s amazing photos into the British Wildlife Photography Awards and we WON the School’s Category!!!! I am obviously delighted and we will be doing a lot more photography in school with the Canon DSLR that we have won!! :o)


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