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Learning Maths Outside the Classroom - Animals to a Giant Scale

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 28 April 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 21 October 2010 by ncetm_administrator

School GroundsSchool Grounds

Animals to a Giant Scale

Year Three of Corbridge Primary School began their project with a trip to the Prudhoe ‘Badger’. This sometimes controversial site-specific artwork was created by artist Gary Power who met the children and explained to them how the badger was made. They walked its perimeter, estimated its area, saw it from a variety of viewpoints exploring ideas of perspective and distance and came back to school with drawings, sketches and measurements and tried to accurately reproduce the form on squared paper as near as they could to scale.
 Video Clip 'Badger Project with Gary Power'
Gary took them through the mathematical process of scaling up an image and then invited all the children to choose their own creature to draw as the starting point for their own sculpture in the landscape of our school grounds.

In groups, pupils created a variety of animals which were drawn onto squared paper and using a grid that they pegged out in the ground, were then enlarged to an enormous size and emulsion painted on the grass. Throughout the process children needed to make and record elaborate measurements using a variety of equipment to enable the groups to return to work accurately each day.


One of the most successful enlargements was chosen to become a permanent feature of our grounds using stone and cement in the same way that the badger was created.

Children were involved in the whole process, digging trenches into the mud to house the carefully selected pieces of stone.

The finished product, of which the children are extremely proud, sits like an ancient Neolithic monument in the side of a grassy bank.
Running alongside this sculptural project, the class teachers were immersing the children in the need for accurate measuring skills in the construction of a huge Chinese dragon to be part of a performance to celebrate Chinese New Year. Children marked out and measured huge swathes of material to decorate and stitch and composed their own dance movements to accompany the 15 metre creature on its journey around the school hall.
 Video Clip 'Two teachers discuss the value of the Badger Project''


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