Art inspired by the scenes from the Miners’ Strike

As our Unit on local history and mining draws to a close, we have been looking at photographs of the scenes that took place during the ’84 Miners’ Strike.

In literacy, we were trying to imagine what those men would have been thinking about or saying in those photos.  We have decided to try and capture those feelings with a piece of artwork.  It will take several stages for us to get to the finished piece.

Step 1-

Mr Swallow brought in lots of photographs of people who are angry!  Some of them were actors, pretending to be angry and some of them were real photos of how people behaved in riots or strikes.  We were looking at the poses that showed their feelings and the posture in which they were holding their body.  A lot of them were remarkably similar!

Step 2-

Next, we chose a partner and Mr. Swallow gave us a huge piece of art paper.  We could either trace the person from the photograph and then edit the tracing to look like the character we wanted, or just use the pose of the person in the photo to inspire and inform our own drawing.  We scribbled on the back of the tracing paper so that we could then print our tracing onto the huge art paper.  Together, we built up a selection of scenes showing the angry protests of the miners on our big paper.

Step 3-

The final step was to frame the scenes.  We chose charcoal because of the obvious tonal links to coal and the miners.  Framing the scenes in a black, dusty cloud gave the pictures a foreboding sense of anger and darkness.  The charcoal even reminded us of the clouds of smoke we saw in the riot pictures or ‘clouds of anger’ as Tilly eloquently put it!  We want our pictures to represent the scary, upsetting and even dangerous situation that those miners found themselves caught up in in the dark days of 1984.

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Thank you for being a friend!

This half term we have been discussing what makes a good friend and how we can be better friends. The class were asked to choose friends to be photographed with it was so lovely to see friends coming together.

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Breaking the Yorkshire stereotype…

We have been learning about stereotypes.  That is the phrase we use to describe it when someone is assumed to have certain characteristics just because of things like where they are born, the colour of their hair or the sport they play.

We looked for examples in books; ‘The Troll and Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson.  We found that the main characters in both books fitted into what we expect trolls and witches to look and act like but that both characters actually acted very differently to how they looked.  We asked clever questions like, “Is a troll still a troll if he doesn’t live under a bridge?”  “Are witches still magic without their wands?”  “Is it fair to expect all trolls to be mean?”


We found out that there are certain stereotypes for people who come from Yorkshire!!!!  Just look at the first set of images that appear if you google, “Yorkshireman”

As India pointed out, even the saying is inaccurate as she is a proud “Yorkshirewoman”!  We looked around our class and we didn’t see one child in a flat cap or wearing a tweed jacket.  So we investigated further and found all sorts of sayings or misconceptions related to being from barnsley and Yorkshire:

  • Yorkshire folk are “strong int’ arm and thick int’ ‘ed!  (We certainly disagreed with that one!!!)
  • Yorkshire people have pet whippets and ferrets or fly kestrels!  (We have plenty of pugs in the class it seems)
  • We sit around eating Yorkshire puddings and drinking Yorkshire tea (we generally agreed we like these things but our tastes are much more varied!)

We had a lot of fun learning broad Barnsley phrases and sayings because it is important to be proud of our culture and heritage…Miss Buckley jumped a mile when we asked her to “put t’ wood int’ ‘oil” as she entered the classroom!  However, we realized that all of these stereotypes didn’t accurately describe the lovely Yorkshire pupils in our class.  So, we did what everyone should do when faced with out-dated, stereotypical views…we made fun of it!

We decided to see what it would look like if we did all wear flat caps, tweed and pipes.  Or curlers in our hair like Nora Batty!  What would we look like walking a whippet and flying a kestrel while supping a pot of Yorkshire tea???  Tune in next week to see the results…

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Get ready Dragons den!!!!

We have been writing adverts for Birdwell businesses to accompany our local maps.  For a bit of fun, we thought we would imagine what sort of business we would like to open in Birdwell.

Well!  The children did not disappoint.  If ever you need a new name for your business, come and talk to Year 4.  they came up with absolute gems such as:

  • India’s Indian (restaurant) and Reuben’s Ruby (take away)
  • Tianna’s Tiaras
  • Mucky Boots football academy (Perfect Rowan!)
  • Daisy’s Donuts
  • Caitlin’s Cuts (Hair salon-although she can’t do anything to help me apparently, I’m too old!)
  • Ollie’s Ollies  (Skateboard skills centre…GENIUS!!!!)

To go along with these fledgling businesses, we wrote adverts.  Oliver even took this idea to the extreme by writing his own fictional news account at home.  Telling us how one of the creatures from Ollie’s Reptile House, escapes and gets into school.  (Although I did find the unprovoked biting of my bottom in the article to be unreasonable journalistic embellishment!!!)

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