I don’t think, in all my years of working in schools, I have ever come across a setting so up for clear blue creative experimentation. Imagine this, two major creative partnerships projects running alongside each other, one for the children (the village) and the other for the staff (muddy mountains). Throw into the mix no less than seven creative practitioners and you begin to get a feel for the innovative and imaginative approach to learning.
The head is keen that a certain amount of cross fertilisation occurs between the two projects, and with so many stakeholders involved, roles and logistics can sometimes be chaotic and blurred. However, the sheer volume of stuff going on makes for an exhilarating and creative atmosphere.
Initially, my role was to instigate the staff project – encouraging the team to design and build their very own ‘muddy mountain’ from two huge spoil heaps on the school field. The physical outcome could take any form, based on their reaction to the material, tools, techniques and environment.
Despite some early wobbles as we all grappled to get to know each other and the open-ended approach to problem solving, a wonderful maze and pod design was taken forward and executed with enthusiasm. It always amazes me how given time a group of individuals can pool their skills and resources to produce a brilliant outcome.

We now have three steel frames on order for the domes and the maze is definitely taking shape. On Thursday the children were invited to start their ‘muddy mountain’ in response to what the staff had produced so far. The children had great fun making a lovely mud chair in the woods, eventually to be housed in one of the pods.
Jon Williams