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Students head to the Botanic Gardens and Backs for en plein air art

Students head to the Botanic Gardens and Backs for en plein air art

On Wednesday, Year 10 GCSE Art students ventured out to the University of Cambridge Botanic Gardens and ‘The Backs’, the banks of the colleges along the River Cam, to hone their practical skills and techniques outside. Both locations offered a diverse selection of landscapes, green spaces, and architecture — perfect for photographing and sketching for their coursework project on ‘Landscapes & Vistas’.  

Their assignment was to produce photographs, an acrostic poem and sketches referencing the environment and architecture. They also developed their creative skills by completing ‘en plein air’ drawings.  

Being at the Botanical Gardens gave the students the chance to enjoy outdoor learning and the beautiful town and greenery on our doorstep, in which our school takes pride. Outdoor learning can enhances physical and mental health and increases a person sensory and aesthetic awareness.  

For Ms Conroy, Head of Art, working outside has particular merits: 

‘Developing a student’s sense of well-being through creative activities in an outdoor environment is something we try work into our curriculum. It gives our young artists the chance to engage with drawing techniques in a different way and bolsters their skills base.’ 

For Student Zoe W., ‘it was interesting and relaxing working outdoors'. While Alexa B. agreed, ‘it was very relaxing to be out of the classroom!’  

Amanda M. added,‘I enjoyed being able to understand the different parts of nature found in the botanical gardens and being able to use my artistic interest and incorporate it with nature’.  

We look forward to hearing about their next forays into nature. To learn more about outdoor learning at St Mary’s, follow this link.