h o l m e w o o d   h o m e  z o n e   d i a r y

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Workshop at Holmewood Gardens Nursery School


Children         -  Nine 4 year old children

Staff            -  Annabelle Dawson (art coordinator) , Rose ( Nursery Teacher)

Four parents were present during outing to Holmewood Gardens


The day was divided in to four different areas of activities.


1. Holmewood Gardens visit.

2. Plotting the route on map.

3. Large painting.

4. Drawing around Ourselves.


Holmewood Gardens Visit


We started the day by all gathering together and putting our coats on because although it is summer it was a little cold. There were nine children, Rose (nursery teacher), four parents and Annabelle. Annabelle had visited the school a couple of weeks ago and so we all knew each other. We wanted to measure the distance from school to Holmewood Gardens so tied one end of a ball of string to the school gate and it was such a large ball of string we thought it would go all the way to the gardens. As we walked we rolled it out and left it lying along the pavement. It nearly made it to the gardens but not quite. So we decided to measure from where the string ran out with people and footsteps. All in all it took the ball of string, 15 people stretched out and then 28 footsteps to reach Holmewood Gardens.


Annabelle asked us which was our most favourite part of the garden and so we all ran over to the play area and played for a while. Sam fell over but it didn't matter because he fell on the safety surface not the concrete path and so wasn't hurt. We then walked around the path talking about our most favourite and least favourite areas.


Walking clockwise starting from behind the swings


1. The hill behind the swings - Yes We liked this because we can roll down it. It was windier up there even though it isn't very high. We also realised that it was an old air raid shelter.

2. The first gate was open - No We didn't like this because we could run out on to the road. The gate being open may also have been the reason for there being dog pooh by the path. Dogs aren’t aren't allowed in this area of the garden.

3. The bushy area - Yes We liked it because it was like jungle.

4. The railings overlooking dog area - Yes/No We knew the railings were important for keeping us in the garden and safe and keeping the dogs out but we didn't like the colour of them, they were kind of grey.

5. Bench and conker tree - Yes We liked the wooden bench but not the metal frame because it is harder than wood. And we liked the conker tree.

6. Thorny hedge - No The thorns on the hedge burst our balls and hurt if you bump in to them.

7. The main path going down towards gate - No It looks as though this path is flat but when we are learning how to cycle we end up going too fast down here and crash in to the gate or the thorny hedge.


String Drawing


After we had walked around the gardens we made a drawing with the ball of string that we had earlier used to measure the distance from school with. We were interested to see how much space in the garden it would take up. We stood in the middle of the grass area and made a spiral shape like a spider’s web.


Plotting the Route on the Map


When we got back to the school we all sat down quietly and looked at the map. We could see the streets we walked along and marked our route. We also marked the areas in the park that we liked and those we didn't like.


Large Painting


We rolled out a large piece of paper on the floor and made a painting of all the different things we saw in Holmewood Gardens, The hill, swings, trees, jungle area, path, people, sky and two imaginary suns. We enjoyed this a lot and all seemed to have a favourite colour.


Drawing around Ourselves


After lunch we stuck pieces of blue paper together and placed them on top of all the tables in the room. We then took our turns to lie down on top of the pieces of paper and drew around the outline of our bodies. lf the weather had been better we would have taken the cut out body shapes outside and placed them on the pavement to give a different perspective of scale, We might still do this at a later date.


Children measure the distance from school to Holmewood Gardens with a ball of string.


They give this part of the gardens the ‘thumbs down’.


Children make a string drawing.


Plotting the route on map.


Children paint the things they’ve seen at Holmewood Gardens.






Three Workshops at Christ Church Primary School


1. Morning Workshop - Reception Class

2. Afternoon Workshop  Year 4

3. Morning Workshop  Year I


Reception Class


Children         - Twenty one 4/5 year olds

Staff            - Annabelle Dawson, Sue (Teacher), Mrs Pratt (Helper), Rita(Helper)


We split in to groups of six and five and walked to Holmewood Gardens, On the way we talked about the different type of paving stones, Most of the paving stones were square and grey but we noticed that as we were about to cross the road to enter the Garden there was a patch of red bricks and they sloped downwards onto the road. We crossed the road and Rita acted as Traffic Warden.


When we were in the Gardens we ran to the middle and stood in a circle holding hands, We then closed our eyes for ten seconds and listened to all the noises we could hear. We were absolutely quiet and could hear airplanes, cars, leaves in the wind and birds. The loudest were the airplanes and the quietest were the birds.


Next we got back in to our groups and made rubbings, with charcoal on paper of all the different surfaces in the garden. There was the wood from the garden benches, the bark on the trees, the metal of the railings, the concrete on the paths and under the wooden benches, the grass and the safety surface under the swings. We enjoyed doing this because when we looked at the rubbings on the paper we could see the difference between wood, metal and concrete. But we couldn't believe how black our hands were after using the charcoal.


There are three gates in the garden where we were. The last thing we did outside was to tie a piece of ribbon on to one of the three gates that we most use. This gate was the one that faces down to Cotherstone Road. 


Back at School


When we got back to school we drew around each others feet and made footsteps on yellow paper. We were thinking about how many times we walk on the same piece of pavement. Then we cut out red brick shapes similar to the ones we saw outside on the pavement. We pretended that a rectangle of grey carpet on the classroom floor was the pavement and we placed the red brick shapes and then the footprints down as though we had all stepped in yellow paint and walked away.



Afternoon Workshop - Year 4


Children         - Twenty seven 9 year old children

Staff             - Annabelle, Kirsty (Teacher), Tracey (Helper)


We walked to Holmewood Gardens and lined up along the main path. We stretched out as much as we could to touch the fingertips of the person next to us. By doing this we measured the distance from one gate to the other. There weren't enough of us to stretch all the way so the children at the beginning of the line then ran to the end and so on until we eventually reached the other gate. It measured the length of 44 bodies stretched out as much as we could.


We then talked about the colour of the path and the materials it was made out of. We wanted to see how it would look if it was a different colour. We rolled out a yellow and an orange roll of wallpaper and all stood on it. It seemed a little silly to begin with

because you usually put wallpaper on the walls inside your house but it was interesting to see the path in a different colour and material. Some of us thought it would be nice as blue.


We also tied a ribbon on to the gate that we use the most. And  the gate with the most ribbon turned out to be the one facing towards school, Cotherstone Road.




Back at School


Back in the classroom we looked at the map of our school, Holmewood Gardens and the surrounding area. We talked about how we came to school in the morning and what route we took. Some of us come by car, some of us walked and a few come by bus.


When we were sticking our drawings on to the map we talked about the roads that were busy in the morning and after school. Kirsty (Teacher) and some of us make a quick dash over Brixton Hill in the morning because the traffic lights don't always work.



Morning Workshop - Year I


Children         - Twenty two 5/6 year old children

Staff             - Annabelle, Niegan (Teacher)


We all sat in a circle on the floor and looked at two maps. One was traced from a Lambeth Council map of our school and all the roads nearby. The other was started yesterday by Year 4 and showed how they get to school in the morning. We really liked this map because it was colourful and showed children and cars on it whereas the other one was just roads and buildings.


We decided to finish the map that Year 4 started. We began by all drawing our houses or flats, and then coloured them in. When we were happy with our house we glued it on to the map in the place that was nearest to where we live. Then we had to think about what else the map needed, For the roads we needed Zebra Crossings, a Lollipop Man, Traffic Lights, Letter Boxes, Motor Bikes. For Holmewood Gardens we needed Trees, the Play Area and Dogs for the “Dog Garden”. We got to work and made all the things we thought we needed. We then stuck them down in the area nearest to where we thought they actually were. When we were finished we all sat around in a circle and talked about the map. We then held it up and took some photographs.



Children stand in a circle and identify all the noises they can hear.


Then they make rubbings of all the different surfaces in the garden.


Back at school children make footsteps and think about how many times we walk on the same piece of pavement.


Children stretch out to measure the distance from one gate to the other in Holmewood Gardens.


Then they  roll out yellow paper to see the path in a different colour.


The girls enjoy rolling down the grass bank.


Back at school the children work on a map of their school and the local  area.


Work is continued on the map of the  local area.



The finished map is presented.






Two Workshops at Richard Atkins Primary School


1. Morning Workshop -        Year 5

2. Afternoon Workshop        -        Year 5


Children         - Twenty five 10/11 Year olds

Staff             - Annabelle Dawson, Ann (Teacher), Ian (Helper)


We were lucky because it was a warm day and everyone liked the idea of going outside. We walked to Holmewood Gardens and took the route that the children would normally take. We were paying attention to things that we thought were nice in the area and things that weren't so nice. We were also thinking about how safe our route was and we had talked a little in the classroom about what Public Furniture was s0 we looked at things like benches , traffic lights, bins, post boxes and zebra crossings. We were told that we were going to make a map when we came back from our walk so we had to try and remember where everything was. The First short cut we took was down a little alleyway on to Brixton Hill. None of us liked this and find it quite scary because people who take drugs sometimes hang around there and it is dirty and smelly. Then we crossed the road and would normally jump over the wall and cut through on the grass if we were going to Holmewood Gardens with our friends but we walked on the paths today. We noticed how the grass had been warn away with the short cuts people had taken through. We passed the enclosed Ball Playing area and thought that was really good because all the grassy areas have signs up saying “No Ball Games” and also dogs go to the toilet on the grass. It was surprising how many nice flower beds there were in the estates and how nobody had spoiled them.


When we got to Holmewood Gardens we all stood in a circle closed our eyes and listened to all the different sounds we could hear. It was really quiet and our teacher really liked it. We heard cars, birds, airplanes, someone knocking at a door and young children playing. Then we split in to three groups and walked around the gardens looking at what we liked and didn't. Some of the girls played rolling down the hill. We all liked the jungle area and made jungle noises when we walked through. Then we all got together again and got the cameras out. This was great because we all had to take one photo either in the gardens or on the road of land marks or public furniture and think about why we were taking the photos. We could take a photo of anything we thought was important.


When we got back to school we made a list on the board of all the things we had seen that would go on our map. There were loads of things to draw. This was really good fun because we all started drawing different things and sticking them on to the map. It was a big map and took the rest of the morning to finish. It was really interesting to see simple

things like how many traffic lights, post boxes, and bins we had passed and then to try and remember how. they looked and where they went.



Afternoon Workshop - Year 5


Children         - Twenty two 10/11 year olds

Staff   - Annabelle Dawson, Audrey (Teacher), Ian (Helper)


We also went for a walk to Holmewood Gardens but we didn't take the short cut through the alleyway that the morning workshop had taken. We nearly did the same as the morning workshop except we had a little less time s0 we didn't take photos. But what we did that they didn't was when we were in the gardens and all standing in a circle we closed our eyes and were quiet for ten seconds then we all shouted at the same time. This was just to compare the difference between children playing and making a lot of noise and then being quiet. There was a big difference. We really liked shouting but our teacher preferred it when we were quiet.


We also made a map when we got back to class and it was fun. We enjoyed drawing and colouring in the things we had seen. When we were finished we put our map on the Hall floor next to the other Year 5 one and compared the differences.









Year 5 pupils gather on the grass mound.


Their map  in progress.