a Surestart Children's Centre Teacher I worked in partnership with Tess
at Scout Drive Children's Centre in Wythenshawe, Manchester. This 'creative
collaboration' project was over a 12 month period in 2007 working with
the 0-5 age range.. Tess' enthusiasm and creative instinct was wonderful
and had a huge impact on the children and practitioners. Tess supported
us in reflecting on what creativity means for us as individuals and what
is meant for the centre as a whole. This support took many forms from
whole staff team training, sourcing new and wonderful resources, to hands
on modelling working creatively with the children As a result of Tess'
input many changes took place in the environment and resourcing of the
centre and most importantly in the outlook and confidence of the practitioners
to plan and facilitate creative activities for the children. Tess was
like a breath of fresh air... in fact sometimes more like a whirlwind
of ideas!! Her passion and enthusiasm created a change in ethos which
has been sustained over time .. in fact thinking of Tess still inspires
us now to 'have a go' and try something new. "
who have worked with Tess always remember her next time she comes. During
sessions students are engaged and have a fun time creating exciting pieces
at their own level. Our students can at times display very challenging
behaviours; she reacts as if she were here seeing it everyday. The creating
is fun and uncomplicated, there's more than one thing to try and activities
are easily adapted when needed. What some people may see as a mess, she
sees for what it is, a piece of art a student has created. She listens
to what staff and students say, and to what they don't. She gets our students
and not everybody does. That's why she's asked back, she just knows, and
we love that about her".
has stretched and challenged everyone (adults & children)". "It's
changed ways of thinking". "It's brought in new ideas."
"There's a lot more variety & choices on offer; the spaces have
Deepdale Infants School
Yr 1 - A Washing Line Sea -2011 Tess worked with all 3 x Year 1 classes
to transform a corner of their playground. We put up many washing lines;
then we added cloth of different textures, patterns & shapes, then we
wove ribbons into hoops to make textile jelly fish. We put up a fishing
net & into that we put 'messages in a bottle' mixed media containers &
various sea creatures. The 'washing line sea' was then left for the children
to play in for the rest of the term.
Deepdale Infants School,
Year 2 classes x 3 - Giant Creatures junk sculptures - 2011 The Yr
2 children designed their 'mythical creatures' in teams drawing inspiration
from African animals. Then using boxes, tubes & other junk they worked
in their teams to build the giant creatures, papier mache them, and finally
Fulmead Sure Start Project
- 2010 In this project our aim was to use visual arts techniques as
a vehicle to encourage teambuilding and cohesion within the culturally
diverse Friday morning & afternoon groups of parents & toddlers that attended
Early Years Creative Collaborators
Project - In 2007 Tess Hills was involved in the year long 'Creative
Collaborators' project with Manchester Education Partnership at 'Scout
Drive Children's Centre' in Wythenshaw, Manchester. This project was influenced
by the 'Reggio Emilio' approach to early years education.
CARA Action Research Project
- In this project Peppy Hills, and students & staff at Sunfield School,
worked in collaboration with Curious Cargo's Tess Hills to investigate
the research question: 'Exploramentation! Spotting Authentic Engagement
in Creative Activity Among Students with Severe and Complex Learning Needs'.
Sessions & 'creative provocations' included: mark-making, light &
shadow, clay & modelling materials, smell/taste/collage, found object
puppetry/storytelling, construction & dens, & textured pathways.