Children are inspired by visit to dockyard

(Left to right) Abbie Ellis, Louie O'Brien and Max Panigrahi, all aged nine. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123024-1)
(Left to right) Abbie Ellis, Louie O'Brien and Max Panigrahi, all aged nine. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123024-1)

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Children enjoyed learning about the history of the Royal Navy’s dazzle ships, used in the First and Second World Wars, at a community art project.

At the Sealife Roadshow at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard they heard about how ships’ paintwork was used to confuse the enemy so that they would be unable to tell which direction they were travelling in.

The pupils of Wimborne Infant School and Meon Junior School then explored the different shapes in the dockyard’s buildings and ships before making their own camouflage artwork.

Rachael Luckcraft, Year One teacher at Wimborne Infant School, says: ‘The children loved it. They had a great time going to the dockyard and got really inspired by their environment, which was lovely to see.

‘And they were very excited to be working alongside an artist to create their own little pieces of artwork.

‘It really benefits the children to be taught by a specialist because they get to learn so much more about what they are doing and how to use all the equipment properly.’

Artist Debbie Dodsworth visited the school yesterday to continue her work with the pupils and will later visit Meon Junior School and Milton Park Primary School, whose pupils will attend a session in the dockyard on October 1.

Michala Wallace took her Year Five pupils from Meon Junior School to the event and says: ‘The kids thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the art activities.

‘It’s great for them to get a chance to do something like that because it’s so different to anything we do in school.

‘And they loved getting to look around the dockyard. They even got to go on HMS Victory, which was the highlight of the day for many of them.’

Once the children have completed their pieces, they will be exhibited at a free roadshow event on November 1 in Eastney Community Centre, Eastney, as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded project.

As well as the exhibition there will be a family fun day at the centre with children’s activities, such as arts and crafts, games, dressing up, and sea-themed objects on display.

At a later date the children’s work will be displayed in the National Museum of the Royal Navy before returning to their schools.