Almost two years ago I had the privilege of undertaking a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. This enabled me to spend six weeks in North America, Sweden and the Czech Republic. It was a once-in-a-life time opportunity.
An old university friend who lives in Seattle advised me to visit KapKa Cooperative School. It’s an infant school and for more information have a look at their informative website.
In terms of artwork, their school grounds is superb. It is evident that children have been involved in the artwork which reflects local culture, environment and the children’s interests. Here’s what the school looks like from afar:
On closer inspection, look at the school sign outside the school. It makes a change from a standard formal one:
Even the mail box is unique:
The sidewalk is used by the school children. This is simple way for a school to reach out to the local community. There’s a wee garden that the children look after:
The entrance to a school sends a strong hidden message about the ethos within. I think KapKa has a welcoming feel already. Within the grounds, there are many delights to behold:
This bench was painting by the Elder Elder children before they left. Wouldn’t it be great if all schools had such benches!
Little mosaics have been made by children and cemented into the ground near the back entrance.
This is the only mural. But it has a powerful presence and reflects the past and present times and traditions in the Seattle region.
Seattle is rightly proud of its Salmon in Schools programme. KapKa is involved in raising salmon every year.
As you can see, even the climbing framing has children’s artwork! Below is a different angle:
And from further away:
As you’ve probably worked out, the outdoor area is small. However, signs of children’s creativity are everywhere. Look at the bird feeder:
Now, you may be wondering about the inside. It’s equally beautiful. As this is an outdoor blog, I’m just sticking to the outdoor area. But to give you a flavour, imagine working at this desk:
Two years later, I’m still left inspired by my visit to KapKa. Children and adults need beautiful, creative places to live and work where the contributions of children are truly valued and demonstrated. I hope you have enjoyed the KapKa gallery. Please do send me links to other outdoor artwork you have seen in schools.