August 16


field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

April 25th 2015 was the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day.

paper poppies field April 2015 2

paper poppies field April 2015 2

I am part of the Special Weeks committee, which organizes all sorts of Special Events as part of the school calendar, at Cambridge Primary School, and we thought that as a whole school we had to do something to commemorate the 100th ANZAC day!

paper poppies field April 2015 16

paper poppies field April 2015 16

So we came up with the very simple idea of each student and staff member making a paper poppy and planting it into the ground to create a field of poppies.

paper poppies field April 2015

paper poppies field April 2015

Each grade was supplied with enough wooden skewers for one for each child but after that it was up to the teachers how they put their poppies together. There were no other rules or instructions to follow as we really didn’t want them to look all exactly the same.

paper poppies field April 2015 3

paper poppies field April 2015 3

paper poppies field April 2015 20 They just all had to be planted by lunch time on the Friday before ANZAC day, in a rather bare patch of ground, near the office, at the front of the school.

paper poppies field April 2015 19

paper poppies field April 2015 19

I started the planting process off in the morning and then was running back and forth from the main art room during the day to take photos as the planting progressed. It was lovely to lift my head up from my work in the main art room and catch a glimpse of all the heads down and bottoms up action as the students and staff planted their poppies and then stood around admiring their work and the work of others. There was even quite a reverent, emotional atmosphere around the poppy field.

paper poppies field April 2015 17

paper poppies field April 2015 17

I did find I had to stand guard when I was on yard duty at snack time though as several Prep children thought it would be a great idea to run through and stomp on all the poppies – so much for being reverent, emotional and caught up in the atmosphere, when you are 5! paper poppies field April 2015 13

My battery died on my Ipad, of course, so I didn’t even get to photograph the complete field of poppies.

paper poppies field April 2015 12

paper poppies field April 2015 12

The photographer arrived from the local paper and took a lovely photo which luckily included my Georgie.(Yay! XXX) I think that is the only local newspaper photo Georgia has ever been in for her school so it was nice she got to be in one during her final year at Cambridge PS! As this photographer was there rather early in the day I don’t think he even saw the whole field of poppies.

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

A Bright ANZAC tribute at Cambridge Primary School. “The gardens of Cambridge Primary School were a sea of red last Friday as the school marked Anzac Day. The Hoppers Crossing school wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli with something special, so it created a field of poppies. Assistant principal Nella Cascone said the school’s 935 pupils and 90 staff made the flowers. A planting ceremony was then held last Friday afternoon, giving everyone a chance to pay their respects. Grade 6 pupils Georgia, Ayaan and Shaubing (pictured) were among the children who helped plant the poppies.” – See more at:

paper poppies field April 2015 11

paper poppies field April 2015 11

At the end of the school day there was quite a crowd as plenty of families photographed and admired the poppy field, with all commenting about how it had been a fantastic idea, and some being very moved by it.

paper poppies field April 2015 8

paper poppies field April 2015 8

Susie, my Science teacher colleague, and I, waited until 4.00pm to make our sad, regretful decision. The weather was changing rather drastically, with the wind becoming quite ferocious and a heavy storm predicted for the early evening. We had intended leaving the poppies in the field and collecting them up on Monday morning but the thought of arriving at school to find the poppies shredded by the storm and dumped all over the school yard was just devastating. So regretfully, Susie, Georgie and I, and a few helpers from After School Care, packed up the magnificent field of poppies into boxes before the storm could destroy them.

paper poppies field April 2015 4

paper poppies field April 2015 4

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.’

paper poppies field April 2015 10

paper poppies field April 2015 10

paper poppies field April 2015 9

paper poppies field April 2015 9

paper poppies field April 2015 6

paper poppies field April 2015 6

Thanks for reading,



October 6


I have been whiling away the hours today on my favouite place on the net –PINTEREST!


Yes, today I made the decision that my Art board was too big and difficult to find things on so I began the process of making a whole heap of smaller art boards relating to particular topics I know I will use, For example,

 Art ideas Textiles


Art Ideas Drawing


and I even made some for particular artists

 Art ideas Van Gogh


Art Ideas Paul Klee

Of course, they are nowhere near finished so I have just added another job to my ever increasing, all my own fault, list of things to do!!!

I have now decided that I must be insane as the term holidays are over and I should be in bed!!!


October 3



The Grade 2 children made snakes to celebrate it being the Chinese Year of the Snake!




I was surprised at how much the children whinged and moaned about how rolling the clay hurt their hands! And there were more children than I expected that really struggled to roll a sausage at all. We had a chat and it was interesting that most of them couldn’t remember the last time they had played with playdoh. Most insisted that they had never done this at school and didn’t have it at home because it was TOO MESSY! And these days the amount of children that help to roll  out pastry in the kitchen at home would fit in a thimble. So how are these little people supposed to exercise these fine motor muscles? In the Art room I suppose!



I was thrilled with how much effort the children put into painting their snakes once they were all finally fired. I’m sure this is directly related to the detailed work of Queensland artist Dave Behren’s that we were looking at and working on at the time!


October 3



These lovely geometric shape collages were completed by the Grade 1 children earlier this year.

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 25

I had done this sort of activity  several times in the Art Room over the years and I’m always amazed with what the children come up with.

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 46

I purchased the fantastic double sided cardboard mosaic pieces from Zart Art, which I had used before, including the lovely shimmery squares you can see in the butterfly above, and was thrilled to find they also had packs of patterned triangles which were new.

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 54

I was horrified to find the triangles came in sheets which I had to press out myself (as they were a little too delicate for the children to do if I wanted them to stay triangular!) so I spent one lunchtime breaking up the whole packet of sheets. This was quite a zen/bizarre/ almost therapeutic activity I found which wasn’t as time consuming as I thought it would be. Next time I’ll probably get some older helpers to do it for me so I don’t totally lose my mind! It was much better than cutting up triangles myself like I used to do!!!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 58 

I absolutely love the woolly sheep above! I found the circles and the blue/white squares with rounded corners in a box in the store room! Who knows where they came from but they must have been offcuts from something that were donated from a parents work place?!?!?! And I just love recycling!!!!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 81

And this elephant was gorgeous – I just wish I had taken a better photo of it!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 98

self portrait as a minecraft characterI was told that the person above was a self portrait as a MINECRAFT game character!!!

I put away a lot of these for the Art Show coming up at the end of October. I hope they have survived the storage!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 89

I hope you enjoy this lovely gallery of shape collages by children who were only in their first few weeks of grade 1 at the time of their creation. Please leave a comment below as all bloggers love to know there is somebody out there! Or you could even become a follower!!! Just click on the follow me button in the sidebar.



September 15



Lunchtime boss

Thank you to Heidi 2C, Lisha 2NM and Lani 2C who have been the Main Art room LUNCHTIME BOSSES during our lunchtime art sessions on Thursdays over the last few weeks. Thank you for the excellent fulfilment of your duties Heidi, Lisha and Lani, and if you would like a turn being the Main Art Room LUNCHTIME BOSS on Thursday lunchtimes just come and talk to Mrs Menhennet and I will add your name to the list!


We have been enjoying some of the wonderful books shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia for 2013, in the Art rooms. The Prep children made beautiful sunflowers for PEGGY, by Anna Walker, to follow home! I can’t wait to get them up on display. And just wait until you see the fantastic drawings the grade 1 children have done in response to the Picture Story book of the year – THE COAT by Julie Hunt!

The illustrations by Ron Brooks are wonderful and the children were mesmerised by the fantastic story!

 And do you remember last year, we read the gorgeous book, A FOREST, and made a beautiful forest display in the hallway, and I wondered why such a stunning book had been left off the 2012 Picture Book of the Year shortlist??? That was because it was shortlisted for 2013! It is quite an achievement for Marc Martin to be short listed with his first ever picture fiction book!


Link Link to Children’s Book Council Of Australia Book of the Year shortlists

Link to some interactive literacy activities to do with the shortlisted books!

A SECIAL REPORT BY OUR NEW REPORTER                                             AMARLEA CRAIG  2B

Hi, my name is Amarlea Craig from 2B. On the 23rd of August I went to the “Monet’s Garden” exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. There were lots of people and the gallery was very big. Some of the paintings were big and all of them were magical. My favourite painting was a round painting with water lilies in a golden frame. At the end of the exhibition we sat in a round theatre. It showed footage of Claude Monet’s house and the garden in Giverny from day to night. We saw the different rooms in the house and the garden with lots of trees and plants and the lake with the famous Japanese bridge. It was amazing and very beautiful. There was also a really cool gift shop.

 Here are some new links to websites with information and/or images of/about Claude Monet.

And here are the links I have been using in the classroom over the last few weeks including to the NGV website, information about the exhibition and Claude Monet.


Art room helpers  – If you would like to help out in the Art room just come and see me and we will book a time that suits you. You don’t have to book in for the time that your child is in the Art room and you don’t need any special skills, just a willingness to help out, and some time to do it. It will give you the opportunity to experience one of our specialist programs up close! The grade 3 children are hand stitching on paper and fabric at the moment so some extra hands to help with knots and tangles during these sessions would be most appreciated.

Don’t forget the  BLOG – Have you left a comment on the Back Art Room Blog lately???

DONATIONS – Thank you for all the donations that keep arriving at the main art room.  We love to reuse and recycle! I cut up a pile of mostly yellow printed paper that was donated a while ago and the Prep children used this paper to make their sunflowers.  We still need –

  • Old calendars
  • Paint sample cards
  • Wallpaper offcuts and samples
  • Old CLEAN toothbrushes (they are great for adding slip to clay joins!)

Thank you!

August 4


I got some of these fabulous signs for my Art room from

This website is full of fantastic stuff!

Once I had printed the signs I wanted and enlarged them to A3 size I wanted to add something to them to make them look a little different from the originals -BLING!

Everyone loves a bit of bling and my Grade 4A helpers had a great time sticking it on with only a little bit of assistance from me.

Thank you Technology Rocks Seriously!

Thank you Grade 4A helpers who gave up some of their lunchtime to help me out!



July 22


I created this display with the hands made by the Grade 1’s to get the year started off with a lovely activity and a lovely display!

Hands up for art

Hands up for art 2

The children traced their hands and arms, or asked a classmate to do it for them and then decorated them with patterns using the zoom crayons.

The following week they painted their hand using watercolour cakes(or blocks, whatever you like to call them).  The grade 1’s had not used these before so needed to be taught to wash their brush when they were changing colours so the cake of watercolour did not become muddy.

I also insist that they look after the water pots themselves and if the water is too dirty they just go and empty it and refill the water pots themselves without asking me. This always results in a few water spills at the beginning (big deal, it is just water!) so we then discuss why the spill has occurred (rushing, too much water in the container) and what we do when they occur (put newspaper down immediately to help soak up the water and make the spillage more visible for others in the room and then clean it up as quickly as possible) and the spillages soon stop. It is all worth it in the end as I strive to make the children clean up after themselves. I am always stupefied by the number of children at Grade 1 level that have NO IDEA how to turn on a tap! This is all part of the learning process of being responsible artists!

I did not tell them that the crayon would resist the watercolour but waited until someone noticed it before we discussed it. “What’s happening here? Why isn’t the paint covering that crayon pattern?”

When they were dry cutting them out was the next challenge so I demonstrate how you can turn the paper while you are cutting slowly, a revelation for most grade 1’s, so you don’t just chop off all the fingers!

I ummed and aahed about how to display them and then settled on a circle. I layered them on the display board and tried NOT to staple the hands and fingers so they would move in any breeze that wafted past. I was going to put the sign in the top left corner in the middle but then found the bit of gold corrugated cardboard  in the scrap box, added some cupcake wrappers for eyes (we used to call them patty pans when I was a kid) and it turned into a beaming sun, so appropriate as the start of the year was so very hot!

Thank you for the inspiration from this picture on Pinterest. I absolutely adore Pinterest!

I also saw this one on Pinterest too which has obviously been created by much older children.Thanks for looking and I would love it if you left a comment!


March 10

Hip Hip Hooray!

At last – WELCOME to the BACK ART ROOM BLOG!!!


I have been talking about doing this since about this time last year and every time I have sat down to start I have found the global 2 set up difficult to use. Blogger is much easier and very familiar to me as I already have my own blog on it.

So I’ve bitten the bullet this weekend and this blog is finally going to happen!

So this blog is going to be about

  • the TWO art rooms at Cambridge Primary School in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, Australia and all the fantastic creativity that happens in those two rooms
  • all the crazy things that a frantically busy Primary Visual Arts teacher gets up to (or forgets all about and remembers at the last minute!)
  • links to all the amazing arty and creative sites and blogs that can be found on the web
  • and whatever else I can think of

I’m hoping that the Cambridge Primary School community will take time out to look at the blog and comment on all the wonderful, amazing creations their children come up with and that the children at Cambridge Primary School will enjoy participating in the creation of this blog.

And I’m also hoping that the wider community will find this blog to be a useful visual art and teaching resource, a window into the two art rooms and lots of fun!