Rydal Penrhos Year 5 Pupils Use iPads to Explore Art and Local Culture on Outdoor Walk
May 3, 2023

Rydal Penrhos Year 5 pupils recently added to their classroom learning by taking a trip around the local area to discover artistic inspiration and natural beauty, all the while making great use of their iPads.

At Rydal Penrhos, our aim is to create a forward-thinking educational culture that never loses sight of those important, timeless features of a good education that can never be replaced or eschewed. This was neatly demonstrated during a recent excursion undertaken by our Year 5 pupils, who, on the morning of Thursday 27 April 2023, journeyed around the local area on foot to learn more about their community.

The school is committed to connecting pupils to their local environment and the outdoors in general. In today’s world, children often spend most of their time indoors, which can have a detrimental effect on their health and well-being. By providing opportunities for children to explore the natural world, Rydal Penrhos is helping to create a generation of children who are connected to their surroundings and appreciate the world around them.

One example of this commitment is the Forest School program offered by Rydal Penrhos, which provides children with the opportunity to explore and learn about nature, while also developing important life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and self-confidence.

On this occasion, however, Year 5 ventured further afield to discover more about the history and geography of our corner of North Wales. Demonstrating the blend of old and new that defines our approach to providing the best possible modern education, the class took their iPads with them and tested out the features of an app called Imagine Trail.

The app uses augmented reality (AR), alongside animation, video, art, creative writing, and audio experiences, to bring to life captivating and motivational tales about the culture and history of our region. The app was created through a 2-year process, involving 334 members of the local community, who collaborated with 22 skilled artists and creative providers over 295 workshops.

Pupils loved the AR experience, which was made possible by the school’s iPad provision. All children Reception and above have access to their own iPad, issued to each pupil as a standard. The decision to introduce iPads several years ago has not only saved huge amounts of stationary – leading to significant environmental benefits – but has also opened new and dynamic approaches to learning that allow children to take a lead in their own education and add their personality and creativity to the learning experience.

Creativity was at the heart of Year 5’s local area walk, with pupils taking photos of buildings and vistas to use for their art project this term. Pupils looking at the work of Josie Russell and aim to complete a piece of art using a similar textile theme. Russell’s work is characterized by its intricate and colourful designs, which often incorporate elements of nature and the natural world.

Having now taken their photos, pupils can look forward to realising their ideas in the school’s well-equipped Prep Art Studio, which is a great asset for pupils. The studio provides a creative space where pupils can explore their artistic abilities and develop their skills in a supportive environment. With access to quality materials and guidance from the school’s teachers, pupils are encouraged to feel confident in their own vision and self-expression.