The children's thoughts
"I wish we could do more of such projects."
"This was the best computer lesson ever."
"I have shown my Dad how to use Turtlestitch and he was really impressed."
“My circle was created as a circle spinning theme. I did it because I thought it would look really nice and the designed was based on a spinning football as I am a football fan. Also I thought Coventry City would like this and could make a logo of this stitch.”
“I have experimented with the picture at home and as I love flowers , I have created some different floral shapes. I loved that it was colourful and that if I made an error and my design did not work out first time round, I could do it again and again till I got it right. I loved the creativity of this project where I could create anything I would like.”
“My design was inspired by fruit because I saw lots of pineapple designs when we were looking at the historic images and I thought Coventry would partially relate to those. So I made a spiral design for the base of my image and the flower at the top for the leaves of my pineapple design.”
Our project is called "Coventry: past, present, future" and is a patchwork mat created from children's designs and photographs.
We asked children to think about what would symbolize Coventry in simple shapes. We explored the history of Coventry, its people and industry and discussed how these could be represented through embroidered shapes. Some of their ideas were a spiral for the ribbons manufacturing and to symbolise the resurrection of Coventry after the Blitz; circles to represent bicycle wheels; intertwined circles to represent all people of different cultures who came together as citizens of our multicultural city; spires to represent our churches and cathedrals. Of course, due to the time limits the shapes had to be fairly simple, so learning about the history and thinking about symbolism were very important in the first lessons of the project. We also encouraged children to think about the shapes that would represent them and their families, as they are a significant part of our city, and there were suggestions of houses, stars and even footballs. We wanted to create a project where the past and the future of our city would synthesise through children's work.
It was lovely to see children being fully engaged in block coding and experimenting with skills. We do not always have opportunities for physical computing and seeing the final products embroidered on felt has helped children understand the practical applications of coding. We have discussed where else we could see the physical outcomes of coding and a few of our children have realised the potential of computing for future careers, not just for gaming. It was great to access already created lesson plans which were very easy to follow; however, the project has also allowed for a lot of creativity and personal touch.
We will certainly use Turtlestitch for geometry lessons next year, especially on property of shapes and angles. We are hoping we will be able to find a secondary school with the embroidery machine that we can carry on creating designs on.