(Co-ordinated and managed by Media Matters Education Consultancy)

One of the highlights of the Whysman Festival has been the George Wyllie Education Initiative which has been supporting schools as they introduce their pupils to the work of George Wyllie.

George was the archetypal Curriculum for Excellence Man, creating scul?ture, art, music, drama, poetry, prose, and so pupils, in both primary and secondary schools, are now being encouraged to do the same, in Art & Design, Drama, English, Music, Social Studies and Technologies.

Over 90 schools in 9 local authorities have expressed an interest in combining an investigation of the artist with creative activities. 

So what’s happening? Well, school pupils are studying the work of George across all the airts and pairts with the one proviso that they all make a paper boat, which will form part of an Origami Line. One boat per school will come to The Mitchell in Glasgow to be 'docked' in a life-sized paper boat shed at  the George Wyllie Retrospective: In Pursuit of the Question Mark. The rest will head to The River Clyde on Hogmanay (George Wyllie's birthday) and be launched from The Riverside Museum as a tribute to George's Paper Boat, which set sail in 1989 from the Clyde and headed off on a voyage which took it to London, Antwerp, New York and back to Scotland.

(Schools featured in the list below will change regularly during the exhibition.)

* In John Paul Academy (City of Glasgow), pupils in S2, S5 and S6 have made their own arrangement (for the ukelele) of George Wyllie’s Paper Boat Song. 

* Inspired by his artwork, S2/S3 pupils taking Drama in St Andrew’s Secondary  (City of Glasgow) have developed and performed a sketch about the Whys Man.

* In West Dunbartonshire, P7b at Kilbowie Primary spent its Art Appreciation Week finding out about George Wyllie, with pupils drawing their own
 interpretations of his scul?tures, writing poems and making their shipbuilding and Singer-inspired paper boat.

* In Inverclyde, P6 in Gourock Primary made even the tiniest boats and P6 in St Ninian’s Primary made their paper boat featuring ‘views of
 Gourock’ where George Wyllie lived and worked.

* The Higher Geography class in Bellahouston Academy (City of Glasgow) is investigating industrial change on Clydeside, using Wyllie images as visual guides and reminders. The class boat is made of an Ordnance Survey map of the area.

* P4 in St Fillan’s Primary, Renfrewshire learned about George Wyllie’s  scul?tures, and 3D artwork. One pupil spent his October week as the WhysMan Junior Reporter and the class is now working on a giant question mark to be installed in the river at Langbank.

* P7 in Braehead Primary shares George’s passion for music and wanted its boat to represent that, as well as the influence Burns had on the artist. The pupils decided to make their boat out of the sheet music for Auld Lang Syne.

Every school taking part is adding a paper boat to the Boat Shed, reflecting the work which its pupils have been doing and as a salute to George Wyllie. The boats currently in the Boat Shed, illustrating a little of what’s happening in schools, are the vessels of the Fleet of the Origami Line...


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