Shielings Project Spring 2023

In January 2023, SOW worked with YR5 building sheilings, pastoral huts in school. The idea took inspiration from the history of Shieldfield exploring the origins of the name Shieldfield where the school is located. The project included reflecting on human relationship with the natural world and environmental impact. The children were encouraged to use their imagination to explore past, present, future!


Project Outline 

Week 1

We will be introducing the idea of 'Shielings' (pastoral shelters) and where the word Shieldfield originates from by looking at old maps and pictures. Following on from this we will get the class to work in groups of 4 or 5 to start the construction of small shelters with willow (child size 1m3/small den). We will demonstrate making a strong rope from twine which they can all have a go at making in pairs. This will then be used in their constructions.


Week 2

We will think about shelter in more depth in terms of weather, life-cycle of materials, comfort and use. We will demonstrate a simple wattle weaving technique. The children will weave the walls of their structures and add a roof covering of thatch or fabric.


Week 3

The children will finish the construction of their structures and arrange a camp with all the shelters. We will gather around the camp for each small group to explain the materials, techniques used and the decisions they made to build their Shieling.