Category Archives: Curriculum

A Sense Of Place: The Roman Presence in Cumbernauld

Staff and pupils in the Art & Design Department at Greenfaulds High School enjoyed participating in a special Roman-themed project over the course of the last year. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with £10,000 provided in March 2017. Art & Design teacher and project leader Kirstin Armstrong explains how staff and pupils have benefited from this project:

The first special event that kick-started this HLF project was the mosaic workshop with Alan Potter that took place in April 2017. A range of S1-S3 pupils in the Art & Design department helped the artist to create a series of large-scale mosaics which were intended to decorate the front exterior of the new school building. The pupils really enjoyed working with Alan Potter and learning how to cut tesserae to create mosaics. This part of the project was a huge success and the finished mosaics look fantastic! They were installed in August 2017, and they really help to engage the local community with their heritage as they provide visual information about the Romans and their presence in the Cumbernauld area.

The local heritage sites that were chosen for this project were the Antonine Wall and the Roman fort at Bar Hill. Pupils learnt about these sites in class, viewing PowerPoint presentations, and some of them visited the sites also as part of a series of day trips in June 2017 to museums with Roman artefacts (The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, and The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow). S1-3 pupils drew Roman artefacts in class, such as arms and armour and pottery, created embossed metal replicas of Roman coins, painted watercolours of the Roman fort at Bar Hill and created Roman themed costumes. The pupils learnt about the Romans and their presence in Scotland in the 2nd century AD. The Antonine Wall was built circa AD 142 by the three Roman Legions that were stationed in Scotland at this time – the Second, Sixth and Twentieth Legions, on behalf of Emperor Antoninus Pius.

S1-2 pupils created ceramic replicas of Roman votive pots, learning how to work with clay to create 3D forms, and S2 pupils made 3D clay heads which were based on Roman sculptures found in Scotland. S3 pupils made ceramic replicas of Roman distance slabs – these were made by Roman craftsmen to celebrate the construction of different sections of the Antonine Wall. Pupils learnt about the Romans and they also gained a greater understanding of how to work with clay and clay tools, making and decorating 3D forms. Some of the pupils used coloured glazes to decorate their pots and these were very effective. Photographs of the artwork have been on display electronically in the school’s social area, conference suite, and in the Art & Design classrooms and corridor. Some of the very best work can be seen online also.

Over twenty pupils enjoyed an illustration workshop with the artist Kate Leiper in September. Kate helped S1-S6 pupils create fun Roman characters for an illustrated brochure about the Roman presence in Cumbernauld. The pupils managed to come up with an interesting array of characters and these included people, animals, and even inanimate objects, such as a Roman pot. The brochure can be viewed online and hard copies have been passed on to our associate primaries, Redburn School, and our local museum & library in Cumbernauld. Pupils really enjoyed working with Kate and finding out more about the use of characters in graphic design.

I worked with a small group of pupils at Redburn School in October to create a Roman feast. Pupils worked really hard to create drawings and paintings of Roman foods, such as fish and fruit. They used wax crayons and oil pastels to make spots and lines, experimenting with mark-making, and bottled and metallic paints were used to add colour. Pupils tried some of the foods which the Romans liked to eat, such as lemons, grapes, pomegranates and asparagus. I really enjoyed meeting the pupils and thought the artwork looked great!

Recently, S1-2 pupils created prints of Roman coins and imagery, such as the Eagle standard. They enjoyed using polystyrene to create simple templates and used coloured printing inks to make multiple copies of their image. Many of the pupils had never tried printmaking before and they thought it was an interesting process. Some S3 pupils have also started a costume design project based on Roman armour, and they will be making 3D outcomes which should be lots of fun.

It has been a busy year and pupils have really benefited from the HLF grant. They have been able to take part in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, illustration, and ceramics workshops in GHS, and they have learnt a lot about the Romans in Scotland. They have had new creative experiences and have learnt new skills, such as printmaking, ceramics and mosaic-making, and have improved their knowledge of Art & Design and Scottish and Roman history. Many pupils had never visited the museums before and seeing artefacts first-hand proved to be an exciting and interesting experience. Approximately six hundred young people have been involved in this project!

The HLF project has provided opportunities to display pupils’ artworks and celebrate their achievements, see the photographs and blogs that are available online. It has been fantastic to have artists Alan Potter and Kate Leiper in GHS to work with our staff and pupils, allowing them to learn new skills and making Art & Design more relevant to the world of work. Hopefully, by taking part in the HLF project, pupils will have learnt more about their local heritage sites and the Roman presence in Cumbernauld.

Click Here to Download Pupil Brochure


Heritage Lottery Fund, thanks for the £10,000 grant!!!

I’d like to thank all of the staff and pupils in the Art & Design department at Greenfaulds High School for their participation in the HLF project 2017-18, and for their efforts in making it so successful. Thanks go to all of the staff in GHS for their support with the mosaic workshop, particularly Mrs Macdonald in Art & Design. Finally, thanks also must go to Mr Daniels, Mr Cochrane and Mr Harris for their help with the twitter feed, electronic display in the social area, and GHS/Art & Design website.

Miss Armstrong

Gallery Slideshow of Pupil Work (Over 200 images)

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Project Presentation Boards in Art Department


A Sense of Place: The Roman Presence in Cumbernauld





A Sense of Place: The Roman Presence in Cumbernauld

A special project sponsored by the HLF Scotland

S1-S6 Art & Design pupils enjoyed finding out about the Roman presence in Scotland, especially in the Cumbernauld area, during a series of visits to Bar Hill Roman fort and the Antonine Wall, The National Museum for Scotland, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, and The Hunterian Museum. These trips all took place in June and were fully funded by a generous ‘Stories, Stones and Bones’ grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland as part of The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

The local heritage sites identified for the project were Bar Hill Fort and the Antonine Wall, which lie a few miles from Greenfaulds High School near Twechar and Croy. A small group of fourteen S1-S4 pupils visited these heritage sites on Thursday 15th June for the afternoon. Along with Mrs Macdonald and Miss Armstrong, pupils walked to Bar Hill fort from the access route at Twechar. The fort is at the highest point on the Antonine wall and pupils had to climb up a steep hill to reach the site. Pupils took part in a scavenger hunt and they had to explore the fort and read the information displays to find out more about Bar Hill and the Antonine Wall, which are part of the Roman frontier and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today, little remains of the fort and the wall. The wall was constructed from turf with a stone foundation in AD 142, and when the Romans abandoned the fort they dismantled a lot of it. Archaeologists in the late 1970s/early 1980s found building columns and wooden beams had been thrown into the well of the fort and they also unearthed lots of other objects too, such as leather shoes, coins, amphora and alters. Many of these artefacts can be seen in The Hunterian museum in Glasgow.

The pupils found out lots of facts about the fort and the wall. For example, they were built by the Twentieth and Second Legions in the reign of Emperor Antonius Pius. The wall stretched for 37 miles across Scotland, running from the Clyde in the west to the Firth of Forth in the east. By visiting the site, the pupils discovered that different parts of the fort are still visible, such as the principia (headquarters), bath house, and well. At the end of the trip, they walked along the remains of the Antonine Wall towards Croy, just missing the rain shower! Well done to Erin More (S2) and Niomi Lee (S2) for winning the scavenger hunt!

On Monday 19th June twenty-nine S1-S6 pupils visited the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh with Miss Armstrong, Mr Daniels, Mrs Macdonald and Mrs O’Neill. Pupils visited the Early People gallery and took part in a series of teacher-led Roman artefact handling sessions and then drew Roman artefacts, such as cavalry masks, amphora and coins. The National Museum of Scotland had lots of artefacts and displays which provided information about the Roman presence in Scotland. Pupils saw lots of Celtic and Pictish artefacts in the Early People gallery also, and later visited the rest of the museum to see the artefacts and displays – everything from world cultures to natural history to technology! Pupils had a great day out and their drawings of Roman artefacts were brilliant. Congratulations to Alex Gordon (S2), April Chapman (S3), and Jamie Buttenshaw (S4) for winning prizes for their drawings!

On Tuesday 20th June thirty-four S1-S6 pupils visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and The Hunterian Museum with Miss Armstrong, Mr Daniels and Mrs Macdonald. Pupils were given an informative guided tour of Rome’s Final Frontier exhibition at The Hunterian Museum by Liz D’Arcy (student of Classical Civilisation and Celtic Studies at The University of Glasgow) in the morning and afternoon, and they saw objects which had been found at Bar Hill fort and the Antonine Wall near Greenfaulds High School. These artefacts included statues and distance slabs with Latin inscriptions. They also visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and enjoyed seeing the artefacts and artwork on display there, including watercolours by Joseph Crawhall and oil paintings by Henry Matisse, Vincent van Gogh and S.J. Peploe.

You can find out more about the Antonine Wall at the website

Next session, S2-6 pupils throughout the Art & Design department will take part in different practical activities which will allow them to learn about Roman culture and the Roman presence in Cumbernauld. Activities include drawing and painting, ceramics and printmaking (August-March). The Scottish artist and illustrator Kate Leiper is going to visit the school to hold a day’s workshop with pupils in August, which will help them create characters for an illustrated brochure about the local heritage sites, and a workshop (Roman feast wall art) will be held at Redburn School to help the pupils there learn more about the Romans too. From term two onwards, exhibitions of the pupils’ artworks will take place in Greenfaulds High School and at the local museum in Cumbernauld to engage the wider community with their local heritage. The Art & Design department look forward to seeing you at these HLF Scotland sponsored exhibitions!



A Sense of Place: The Roman Presence in Cumbernauld

Greenfaulds High School Art and Design Department

2017 is the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and the Art and Design Department at GHS have been successful with a heritage lottery fund bid for Stories, Stones and Bones sharing heritage funding. The amount of the bid is £10,000.

The Art & Design project is called ‘A Sense of Place: The Roman Presence in Cumbernauld’ and the key local heritage sites are Bar Hill Roman Fort and the Antonine Wall. The Art & Design department are looking forward to taking pupils on trips to see the Roman fort and Antonine Wall, as well as Roman artefacts in collections at the Hunterian Museum and the National Museum of Scotland. A main part of the project will involve S1-S3 pupils creating a series of large mosaics with the Scottish artist Alan Potter (for display at GHS). Pupils will also be working with Scottish artist Kate Leiper to create illustrations for an illustrated brochure about the heritage sites and the Roman presence in Cumbernauld. The grant will also provide materials for Roman-themed printmaking, illustration and pottery activities for hundreds of S1-S6 pupils at GHS, and staff and pupils at GHS are also looking forward to creating some artworks with pupils at Redburn School. Everyone is excited about showcasing the project at the local Cumbernauld Museum and in special exhibitions at GHS throughout the next year, engaging the local community with their heritage.

See the GHS pupils create a range of mosaics in the video below.