Final touches for the Fourth Plinth Schools Awards entries

Payam Beint, Head of Art and Design at Normanhurst School, on how his students prepared for the Fourth Plinth Schools Awards…

We began by looking at previous winners as part of our art lesson. For homework, students chose different Fourth Plinth artists and explored how their idea was developed from start to finish.

I believe that students should get into the mind-set of an artist first. They need to think about how ideas are communicated to the public and how the artwork interacts with the environment around it.

After their research, students came up with their own thoughts. We spoke about different parts of a commission, like scale, where it is, what it means and the materials that could be used to make it. They then created initial ideas followed by a final design.

Once they completed the final design, students presented their idea to classmates. Their presentations covered everything from the starting point to what impact the artwork would have on people and the site of Trafalgar Square. Students then gave feedback to help further shape the artwork. At that point, students could redesign their idea or recreate it in a different form of media.

I’m always really thrilled by the range and freshness of my students’ ideas. I think it’s really important to give students the chance to look at creating art as a way of communicating with the world around you. It offers you a unique opportunity to both challenge and improve your improvement.

The Fourth Plinth Schools Awards close on 18 March. To find out more visit

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