The project linked to: Art - gave the children confidence to be free in their art and all children were able to access it regardless of their drawing skill; Science, through links to the world around us and the environment; and PSHE, though encouraging compassion and empathy for our environment.

‘Tidemarks’ was a KS2 arts and science project which highlighted and explored the impact of plastic waste on marine life and coastal environments. 134 pupils from four schools within walking distance of the coast within north and South Tyneside took part in the project, which included:

  • An introduction to the themes of the ‘Tidemarks’ project and to the work of artists whose work responds to the sea and coast.
  • A visit to a beach local to each school to explore the issue of coastal pollution and to safely collect plastic waste.
  • A workshop using the plastic waste collected by the children to make collagraph plates.
  • A follow-up workshop to use the plates to print collagraph seascapes directly from the plastic waste

Children at three of the four schools achieved their Discover Arts Award as part of the project.

All the work produced by the children was shown in an exhibition at Northern Print over a five-day period in July 2019. 

“The main impact on the children has been learning a new technique and having the knowledge of how it works even though they can’t create it themselves without the printing machine. The children had a comprehensive knowledge of what they did and why and were able to explain it at a later date. They were also able to be creative without the restrictions of not being able to draw well – everyone’s finished pieces were effective.”


“As an ECO school the children have completed much work on the importance of looking after our planet through a number of subjects such as Geography and PSHE. However, this is the first time that they have had the opportunity to combine field work with an art focus using a technique which they had never experienced before.”


“The children loved the two days. The outdoor visit to the beach to collect different recyclable materials informed the children of what can be reused from their environment. They really enjoyed the printmaking back at school, mainly as it is equipment that the children have never used before.”

Back to blog