SEN students create “fabulous” art about the environment

SEN students changing minds 2021

Between January and March 2021, we delivered 60 workshops with children with special educational needs (SEN) in Harrow through our three-year changing:minds project, which is enabling children to explore environmental themes creatively.

The project, which started in 2019, uses art, dance, music and theatre to explore the environment with students at all five SEN schools/units in Harrow. Last year, the project examined underwater worlds. This year, the children learned about the earth’s rich diversity of natural environments and the animals that call them home. Next year, the project is set to wrap up with an exploration of the sky. 

“Beautiful art, fabulous art and fabulous storytelling!”

SEN students changing minds 2021

To celebrate the culmination of the project’s second year, our participants came together for an online showcase of their work on Thursday 11 March. This was attended by their families, Harrow councillors, school staff, and our funders, Patrons, Trustees and staff.

The artists led us through an incredible exhibition of the children’s creativity: a dance inspired by melting ice caps, a drama about an imaginary new world, sculptures of animals inspired by indigenous artwork, comics starring superheroes saving the world, and much more.

“It was truly amazing to see the scale of talent of the children involved, their imaginations and their engagement in the workshop.”

Nicholas McCarthy, concert pianist and Create Patron

The children’s creations were widely admired by the attendees, one guest enthusing: “Beautiful dancing, fabulous art and fabulous story telling!”

The showcase concluded with a speech by world-renowned concert pianist, Create Patron Nicholas McCarthy, who expressed his admiration for the children’s talent. He said: “It was truly amazing to see the scale of talent of the children involved, their imaginations and their engagement in the workshop. For me as a Patron of this charity [this project] confirmed to me the need for people to have creative outlets at all stages of life, especially when we collectively face the difficulties that we have all faced of late.”

You can read quotes from participants and staff, and see the artwork below. 

See the artwork


The children at Alexandra School created dynamic comics featuring superheroes saving the world, led by our artist Chloe Cooper. 

“I want to keep drawing Super Spider Girl and maybe one day she’ll have her own movie.”



Our professional dancer Nikki Watson worked with students at Kingsley High School to explore different natural phenomena through movement. 

“It has been a wonderful experience and the children enjoyed it greatly. They have been able to learn dance, share, take turns, explore different activities and take initiative.”

staff member


At Shaftesbury High School, students worked with our theatre artist Jack Pryor to explore issues related to the environment through drama and created their own play performed over Zoom. 

“Thank you for giving us this opportunity. The workshops were really fun, and we really achieved something!”



Participants at West Lodge Primary School worked with our sculptor Sam Haynes to create vibrant sculptures of animals inspired by art made by the people who share their natural habitat.

“My favourite moment was making the elephant.”


You can see this fantastic elephant – and all their other work – here:

visual art

Our artist Amy Leung worked with children at Woodlands School to explore different habitats using art – from jungles and deserts to rich underground worlds.

“Undoubtedly, the sessions offered to our pupils the opportunity to feel connected and maintain their social skills. The sessions were something to wait for during the weeks under lockdown. They were happy to attend and express themselves through creativity.”

staff member

You can see the artwork here:

We’d like to congratulate our participants for producing so much inspiring artwork; and to thank our funders who made it possible.

Supported by:

john lyons logo

With additional support in 2020/21 from:

CA Redfern Charitable Foundation, David Solomon’s Charitable Trust

SEN students changing minds 2021

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