Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Working within your own business is difficult, but it can have its positives. Like when all stars align and you're able to help out on a school trip. My daughter's school had sent out a message asking for volunteers, and after moving a couple of things around, I was able to accept and attend. That said, would I have been as forthcoming if the location was less creative? I love all things art, whether that be film, music, or what you would class as conventional art—paintings and sculptures. I think the title of this blog may have ruined the big reveal of which category this drops into!

Just an hour up the M1 on the fun bus, which I think is an ideal time to be on the road if you're planning a day trip. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is quite a sizeable area, with landscaped gardens and numerous exhibitions to explore. I'm not sure about the cost, so I cannot comment on the value for money. However, last year, the attraction won the Visit England Gold Award, so that has to count for something, right? I was there to help Year 3 students, so 7/8-year-olds to you. It goes without saying that at that age, their attention span isn't the longest, but I was impressed with how inquisitive they were and eager to learn at each installation.

The children had been studying Dame Barbara Hepworth, and I could hear them recounting facts and piecing together the information they had learned. Their young brains ticking was almost audible. The children were excited to be outside of the school confines, understandably, but they were not unruly. The credit lies with the teachers and assistants who knew when to use the carrot or the stick and demanded respect from their class. I really enjoyed looking at the art and discussing how to interpret it with the children. Their minds were eager to absorb and so unspoiled by cynicism. We lucked out with the weather, so we could eat our packed lunch outside under the canopy of the trees. This was an ideal time for a caffeine fix for the adults.

We meandered back uphill, discussing more artists in time for the standard toilet stop and bus journey home. YSP is set in a lovely setting with rolling hills and the wider landscape beyond the boundaries of the park. Anyone who has spent time in Yorkshire cannot argue with its undoubted beauty. I would recommend a day wandering YSP with your family if you are interested in art. The bigger takeaway for me, however, would be to urge you to go on a school trip with your young ones. They really are fascinating, and you should observe them in a school-controlled environment, and the same goes for the teaching staff. You will have a newfound respect for the work that they do.


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