During the last week we have been lucky enough to have an artist in residence.

It has been amazing to see how Emily’s work has developed over the course of the week and it has certainly inspired the children. They have been regularly interacting with her and have asked some excellent questions. The children have witnessed first-hand the skills, techniques, patience and commitment Emily has transferred into the wonderful mural now in school. This should be completed by the end of today and looks wonderful!

As a school we have inspired hope to our friends in Tanzania which has provoked our thinking within last week’s art week – ‘Inspiring Hope.’

Each class interpreted this message in a variety of creative and imaginative ways linking to our key Christian values this term.

Nursery read Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae. The story is about a giraffe called Gerald who would love to join in with the other animals at the jungle dance but all the other animals say ‘giraffes can’t dance.’ The cricket gives Gerald hope and shows him that giraffes can dance with the right music.

The children discussed the story and then created their very own Gerald using finger prints.

Reception focused on an African tale called The Sleepy Cheetah. The story is about a Cheetah who spends all day sleeping. After a thunderstorm there is a fire. All the other animals run away from the fire and try to wake the Cheetah to warn him of the danger. The monkeys jump up and down on him (leaving black spots) but the Cheetah doesn't think he can run as his paws are too soft and his legs too short. The other animals try to encourage him and when he feels the heat from the fire he gives it a try. After a steady walk, jog, run he realises he can do it. He doesn't give up and ends up rescuing the monkeys.

The children discussed the story and related it to their own lives (not giving up when things are difficult/believing in themselves and helping others). The children have all made different animal masks using paper plates and sponges to print. The masks will be left out so that the children can act out the story.

Year 1 and 2 thought about hope for the future of our world and the animals within it. They created a collaborative piece of art work, joining hands together to represent protection. The children engaged in some excellent discussion and had some brilliant ideas.

In Year 3, the children were inspired by the Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg and the worldwide Climate Strikes movement of young people demanding action on climate change. The children were moved by listening to Greta speak to world leaders about the hopes and dreams of young people and how they are affected by our changing climate.

They realised how powerful their own voices can be in affecting change in the world. They worked collaboratively to create protest posters articulating their hopes for the future and why those in power should act now. They then took their message of hope out in front of school to share with the local community through a protest.

Year 4 used the African fabric brought back from Tanzania as their starting point. After exploring the use of colour and pattern the children designed their own fabric inspiring hope by working together and linking to the harvest.

Year 5 and 6 explored the use of water colour to represent the Dunkirk evacuation. This was inspired by Winston Churchill who was also an accomplished artist. The children discussed how everyday people inspired hope by coming to support soldiers in the rescue attempt which saved 500,000 soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk.