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Braithwaite schoolchildren’s artwork promotes Christian values

Braithwaite School enjoyed a huge challenge last term, to create a large scale piece of artwork for their entrance hall, to represent their school motto ‘Learning together, growing together’ and their 12 chosen Christian values. Every child in the school was asked to get involved in this unique project and is now part of something very special.

The school enjoys offering art in many varying forms within its curriculum, taking the children outdoors regularly to create and experiment within their school grounds; as a result pupils show an enormous range of artistic talent, something that becomes clear in work displayed within the classrooms and hall. Headteacher, Jo Laker, recognises the important place of art in the curriculum: “Our pupils often say art is their favourite subject and we think it is important that subjects like art do not get squeezed out of the primary curriculum. Our pupils achieve well; we were 10th in the Cumbrian league tables for Key Stage 2 performance but we don’t want high achievement at the expense of a broad and engaging curriculum with Christian values such as forgiveness and love which run like a golden thread through everything we do.”

The school invited ‘Active Art’ in to help design and build the 2.5 metre high wooden art installation, having worked with Claire Grant on other exciting projects. The school likes Claire’s approach which tends to start with a well known artist and applying their style to something achievable for all ages, from 3 to 11.

“The children wanted to create a show stopper, something big that would grab people’s attention when they came to visit the school. We came up with the idea of a tree, symbolizing strength, wisdom, knowledge, security and peace. This tied in well with the school motto and made for a very good starting point,” said Claire Grant of Active Art.

Active Art introduced the children to the great artist and founder member of the Art Nouveau movement, Gustav Klimt, famous for his use of magnificent pattern and gold.

“Gustav Klimt had a huge love for gold, inspired by his father, a goldsmith and engraver, he incorporated gold into many of his famous works including ‘The tree

of life’ and ‘The kiss’. The children were taught how to use gold leaf to highlight their patterns, a skill that takes patience and a lot of focus, the result looks wonderful and is really eye-catching”, said Claire

The huge piece of art makes a striking impact and memorable first impression when you enter the school; its colourful and bold patterns climb up the tree, twisting and intertwining around the branches, and the leaves dance with glistening gold. The children are rightly proud of what they have produced and can each identify the leaf that they decorated; each of the school’s 12 Christian values are written on the trunk and branches, giving a daily reminder of the values at the heart of the school’s ethos. Further photos of the creative process and end result can be seen on the school’s website and Facebook page. Active Art can be found at www.active-art.co.uk or follow them on www.facebook.com/GetActiveWithArt

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