John Wheeldon Primary Academy in Stafford has unveiled a six-piece mosaic mural of great significance. The mural has been commissioned to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the school, taking inspiration from the Academy’s five core values.
At the beginning of the project, which was overseen by artist and owner of ‘Mosaic Madness’ David Bowers, all pupils from John Wheeldon Primary Academy submitted sketches of what the core values meant to them.
The main piece of the mosaic is proudly displayed in the front office for future generations to admire for many years to come.
The poignant creation reads ‘Celebrating 125 years of learning together’, and ‘Proud of all we do’, whilst depicting children, animals and a beautiful rainbow made up of small pieces of colourful tile.
The remaining five creations are exhibited on the library wall, facing the playground. The installation is a permanent reminder to the school’s pupils of the five core values: Persevere, Respect, Outstanding, Unique, Dynamic (P.R.O.U.D).
‘Perseverance’ tells the story of children climbing a tall, snow-capped mountain, surrounded by blue skies and clouds.
‘Respect’ depicts a lady walking her dog in a park, placing litter in a bin, whilst the dog admires a bird’s nest in a tall tree.
‘Outstanding’ shows children wearing P.E. clothing standing on a green field, while a footballer scores a goal.
‘Unique’ portrays four people, expressing the pupil’s individuality within the Academy.
‘Dynamic’ illustrates a person developing an idea, using brightly coloured cogs which interlock to create a ‘light-bulb moment’.
Five pupils including Ivy (Year 3), Ailbhe (Year 4) and Bailey (Year 5) were chosen to have their designs brought to life in the mosaic because of their well thought out drawings that best represented the core values.
The children were also given the opportunity to ‘project manage’ the whole process with their peers, from design all the way up to assembling the tile pieces, whilst working closely with David.
David, who collaborates with lots of schools and contributes to community projects all over England and Wales, commented on the project: “The mosaic was fun, inclusive and helped to develop skills for all of the pupils from John Wheeldon Primary Academy. Unlike some other art forms, a ceramic montage produces a lasting result that enhances the school and gets the message across in a beautiful way!”
John Wheeldon Primary Academy was able to include the entire school in the important commission, including pupils and staff members, thus demonstrating the inclusivity values of all Academies within the Trust.
David put together each piece from start to finish within John Wheeldon Primary Academy. He built the mosaic frame to house the 18mm marine ply tiles, which are suitable for displaying inside as well as outside. David also finished the mosaic with five coats of varnish to the back and sides before adding a plastic trim.
John Wheeldon Primary Academy’s Principal, Richard Sutton commented: “I am impressed with the inspirational designs that the children have produced.
“We encourage our pupils to be respectful of their school and of each other. Our pupils are taught to have pride in every aspect of school life from their work to their uniform and I think this is clearly displayed in the hard work and collaboration between all.”
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