Whitecross Primary School celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The actual date is 5th December, but pupils, staff and parents are preparing to create a very special memento of the occasion.
Claire Quigley, head teacher at Whitecross PS , is collaborating with colleagues in Graeme HS and Camelon Education Centre to create a permanent clay tile installation for the foyer of the school. They are solving practical problems like how to get 250 plus tiles made and fired! But they are also building effective links between schools and their communities, as well as individual pupils. This all contributes to the life and ethos of both schools and the wider experiences of pupils. All of this is in addition to the art and design skills being developed by pupils.
Henry Meldrum, art and design teacher at Graeme High School saw an opportunity for his S2 class to support groups of Whitecross pupils in their creation of terracotta clay tiles for the installation. Each pupil will make at least one tile which shares their interpretation of their local area. On Friday 11th September, the first group of 12 primary 6-7 pupils from Mrs McNeill’s class in Whitecross PS visited Graeme HS to make their tiles.
After watching Mr Meldrum’s demonstration of clay techniques, the S2 pupils advised the primary pupils on how best to create their tile. They offered practical advice on techniques, and artistic advice on how the tile looked.
Daniel in S2 acted as photographer and Yvonne McBlain gathered the thoughts of the pupils involved:
Connor “I’m enjoying being in the high school, and I like using the clay. Also having a nice person to help me do shapes and have ideas about different things.
Abbie “It was very good that we had people to help us”
Thomas “I did it myself with no help!”
S2 also valued the experience:
Demi ” I’m enjoying working with the clay and the kids. It’s helping me knowing and understanding the clay…cos we’ve never used it in second year before.”
William “It’s fine – fun. Not helping me, but helping him”
Aimee ” I think it’s good because our class was chosen to help with this. It’s something different and it’ll give us an experience in working with younger ones.”
Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support teacher, will lead a practical workshop with staff and parents on 30th September, to support them in making sure that everyone in Whitecross School, and its local area can create a tile for the installation.
On 2nd December, the school will be hosting an open afternoon and evening when pupils will be able to use new skills gained from their visits to Graeme HS art department to “teach” their parents, friends, former pupils, and wider community how to make their tile.
A date for the grand opening will be decided once everyone who wishes to be involved in the 60th birthday celebration has had the chance to contribute.