N E W S F E E D S >>>

Castletown School Index

School Days Pictures  School Reunions  School Calendar

Castletown Primary School

23 April 04
Castletown Primary School Pupils Put their Art To Work

By Chris Nicolson

Castletown Primary School has recently been given a makeover. Although blessed with wide-open spaces, staff and pupils felt a face-lift was needed, and decided to do what they could to enhance the school grounds. The on-going improvements, which are traditionally undertaken by the senior class, originally started several years ago with the creation of a pond and wild life area. Now, however, the work is beginning to make quite an impact all around the school.

With the help of the Dunnet Ranger, Mrs Mary Legg, the current Class Seven applied for, and received, a grant of £5,100 from Scottish Natural Heritage. This was a welcome addition to a £500 donation from the School’s PFTA, and the £600 the children raised at a coffee evening they held in the school.

Dunnet-based artist Joanne Kaar first became involved in the project at that point, giving a hands-on demonstration of her paper making techniques. She recently spent time working with all the pupils in the school, creating original artwork which will be used to brighten up the main entrances to the buildings. Every child was asked to draw a picture relating to Caithness wildlife, and then Joanne selected one from each class to be made into a colourful mosaic, and one to be enlarged and painted. These, and other pieces of the children’s innovative art, will be hung on walls that have been painted in colours reflecting the Caithness sea and sky.

“It’s been great so far,” Joanne said, “and the archways look just fantastic. None of this would be possible without the enthusiasm of the children and the support of parents and staff, particularly Mary Calder, the Primary Seven teacher, and Mary Legg, the Dunnet Ranger, who have both helped drive the project forward.”

Community Service workers have also been involved, painting the hard-to-reach parts under the arches at the main entrance. A donation of wood from Norscot Joinery was much appreciated.

Areas other than the school entrances have received a face-lift, too. Under the guidance of Mrs Legg and keen local gardener, Alan Jones, the Class Seven pupils have been out in all weathers planting trees, filling planters, and putting in bulbs to ensure annual colourful displays. In anticipation of sunny days ahead, a willow bower has been created, and several picnic bench sets have been placed in a sheltered area, along with smaller benches, which are proving very popular with all the children. These external classroom areas will be well utilised by staff for outdoor lessons.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the children, Mary and Joanne,” Class Seven teacher, Mrs Mary Calder, said, “and I would also like to thank the parents who turned up on a cold, windy Saturday morning to help with the outside painting.

“It’s been especially good to have all the children involved in the project, as it will encourage them to take an interest in the work that happens in the future. I am so proud of what they have achieved so far, and think their work makes a very attractive, welcoming entrance to our school.”

Although Phase One of the work has almost been completed, Phase Two will begin in 2005 with another class of willing helpers. Joanne Kaar, who holds regular workshops with schools and other organisations all over Scotland, will continue her involvement with the project. For more information on Joanne’s work, check out her website at www.joannebkaar.com