Students work to create a Vibrant School

A 12-week project, involving over 50 students, to create a vibrant art wall and growing area came to fruition recently.

St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in St Helens working in partnership with HYPE Merseyside have completed the first two of six projects that will transform previously empty spaces in the Berrys Lane grounds into bright, lively areas where students can relax, work and flourish.

The projects offer the students the opportunity to be involved in community environmental initiatives and projects that improve their natural surroundings. The Vibrant Schools project is not only designed to educate the pupils about eating healthily, growing and nurturing, but also about the importance of working together collectively to achieve positive outcomes.

Over the past 12 weeks a group of students from Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in a series of workshops to design and build planters for flowers, fruit and vegetables. They also measured the spaces and performed risk assessments in order for them to actually build and install them.

Nonconform Design Limited’s Charlie has been collaborating with St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School and HYPE Merseyside. She worked with the students to design a mural that is a permanent feature that includes all of their wonderful ideas, including positive words, wildlife, bright leaves, healthy food and greenery – creating a vibrant backdrop for the planters brimming with newly planted seeds and bright flowers.

The art wall also commemorates the vibrant members of the school who are no longer with them. Icons in the artwork represent past students and staff who have passed away.

The families of those students and staff together with the parents of the students involved in the project joined in a celebratory unveiling of the artwork.

Headteacher, Catherine Twist said: “We’ve known for some time that natural landscapes in urban areas can affect how people feel. It reduces stress and sadness, lifts the mood and makes us feel better.

“We are proud of our students’ work they have undertaken to achieve what we see here today. It is fitting that as we approach the great feast of Easter we celebrate phase one of our Vibrant Schools project. It is also good to celebrate those vibrant people who are no longer with us. “There are some lovely artistic tributes to those members of our St Cuthbert’s family who are no longer with us and it is good that their memory lives on in our art wall project.

“I would like to thank Matt and his team from HYPE who have helped our students with this project and also Charlie from Nonconform who has helped each student realise their ideas in the artwork.

“Two of the expressions chosen by the students to have included on the wall were ‘to treat others as you’d like to be treated’ and ‘being yourself’. I can think of no better phrases that sum up the culture and climate of our school”.

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