Friday 26th May was a day Miskin Primary School, Mountain Ash will never forget as they celebrated the opening of their brand new willow dragon sculpture with the community, parents, governors and special visitors. Class 4 alongside Mrs Stafford (class teacher), Creative Agent, Nick Davies and Creative Practitioners Morag Colquorn and Cassandra Lishman have been working tirelessly through the winter months during all weathers to explore the nature around them, plant trees and weave willow to create an amazing sculpture upon the field area adjacent to the school. It is intended to make the space very much a part of the school grounds and to instil value to this area of the school. It is hoped that the local community will support the school in protecting this area against vandalism and dog mess as this is an area being developed for our children to work and play.
Hayley Davies (School Coordinator & Deputy Headteacher) facilitated accessing the £10,000 funding granted by the Arts Council Wales in order to provide the pupils of Miskin Primary with an outdoor learning space for children to utilise across the curriculum for many years to come. Following their application, Miskin Primary School was successful and have since become a Lead Creative School. This is a two year project and the school is excited to develop this further next year.
The newly appointed Mayor for RCT who attended said “I was extremely pleased to be invited to the opening of the fantastic, new outdoor working space as the result of Miskin Primary School becoming a Lead Creative School. The creativity and thought from all the children involved in the project has helped to create a magnificent space that the children can both learn in and enjoy, with the Willow Dragon at its heart. Outdoor learning is now such an important part of the school curriculum, and this project fully helps to support this.”
Victoria Louise Kerley, a quarter finalist from this year’s The Voice cut the ribbon to officially open the space as well as entertained the crowds with a stunning performance of ‘Wings’ by Birdy. She said ‘I was honoured to be chosen to cut the ribbon and open the new development on the school grounds. The pupils were telling me how proud they are and how hard they have worked and it shows. I think projects like this should be set up in schools everywhere. It’s an amazing use of space and something that can continue to be developed for years to come. I would also like to thank the staff and pupils for inviting me to attend’.
The school held an assembly to share their project with governors and visitors including Ann Clwyd (MP). ‘We were honoured that Ann was able to attend this very special event for the school, especially with such a busy schedule leading up to the local elections’.
Following this there was a feast of celebrations up on the field where visitors were able to enjoy clotted cream and jam scones, have a go at willow weaving and listen to the beautiful sound of Y5/6 choir as well Victoria Louise.
Mrs Fran Davies (Headteacher) stated she ‘was delighted with the celebration and the hard work and effort the children put into learning and incorporating the outdoor environment. The school goes from strength to strength enriching the curriculum for our pupils and making learning enjoyable for all’.
Miskin Primary School would like to thank Mr Wayne Hankins from Mountain Ash Studios (Governor) for giving his time to take photographs on the day and Mrs Emma Esharif for donating a delicious celebration cake for the Environmental Explorers in Year 4 and 5.