Pupils go wild and untamed during Artsweek fun in Thame

John Hampden Primary School Artsweek
John Hampden Primary School Artsweek

Pupils, staff and visitors went wild at John Hampden Primary School as an African adventure unfolded during Artsweek, which ran from February 11 to 15.

Jackie Nichols, arts co-ordinator, reports:

“This year John Hampden was wild and untamed for Artsweek! We felt the sand beneath our feet and the sun on our faces as we explored the Savannah on an art safari.

The hall became a watering hole at dusk, an African bull elephant dominating the scene, as the animals of the plain came to quench their thirst.

Crocodiles laid in wait. A zebra, unaware of the danger, stopped to have a drink. Hippos lurked beneath the water whilst the king of the jungle relaxed on a poolside, rocky crag. Colourful birds flew in to roost as the sun sank below the horizon and a crash of rhinos and elephants burst through to join the party!

“It was an African-action-packed Artweek full of exhilarating activities. Children from nursery to year 6 experienced - African animal masks with artist Emily Cooling; the whole school got rhythmic with an African drumming and dancing assembly and workshops; artist, Liam Biswell, brought his press and wowed us with his wild prints; we had a visit from an award winning author and illustrator, Catherine Rayner, who added ‘Augustus on his holidays!’ her trademark tiger character to our Savannah scene - we all had a wild time in the hall creating art!

“We were helped by our own tribe of art warriors - nearly 60 helpers - thank you to all those who volunteered, parents, grandparents, governors, carers, artists, teachers, town councillors and teaching assistants, old and new, who volunteered to support us in our African adventure. What an amazing community spirit JHS has!

The John Hampden PTFA funded the week, with their usual, generous donation which enabled the school to provide a wealth of experiences and resources for the children to enjoy.

The Artsweek Quiz saw the children challenged to identify a gallery of animal masks created by JHS staff. Each mask was accompanied by clues to guide the children in their guesses as to whose mask was whose - giving hints as to the staff artist, for a whole school competition. Well done to Issac Bishop for his winning entry.

Well done as well to Phoebe Allen and Taylor Spink for being crowned the winners of the Artsweek shield for their participation this year.

At the end of the week the brave JHS friends and family ventured into the bush (The Jackson Hall!), to catch a glimpse of our rare art at the Friday Artsweek Fair-Trade Café camp mash up.

“So brush the sand from your safari suit and take off your pith hat. The adventure may be over, but we have our wall sized album to bring back the memories for weeks to come, as well as our time lapse video and iMovie of the events.

How will we top this one? Send your ideas for next year to Ms Nichols!”