Happiness mural created by pupils on display at Newington Primary School

Art from the mural

Children from Newington Community Primary School are celebrating the many reasons they have to smile.

They were encouraged to create work at home and in school during lockdown with the positive theme of what makes them happy.

Now the most striking, imaginative and thoughtful pieces of art created during a competition for all pupils have been formed into a large mural for display.

It takes pride of place as part of an art installation that also features a multi-coloured rainbow of children’s handprints created for the school by Premier Signs.

Organiser Suzanne Legge is the school’s special needs co-ordinator. She said: “I wanted to mark the difficult situation we are facing and celebrate the amazing art work produced by the children.

“Our art competition ‘A Reason to Smile’ was inspired by Probably Tom Foolery’s ‘The Great Realisation’ and was open to all ages of children across the school.

“The response was outstanding and it was wonderful to see the variety of work produced, from traditional drawings and paintings to window art, beach art wood work.

“We received many entries and all teachers have spent the last few days deliberating over their chosen winners. Thank you parents for encouraging and nurturing your children’s imagination; all entries were unique and special in their own way and without a doubt brought warmth to our hearts and smiles to our faces.”

The Great Realisation is a moving, thought-provoking story that looks at how the world has changed positively during the pandemic with less pollution endangering the wildlife and the environment, more time for kindness and realising the importance of family and friendship, and the chance to enjoy and celebrate the positivity of our world.

One winner from each class was chosen and awarded a bag of goodies delivered to their homes. All children who entered received a congratulations commendation certificate plus a badge and pencil.

Head Teacher Cliff Stokes is delighted with the mural. He said: “Not only is this a colourful piece of artwork, it is a thought-provoking insight into our children’s lives. It is a testament to their positive way of thinking which is an important part of life that we nurture and encourage at Newington.

“The mural marks the pandemic lockdown and it demonstrates to us all how everyone – children, families, teachers and staff – continue to support each other as part of our school community.”

The collage is sited on the wall by the entrance from the playground to the main dining hall.

The Great Realisation story can be seen on You Tube here