Following in the footsteps of the very popular ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, Slinfold Primary School has created 180 of its own, planted to commemorate the start of World War 1.
In August, after seeing that the Tower of London and artist Paul Cummins would be making over 800,000 ceramic poppies, teacher, Laura Braun decided that it would be appropriate to start their own ‘Poppy Project’.
She decided that every child, teacher, and member of support staff would make a ceramic poppy and that other village groups including the Slinfold Scout Group, Slinfold Pre-School and Messy Church would be invited to take part too.
Laura is an experienced potter, however most of the participants had never used clay before and so were eager to get their hands dirty.
Laura commented: “Making and firing 180 poppies over three weeks was quite an undertaking and at several points, we didn’t think that we would pull it off.”
Part of the problem was that Slinfold Primary does not have a kiln, and so Rudgwick Primary School and The Weald School in Billingshurst stepped in and let their kilns be used.
Jill Hine, Headteacher at Slinfold said: “When Laura first suggested the idea of the school and the community coming together to create our own poppies, similar to the ones at The Tower of London, I don’t think anyone thought that we would all be so moved when the poppies were all finally placed in the ground. We are very grateful that Laura had the vision, expertise and energy to see this amazing project through. Many parents and Slinfold residents have commented on how impressive the poppies are. This is one school project that has touched many hearts and minds.”
The Tower of London has shown interest in the project and asked to be kept in the loop and be sent photos via Twitter.
Nearly everyone involved planted a poppy and poems written by significant war poets and by the children were read out by children from Rother Class during the final planting.
There are plans to sell off the poppies when they are taken down and the funds raised will go towards military charities and the school. They are hoping to be able to purchase a kiln, so that they can create more ceramic art work in the future.