A group of pupils at a school in Fulham have scooped the top prize at an international children’s art and poetry competition staged at the Natural History Museum in London.
Youngsters from from St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, in Estcourt Road won the Global Canvas Art and Poetry competition, part of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Art for Survival programme, on March 17.
The school was chosen from entries that involved more than 2,250 children from all over the world.
“The St Thomas entry simply stole the show,” says Jo Elphick, education manager for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF), which has been running the annual competition since 2004.
“The collaboration, imagination and creativity that they, and their teachers displayed in putting together their entry was truly heart-warming.”
Pupils at the Fulham primary school spent time exploring the world’s wonderful wildlife to create their entry.
“When we discussed ideas for this year’s competition the children all decided that the work needed to come to life,” said teacher Nicola Chance.
“Inspired by Chinese dragons they used willow and printed fabrics to recreate DSWF’s supported species; a rhino, elephant, tiger, painted dog and snow leopard. Having collaborated across the school to create the animals the grand finale was a choreographed performance for the school and parents.
“Working collaboratively on such a large scale made the children proud of what high standards they can achieve together. We all learned that art has the power to open people’s eyes and make a difference. Winning the top prize was just amazing!”
The school now has to choose which of the foundation’s animal conservation projects they want to award their £1,000 prize to.
Ms Chance added: “We are going to sit down and discuss it. Having explored tigers, rhino, elephants, snow leopards and painted dogs as part of our preparation choosing between them will be very hard, but it will definitely be a collective school decision.”
Wildlife artist and founder of DSWF, David Shepherd CBE, who attended the prize giving event added: “The sheer imagination and scale of the entry from St Thomas Primary was quite outstanding, they have certainly raised the bar!”
Ms Elphick said: “As part of their involvement with us St Thomas has also fundraised over £900 so their total contribution to wildlife conservation, with their prize, is almost £2,000 which is incredible.