Pupils design mosaics at Woodburn Primary

Monday May 10th 2021


Finlay McFaul (P4) at front with his gran Mary Blair on the back left and Elinor Fox on the right. Mary is chair of Dalkeith Arts and she made her grandson’s design.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Mosaics depicting everything from a Minecraft character to ‘Caring Cats’ are brightening up Woodburn Primary School playground in Dalkeith thanks to a unique collaboration with the arts group, Dalkeith Arts.

The five mosaics were designed by pupils and local people during lockdown as part of a competition organised by the Woodburn Parent Partnership.

The winning designs were then brought to life using tactile, child-friendly materials such as buttons and recycled bottle tops, by artists from Dalkeith Arts.

Secretary of the Woodburn Parent Partnership Elinor Fox said: “We wanted to brighten up and improve the playground and Maria Campbell, one of our parents who is a member of Dalkeith Arts came along with the idea of the mosaics.

“We wanted a competition the community could take part in. We’re really proud to have such a creative school community.”

Four pupils, Finlay McFaul (P4), Imogen Collins (P2), Harris Diamond (P4) and Grace Okoro (P4) and one resident and member of Dalkeith Arts, Margaret Bititci, designed the winning images.

Finlay focussed on a Minecraft character because he likes to play the computer game and he also thought it would be a good reminder of Midlothian’s mining heritage.

His gran Mary Blair is also Chair of Dalkeith Arts.  She took her grandson’s design and created it using smashed up tiles.

“It was a real family collaboration,” she says.

Imogen chose to draw a rainbow blossoming from a tree, which local artist Jacqueline Devine then brought to life using materials including buttons.

Local resident Margaret Bititci showcased Woodburn’s Caring Cats, knitted animals given to every child in school as part of the recovery from the pandemic.  The cats are now very much part of the caring ethos in Woodburn Primary School. Artist Pauline Jenks turned the felines into a beautiful mosaic.

Harris’s world design, to highlight the school’s Eco Green Flag achievement, Rights Respecting Gold Award and commitment to looking after the planet, became a stunning mosaic thanks to Maria Campbell, who used recycled bottle tops.

And Grace’s hands and heart design is now a beautiful mosaic using glass created by Berna Wood.

Chair of Dalkeith Arts Mary Blair said: “Your local arty community includes parents, carers and grandparents who often spend time in playgrounds around Dalkeith. so when the opportunity came along to bring those artistic talents into play as it were, we jumped at the chance!”

Head Teacher Joanna Findlay said: “The school and our Parent Partnership have been planning ways to make our playground a more nurturing environment.  We are delighted to be working alongside Dalkeith Arts, they have been incredibly supportive.  We are lucky to have so many creative individuals in our school and local area.  The mosaics have already brought so much joy to our children and families.  This really has been a community effort and we are not finished yet!”

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