The children at Great Witley CE Primary School have createda series of display boards, which tells the story of the bible in eightparts.The boards were inspired by asimilar biblical frieze created by artist Emma Yarlett, whose work is part ofthe Understanding Christianity Resource put together by ecumenical charity REToday Services with the Church of England to help improve the knowledge ofChristianity in schools.
Great Witley produced their artwork as a Wow and WonderDay in school, where they mixed up the children across the year groups,dividing them into groups which worked on one panel each. RE Co-ordinator,Joanne Nikolaidis, explained: I had been on a training day at the diocesanoffice with Steph Boulter, who had really inspired me to come back and look atthe Understanding Christianity Resource and see what we could do. We wanted toimprove the childrens knowledge of the bible and creating our own bible friezeseemed like a great way to help bring the stories to life.
Each board reflects a different element of the bible starting with Creation and working through the Fall, People of God (the OldTestament in two parts), Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation and the Kingdom of God,which explores what it means to live as Christians today.
Creation is a very colourful panel. Millie, from year 5,said: There are lots of different pots of colour, each representing adifferent part of Gods creation. Its a perfect world before sin starts tohappen and shows how God dipped his paintbrush into each pot to create theworld. We even used real gold leaf!
In the Fall, we see Adam and Eve falling from the garden ofcreation, Said Nathan from year 3. We also included some yellow and black torepresent the tape used at crime scenes!
Joanne continued: Each group looked at the meaning behind onepanel and then created it by working in small groups and then bringing theelements together. Everyones ideas were included.
The People of God covers the Old Testament across twodifferent panels. Will, year 5 and Isla, year 2, said: Here there is too muchsin, everyone is worried and they are looking for someone to help them itsnot a nice place to live. One panel includes a hot air balloon to signifypeople escaping from the world to get to a better place.
The Incarnation represents Jesus coming down to earth inhuman form. Isla, year 5 said: This board follows Jesus path to the cross.Its a dark one because of his approaching death. It was great to work in mixedyear groups and different classes for the day. We had a big range of materialsto work from with lots of different textures many of these were donated bythe parents.
The Gospel board is a much happier and brighter place. Max,year 2 and Felix, year 4 said: You can spot lots of Jesus miracles and thestory of his life on this board there are fishing nets and fish and theSermon on the Mount as well as the feeding of the five thousand are bothrepresented. Also included is the ripped curtain from the temple. This is aboutthe Good News of Jesus.
Yvie, year 3 and Meadow, year 5, explained the Salvationpanel. They said: This shows the bridge between earth and heaven and how weshould live to be good Christians. It includes many of our school values kindness, trust, compassion, perseverance and respect. It also links back tocreation with heaven as the perfect world.
The final board represents the Kingdom of God on earth.Emily, year 4 said: This is about a new beginning and following in Jesusfootsteps. Its a colourful world, but there is darkness present because wecould slip back to how things were before.
Headteacher, Karen Banford, said: We try to providechildren with a set of values which will be a foundation for life and helpingthem to understand the bible better provides some guidelines for living well.Its fantastic that weve been able to create something so incredible thanks toa course run by the diocesan education team.Its also strengthened our relationships with the local churches. DeaneryMission Developer Vikki Day regularly comes into school to work with us and shehas helped to arrange for the panels to be displayed in Great Witley, LittleWitley and Shrawley churches before theyre finally put into the school hall.It will be great for the children to see their artwork there.
Joanne concludes: Art and RE are a magical combination andnow when the Open the Book teams come into school, the children will be able tovisualise where the stories come from. We all loved working on these boards andwhen we came together at the end of the day to show what we had done, it wasdefinitely a wow moment!