'Art & Architecture' - annual school arts competition launched
  • 16 03 2017

'Art & Architecture' - annual school arts competition launched

Source: Steve Loader

Peters Village, the all-new 1,000-home community on the east bank of the River Medway started welcoming its first residents this year.

So, it was only right that the topic for the third annual Tri-History Arts Competition for schools in the neighbouring villages of Wouldham, Eccles and Burham, should be ‘Art & Architecture – Our Homes Past, Present and Future’.

The annual competition was founded two years ago by Peters Village developer Trenport Investments Ltd, joined this year as co-sponsor by developing housing association Orbit, which is building 157 homes on the Kent site.

The primary schools in Wouldham, Burham and Eccles have all agreed to enter their Year 5 (aged 9-10) pupils and compete for a generous £900 worth of prizes, comprising £250 for the gold award and £10 for each of his/her classmates, £100 for silver, £50 for bronze and the chance to win voucher prizes for highly commended entries.

Trenport Community Liaison Manager Shirley Boards said: “The Tri-History title was coined because there are always three elements in time to the artistic direction set for the children, so that they have plenty of scope for their imaginations.

“With the first homes on Peters Village being occupied early this year, it seemed apt that the youngsters should look at homes in three eras – past, present and future.”

As usual, the competition was launched with a series of mentored art workshops for the children, plus a top-up session a few weeks later. An independent judging panel will also be appointed to select the best entries, with a presentation to the winners on Friday 5 May, when local MP and Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Tracey Crouch, has agreed to present the prizes once again.

Leading the mentoring team, Colleen Dunn said: “Children love to learn through art, and the pupils from all the schools have again shown immense
enthusiasm and been bursting with ideas. I have no doubt the standard will be high and make it tough for the judges.”

Regional Sales Manager Lesley Smith explained Orbit’s enthusiasm for the project: “Orbit is always very keen to support community initiatives in the areas where it builds new homes. The art competition is a creative way to engage local children, and get them thinking about the importance of good design in their own homes and built environment.

“We are delighted to be co-sponsor, and very much enjoyed seeing how inspired the children were at a recent workshop session.”

The competition is also welcomed by the schools, said Jonathan Bassett, Head Teacher at St Mark’s CofE Primary School, Eccles:

“Schools are asked to get involved in many events and exercises and we have to refuse a lot due to our statutory commitments, but this competition has proved to be a popular challenge, with some worthy rewards at the end.

“It always makes the children look at their village with fresh eyes, and talk to their families about the past. There is also the bonus that Trenport and Orbit have supplied creative help to launch and drive the competition, which energises the children and takes pressure off my staff.”

The Year 5 age group is chosen for the art competition, as they are the oldest pupils not encumbered by 11-plus studies. The 2015 competition launched the series by involving all pupils at the three schools, but it was agreed that this would only happen every third year, to keep the teachers’ and pupils’ workloads more manageable.