Christmas songs, wartime make do and mend, and seasonal scenes inspire Norwich pupils’ art

Christmas songs, wartime make do and mend, and seasonal scenes of a festive tree and special decorations are just some of the inspirations behind the great artwork created by schoolchildren for the NORWICHRISTMAS Art Trail.

The trail will be in Norwich until Twelfth Night and sees the creative work of 18 schools displayed in venues across the city. We visited every school while the pupils were decorating their present stack sculptures for the trail and will be featuring each school in the paper. Today is the turn of Magdalen Gates Primary School, Lionwood Junior School, West Earlham Junior School and Kinsale Junior School.

The NORWICHRISTMAS Art Trail is being delivered by NORCA (Norwich and Norfolk Community Arts) on behalf of the Norwich Business Improvement District, and it aims to encourage more people to explore the city this Christmas.

Kinsale Junior School

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Christmas carols are the theme of Kinsale Junior School's stack of presents.

Pupils from the school's art club created the work of art which is being displayed in Boots in London Street.

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Teacher Saba Sepehrara, who oversaw the Hellesdon school's part in the project with teaching assistant Denise Amos, said: 'The children wanted to come up with a design that was fun and individual, but also had a great Christmas feel. We came up with many different ideas which we then sketched out to find inspiration for our stack of presents. We eventually decided to create scenes loosely based on Christmas carols - Silent Night, When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney, O Christmas Tree, and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.'

'It was so fantastic to see the excitement this project has generated within the group.'

She added: 'Kinsale Junior School prides itself on being active within the community, taking part in many projects in and around Norwich. Therefore, when the chance to become involved in the Norwich Christmas Art Trail came along, it gave pupils a fantastic opportunity to show their love of art to and share their festive spirit with the whole of Norwich.'

Lionwood Junior School

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Six pupils from Lionwood Junior School's after-school art club used The 12 Days of Christmas as the theme for their stack of presents, with each pupil creating two scenes from the festive song.

Their finished work of art is being displayed at Norwich Nelson Premier Inn, in Prince of Wales Road.

Emily Akers, a teaching assistant at the Wolfe Road school, said: 'We wanted to get involved because the trail seems like a great idea and a fun way to explore Norwich. The Christmas trees last year were very inspirational!

'The children had fun with the project letting their ideas and creativity flow. They say 'we like it because it's so creative and we get to show our art to the public.''

Magdalen Gates Primary School

About 28 pupils from Magdalen Gates Primary School had fun creating their school's stack of presents for the trail.

The festive artwork by the year six pupils at the Bull Close Road school is being displayed at the Assembly House, in Theatre Street.

Class teacher Hannah Collison said the pupils worked on colour themes and created four different scenes - a front room full of presents with a log fire and Christmas stockings, a snow covered mountain full of skiers and penguins, a decorated Christmas tree, and lots of silver and gold decorations.

Miss Collison said: 'The children were very excited to have an artist come into the school and they liked working in groups and being creative.

'Magdalen Gates Primary School likes to get involved with community projects and it is a really nice to participate in a festive one. It has got us quite excited about Christmas - even though there are still a few weeks to go!'

West Earlham Junior School

The wartime spirit of make do and mend is part of the idea behind the stack of presents decorated by pupils at West Earlham Junior School in Scarnell Road.

The artwork by the school's year five pupils is on display in Debenhams department store in Rampant Horse Street.

Year five teacher and art coordinator Ginny Stanners said: 'In year five we have been looking at the second world war, and as the Debenhams building was built in the 1950s after the original Curls building there was destroyed in the Blitz, we thought we would have a second world war theme.

'The present stack has been decorated with recycled materials in a make do and mend style. We have used scraps of fabric to create a patchwork, old Christmas cards in a 1940s style, and newspaper, and we have made pompoms from wool.

'It was all the children's ideas and all their work which is based on what they have learnt about world war two.

'They are looking forward to seeing their work on display and cannot wait to see the other designs too.'

• For more pictures and information about the trail - including a map of where all 18 present stacks are displayed in Norwich - plus details of how you can enter the trail competition and win prizes visit the special NORWICHRISTMAS Art Trail page on our website.

• Tomorrow we will be featuring Tuckswood Community Primary School and St Michael's Junior School.

• Share your NORWICHRISTMAS Art Trail pictures at

• Are you involved in a festive art project? Email reporter Emma Knights at

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