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Freelance specialist artist Cari Bright with the collaborative triptych

Exeter academies collaborate to create new triptychs

St Christopher's Multi Academy Trust gets creative in uniting its school family with local art project

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 25, 2016 | School life

Over 270 children from the family of nine primary schools which belong to St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust, a trust set up by the Diocese of Exeter, have spent the last six months producing a collaborative triptych which will be displayed in the local churches linked to them ahead of a regional exhibition being planned.  

The nine triptychs, each divided into three panels, are connected to each other by the common theme of saints and linked to the saint connected to each school.  

The ‘Saints Project’, which was facilitated by freelance specialist artist Cari Bright in her first collaboration with St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust, involved youngsters in each school creating a single collage which visually represented the life of their chosen saint. During the process they learnt a wide range of skills and variety of techniques, from wax resist with water colours and the application of acrylics to tissue paper layering with PVA and ICT.  

Cari Bright said: “All the schools were wonderfully welcoming and everyone worked very hard to complete the project.  My job was to facilitate the collages.  The schools did all the hard work but I was on-hand to guide and 'troubleshoot' if necessary.”  

Janine Waring, CEO of St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust, said: “We were keen to launch a fun, creative project which would unite our family of schools, reflect their Christian values and create a visual legacy. The aims of the Trust, to work in collaboration with others, provide opportunities for children to flourish and teachers to deliver inspirational learning experiences were delivered by Cari, who enthused everyone with her passion for art, design and collage.” 

Cari began the ‘Saints Project’ by visiting each school to introduce the triptych concept to staff, teach introductory lessons to the students and provide outlines for their subsequent weekly lessons. She then revisited the schools in the spring term to work with small groups of children and progress their ideas to fruition. To produce their final collages, the children had to undertake research and info gathering with many taking the opportunity to visit local churches and buildings associated with their saints for inspiration.  

Sally Herbert, Deputy Headteacher at All Saints Babbacombe CofE Primary School in Torquay, said: 'Class five loved working with Cari and were very disappointed when they discovered the project was over and she wasn't coming back!' 

The aim of St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust is to ensure that its schools maintain their good or outstanding status or achieve this soon after joining the trust. Currently, ten schools across Devon in Plymouth, Torquay, Tavistock and Exeter belong to the trust.

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