There’s a new, vivid welcome in the entrance of St James’ primary school, Kettleshulme: a ceramic cross full of images and messages about the school’s place in the community, and the values and beliefs of this church school. The cross was the work of children from Years 5 and 6 – their ‘leaver’s project’ which has become a tradition at St James’.
The school called in the services of artist Jane Dixon from Shropshire last summer. At a three day workshop with the 15 children involved, ideas were discussed, sketches examined and models made in clay for Jane to take back to her kiln to be fired and glazed, and eventually put together on the cross. There are images of fellow pupils, local people (the school has a tradition of helping in the community) and animals and wildlife all around in the rural setting.
The cross was blessed by the Rev Margaret Jones, priest in charge of Whaley Bridge parish and a governor at the school.
The children also designed ‘patchwork’ pots and mobiles in ceramic. School head Paul Quirk and teacher Hazel Hindle, who headed the project, were full of praise for the children’s work: “When they come back years from now, their cross will still be here.”