Artworks launch new rail partnership with school

Hawthorns Primary School's Pupil Opinion Group with project leaders and Southern staff at Durrington Railway Station
Hawthorns Primary School's Pupil Opinion Group with project leaders and Southern staff at Durrington Railway Station

A new partnership between Hawthorns Primary School and Durrington Railway Station has been officially launched.

Artworks by pupils have gone on display at the front of the station and members of the school’s Pupil Opinion Group visited today for the official launch.

The project was organised by four student teachers from University of Chichester, Michelle Atkins, Lisa McMillan, Ita Moss and Sam Ford.

They were asked to help the school towards its Artsmark Gold award as part of their wider curriculum module, Making Change Happen.

Michelle said: “We tried to work out how we could help them and found out one of the criteria was making community links.

“We set them the challenge to create art for the station and they worked on it class by class.

“We set the theme of owls because of the school logo. We ran workshops with the staff and that enthused them with ideas to take into the classroom. The children then decided on the media.

“These art cabinets at the station are the legacy that we have left for the school, and they will continue the partnership.”

Ita had worked at Georgian Gardens Primary School in Rustington for eight years and was involved in its long-standing partnership with Angmering Railway Station, so this became the inspiration for the group.

Ita said: “It is a really creative project and the school has been wonderful.”

Children from Little Owls Nursery, a term-time nursery that is part of the school, were involved, as well as pupils from all year groups at the primary school.

Lisa said some of the teachers were really keen to carry the project on and expand it, perhaps to include planters for the station.

Southern Rail surprised the school with a £500 donation at the launch, to go towards art materials.

Andy Harrowell, corporate social responsibility manager for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “This is brilliant for the station and for the passengers travelling through it. We have around 70 station partnerships across the network and we are always looking for new groups to sign up.

“I think this project at Durrington sets a very high standard and will hopefully encourage others to do the same. Now we have made a commitment to extend our support to Sussex Community Rail Partnership, we hope to see more examples.”