Aylesbury school marks 40th anniversary with help from Thame artist

Pupils from Ashmead School in Aylesbury pictured by the new design outside their school entrance
Pupils from Ashmead School in Aylesbury pictured by the new design outside their school entrance
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An artist from Thame has helped an Aylesbury primary school mark its 40th year.

James Ort, who runs the Phoenix Studio in Towersey, helped Ashmead School, in Cole Road, Aylesbury, mark the occasion by working with the children to produce art for them all to enjoy.

Mr Ort said: “It was important for every child to be involved in the project, and the teachers as well.

“This was no mean feat with more than 700 pupils currently at the school.

“We decided that each participant would create or decorate a clay tile and together these would make up a bigger picture.”

The school’s motto is: ‘Ashmead School gives its children two everlasting things; one is roots, the other wings’.

This inspired Mr Ort’s idea of making a giant tree with roots, leaves, and a flock of birds flying off it.

The tree has been displayed outside the school’s main entrance for all to see and enjoy for years to come.

Mr Ort spent six enjoyable days in the classroom working with the pupils, and by the end of the week had stacks of hand decorated clay tiles ready for firing in the kiln.

He said: “It was hard work but so rewarding.

“The children really engaged with the project and expressed themselves through their unique designs, ranging from stamps and patterns to tiny model faces and drawings of school life.

“Seeing all the pieces come together is thrilling!”

Joint headmaster at Ashmead School Marcus Pickering said: “Being one of the county’s largest primary schools this means that hundreds of children have been taught and passed through its doors over this period.

“It felt right to celebrate that, not only for those currently at the school but the community around it.”

Blanchford Building Supplies in Princes Risborough donated all the materials needed to mount the pieces on the wall.

Ruth Fenton from Blanchford Building Supplies said: “We were delighted to be able to help support such a worthwhile project and good cause.

“To see our materials being used for a more creative arty purpose is really exciting.”