Pupils carving out a name for themselves at Hatfield school

THERE’S not many pupils who get to use a chisel and mallet to create a masterpiece.

That’s according to Liz Panayiotou, an art teacher at Onslow St Audrey’s School.

Although at her school, Year 9 students have done just that.

Two permanent sculptures have been unveiled at the school, in Old Rectory Drive, Hatfield.

The works of art are the culmination of a three-day workshop with sculptor Carrie Yuen, which had been sponsored by the WGC Decorative and Fine Arts Society (WGDFAS).

The school was initially approached by Norah Irvin, from WGDFAS, to discuss ideas on sponsoring a visit to a gallery – but the project grew into something much more extravagant.

Liz said: “I wanted to do something big and extravagant.”

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“Norah and I decided to work with Carrie Yuen as Onslow St Audrey’s is a Business and Enterprise College and we thought it would be valuable for the students to experience working with a real artist.

“The fact that they would be learning stone masonry skills was also a deciding factor.”

The inspiration for the sculptures came from Hatfield House.

Each student was given an Elizabethan character to research and then draw in the simplistic and linear style of a playing card.

They then transferred their designs to breezeblocks and, with the guidance of Carrie, they were able to chisel, score and file details into them.

A number of students have used their new-found skills to create similar sculptures as gifts for family members.

Liz said, “This project has opened doors for our students and inspired them to want to learn more.

“We have been left with permanent sculptures that not only celebrate our students’ achievements but also enhance their learning environment.”

Headteacher Paul Meredith said: “I can think of no aspect of the visit that was not successful – enthusiastic and inspired students, high quality artefacts, new skills learnt.

“The students involved are buzzing.”

The sculptures were unveiled at an art exhibition at the school which showcased work from all year groups, including fine art, graphics, and textiles.