Edinburgh Steiner School creates art for refugees

Syrian patterns laid out in coins to highlight and supportthe plight of refugees

Pupils at Edinburgh Steiner School are creating a unique art project to help refugees in Syria. The project, entitled Coins for Refugees, has called on pupils of all ages to collect and donate coins which will then be laid out in a large mosaic-like design on the tarmac surface of a basketball court. All the money collected will then be donated to Refugee Action, a UK based charity which helps to support refugees to rebuild their lives after fleeing danger.  Annie Lord, one of the art teachers leading the project said:

“This is a great opportunity to raise some much needed money for Refugee Action as well as learning about different cultures and artistic traditions. We are basing our design on beautiful pottery tiles from Syria. It will make a big visual impact and should be something for our pupils to remember.”

Thursday 8th October was chosen as ‘Coins for Refugees Day’ in the school. In the weeks beforehand collecting jars and decorated buckets were placed around the school in offices and classrooms. All denominations of coins were welcome, which meant even someone with very little pocket money could make a valuable donation!

Teacher Deirdre Hill said: “Pupil participation was essential. We wanted to involve them at every stage, from collecting the coins to building the design. On the day itself the Upper School gathered at the start of the day for a special assembly. Then throughout the day different classes of all age groups came to the basketball court to help place the coins. The oldest pupils worked with the youngest. Community is very important to us and so we wanted everyone to get the opportunity to participate. At the end of the day we all came together again to sing songs and look at what we had achieved.”

The school is hoping that by creating something so unusual they can help raise awareness of the plight of displaced Syrians, and all refugees.


Time for Play

Scotsman Play

Alistair Pugh, a member of the Edinburgh Steiner School, wrote to the Scotsman in support of an article by Lesley Riddoch about changing the school age. Ms Riddoch said, "The Scottish Government does have a National Play Strategy, launched in June 2013, which aims to make Scotland “a nation that values play as a life-enhancing daily experience for all children and young people in their homes, nurseries, schools and communities”. But there’s no statutory duty on councils to provide that play, and faced with £500 million cuts next year, it’s hardly surprising that most councils view play as an optional extra – the expendable item in a tough, competitive world where employability and the three ‘R’s are top priorities. Yet ironically, all the evidence shows the skills most valued by employers (and least likely to be replaced by technology) are soft skills – problem solving, team working, communication and social confidence." You can read the original article here and Alistair's response here.

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