Learning about the environment through art provides a diverse challenge for young children at Ramsgate Arts Primary School,

Broadening the scope of this educational platform is planned for the new school year from September, following the Ocean Challenge project by pupils at the end of the summer term.

Their brief was to create a sea creature using recyclable material such as paper card or materials found washed up on the beach.

Head of School Nick Budge said: “To stay eco-friendly and support all environments we encouraged pupils to use primarily upcycled and recycled paper products for their creations such as plain and coloured paper, newspaper and magazines, old homework, paper towel rolls and egg boxes, crepe paper, paper plates, coffee filters, and paper packaging.

“Children were invited to explore a range of styles from origami and papier-mache to collage, drawing sculpture or mosaic. We did stress that they did not use objects that belong to the beach such as shells, stones or sea creatures as they belong to their natural environment.”

“There were some fascinating results and this challenge demonstrated how we explore the importance of the environment, ecology, and diversity through much of our learning each day.

“Caring for the environment never stops and this is an ongoing theme that we will be broadening yet further across our curriculum again in the new school year from September.”

Throughout their time at RAPS, pupils have the opportunity to learn about the environment in each year group ranging from recycling and litter, through the impact of humans on the environment, deforestation, climate change, pollution conservations, fair trade and renewable and non-renewable energy.

Deputy Head of School Hanna Beech explained: “We teach our children to respect their school setting and the wider community. We teach our children not to drop litter. We discuss with them how to avoid excessive waste and consumption.

“They learn how the mass production and use of some materials – for example, plastic – can cause problems for the planet. Some of our pupils engage in beach cleans and many use recyclable materials to create stunning artwork.

“Our teaching of environmental issues is cohesive and progressive. When our pupils leave us in Year 6 they have developed the knowledge and awareness they need to make informed choices about how they might contribute towards a thriving community.”

Diversity, ecology and the environment has also been ongoing themes from collaborative community projects by RAPS with The National Gallery, Turner Contemporary Gallery, Dreamland Margate, plus visiting artists and arts leaders in music, drama, and dance.

Mr. Budge added: “Our children learn that this is a precious world that we share and we have a collective responsibility to our environment for the benefit of all. Caring for the environment never stops.”

Ramsgate Arts Primary School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Junior School and Chilton Primary School.