Housebuilder teams up with pupils to creatively shape new development

Children from St Nicholas Church in Wales Primary School take part in a pottery workshop. Housebuilder Waterstone Homes has donated money towards the art budget at St Nicholas primary school Pic:Tom Martin © WALES NEWS SERVICE

A south Wales property developer is giving pupils in St Nicholas the chance to boost their creative and practical skills, as well as learn more about the heritage of their hometown, as part of a community-wide art project.

Waterstone Homes, the house builder behind the luxury St Nicholas Fields development in the village, is contributing towards education provisions in St Nicholas as part of its commitment to giving back to the communities that it builds in.

The family firm has decided to put its public arts budget, which is part of government legislation requiring developers to contribute to public art within the areas that they build in, towards delivering a range of educational workshops for pupils at St Nicholas Church in Wales Primary School.

The workshops include an introduction into the history and archaeology of the region, as well as sessions in metalwork and pottery, with the children learning a variety of hands-on skills in each of these fields, including practical experience handling tools and equipment associated with heavy industry.

Following the sessions, each of the pupils will create their own miniature public artworks and their creations will influence the final design of a brand-new steel public installation, which will be housed at the entrance of the new Waterstone Homes development.

Andrea Gardner, Sales and Marketing Director at Waterstone Homes, said: “It was important to us that our public art truly benefitted the community. We wanted to help our next generation of creatives develop their skills and inspire their imaginations.

“As well as developing the children’s creativity, these sessions will help to improve life-skills such as teamwork, cooperation and communication. It will also equip them with practical skills like fieldwork, gathering and recording data and analysing findings, which will benefit a range of school subjects including geography, science and maths.”

Mr Jones, Deputy Headteacher at St Nicholas Church in Wales Primary School, said: “The aim of this project is to inform and engage our pupils in the history and archaeology of the St Nicholas region.

“The practical workshops offer the children a very different and stimulating style of learning, enabling them to learn outdoors, use archaeological tools, handle genuine and reproduction artefacts, use industry equipment and meet real archaeologists and metal-working professionals. It will also show them that being an archaeologist is something both girls and boys can consider as a career. We are thankful to Waterstone Homes for choosing to help the school as part of their public arts efforts.”