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Local schools meet their four-legged muse

Local schools have put their best paws forward by signing up to our Great North Snowdogs schools project!

Great North Snowdogs will see large scale sculptures of the much loved character from the Raymond Briggs short story, the Snowman and The Snowdog form a trail across the north east from September 2016, decorated by artists and sponsored by businesses including Metro Tyne and Wear. Alongside this, a trail of mini Snowdogs will be exhibited, designed and decorated by local school children.

Pupils from Central Walker Primary in Newcastle were excited to meet a prototype of the mini Snowdog their school will receive in May, ready for them to paint in the second part of their summer term.

Year 1 and Lead Art Teacher Amy Reid said: “As a school we are very excited to embark upon such an innovative project as Great North Snowdogs.

“Our children are looking forward to developing their understanding of St Oswald’s Hospice, whilst contributing to essential funds needed to support a very worthwhile cause.

“On arrival at Central Walker the ‘Snowdog’ prompted great speculation from both staff and children alike. There was so much enthusiasm from the children as they began to discuss possible design ideas and how they might undertake an inspiring assignment. Although our school ‘Snowdog’ project is in the initial stages, children are looking forward to working collaboratively with one another and developing both new and existing skills.”

Some pupils were excused from lessons briefly to come and meet the Snowdog and share their ideas of how they may decorate him. Holly, from Reception suggested covering the sculpture in diamonds and Jensen from year one thought that a star design would suit him.

Year 3 pupil, Summer, added: “I think he should have a little collar with colourful gems around it. I am really looking forward to helping design him and putting the paint on!”

Henry from year 5 commented: “It would be cool to use cotton wool, like snow. I think the best thing is getting to choose our own design for the dog.”

The school haven’t quite settled on a design yet, but staff are attending Arts Award training as part of the project, which is designed to get their creative juices flowing, and a bespoke Snowdog learning resource will help generate ideas and explain how their support can help St Oswald’s Hospice.

Staff and Children at Lingey House Primary in Gateshead were equally enthusiastic about their four legged visitor.

Catherine Ritchie, Acting Head Teacher at Lingey House Primary said: “When I heard about the Snowdogs project, I instantly said ‘we’re in!’ As a school, we like to get very involved in arts and culture, and have achieved the Gold arts Mark Award.

“We have also supported St Oswald’s for many years, with our children selling the beanie toys to raise money at Christmas. We think it’s wonderful to be able to do something so creative for a great cause!”

Teaching Assistant, Jamie Jackson added, “Our school are supporters of Brysons Cat and Dog Shelter in Gateshead, so we have an exciting idea to incorporate some of their animals into our design using photography. We don’t want to give too much away as we want it to be a surprise, but our children and staff are very excited to be part of the project!”

There are still places for schools from across the region to take part in Great North Snowdogs. So far, schools from Northumberland, including Kielder first school, Newcastle, including Ponteland First School, Gateshead including Bill Quay Primary, South Tyneside including Biddick Hall Juniors in South Shields and George Washington primary in Sunderland and Durham, including Lumley Juniors and Portobello Primary have signed up to the project.

The deadline is 14th March 2016 and those interested should contact Nick Powell on 0191 46 9123 or email nickpowell@stoswaldsuk.org. More information about how schools can be involved can be found at /great-snowdogs/get-involved/schools.aspx

To find out more about Great North Snowdogs, visit: www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.ukor Twitter: @great_snowdogs or Facebook: /greatnorthsnowdogs