Dec 2 2011 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Friday
BALFRON Primary School has been reunited with a life-sized sculpture of an endangered bird to help teach pupils about the importance of conservation.
The sculpture, of a hornbill, was presented to the school last Thursday by local web hosting company Easyspace.
A group of 20 pupils from the school designed and painted the colourful hornbill as part of the company’s sponsorship of Jungle City, the huge public art event in Edinburgh this summer that highlighted the plight of many of the world’s endangered animals.
Carolyn Randall, Balfron Primary School depute headteacher, said: “We are delighted that Easyspace has given us this fantastic sculpture.
“The Jungle City project was the talk of the school and we are so impressed by what the pupils created.
“It will have pride of place in our reception area so parents and visitors can admire it and we also plan to use it as part of the curriculum to help the children learn about the challenges faced by animals around the world.”
The pupils who painted the hornbill are all members of local not-for-profit community art group FAB which was commissioned by Easyspace to help with the project.
The hornbill, which was nicknamed “Webby”, was the only sculpture among the 150 animals on display that was created by children.
It was described as “inspired” by the organisers of Jungle City who said the children should be “hugely proud” of what they created.
Jane Robertson, who presented the sculpture on behalf of Easyspace, said: “We wanted to involve young children in our Jungle City project and the pupils of Balfron Primary School did us proud.
“With their talent and imagination they have illustrated the important issue of conservation and their work has helped raise lots of money.
“We hope Webby helps Balfron pupils to understand the challenges faced by these endangered animals.”
Balfron Primary is also developing an outdoor learning space as part of its School Improvement Plan to encourage pupils to learn more about the environment and conservation issues.
The team developing the grounds includes Dawn Cullen, the chair of FAB, who led the Jungle City project and the hornbill is providing inspiration. Dawn said: “The fact that Easyspace has given the hornbill to Balfron Primary School makes the children’s involvement in Jungle City even more worthwhile.
“It’s a constant reminder for the pupils about how art can be used to convey the big messages.
“The children are now using the ideas they got from the project to help plan the school’s new outdoor learning environment.”
Easyspace also presented a cheque for £50 to FAB to buy new materials for their Saturday morning children’s art workshops.
The Jungle City project ultimately raised £800,000 to save the habitat of elephants, tigers and hornbills in Asia.