Merstham Park were overwhelmed with their school community’s generosity for Ukranian families and donations, including baby food, baby hygiene and other items are currently on their way across Europe. A neighbour of Lyndsey Harkness, Head of Faculty of Creative Arts, is Ukranian and had asked the local community to help fill a van of specific goods and he was amazed by the response – a whole double garage was filled!
Images and information about the war are inescapable for young people and Andy Ward, Headteacher at Merstham Park, produced an assembly for all staff to play to their students, which included clips from BBC Newsround. As part of the school’s strong pastoral programme the war is discussed in learning mentor time and students have their learning mentor as a trusted adult to speak to about any concerns or worries.
To show our support for Ukraine, the whole school community will be making sunflowers which will be displayed outside the pedestrian gates. Mrs Harkness came up with the idea to create sunflowers as they are the Ukranian National Flower. She says, “art can provide such a powerful message to the world and when I researched further, I realised that artists worldwide have been creating work in response to the war and uploading work with the hashtag #sunflowersforukraine”. She went on to say how artists have been showing solidarity through the power of art and she wanted Merstham Park School to be a part of this.
This work in progress will be created for the front of the school and can be added to by anyone in our community, so please get creative with your families and attach your sunflower to our gates. Please click here to watch Mrs Harkness demonstrating how to make one.
The installation will allow us to reflect and hope for peace and an end to the conflict in Ukraine.