The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Pop­pyscot­land de­sign fi­nal­ists

- BY MICHELLE HEN­DER­SON

Two pri­mary schools in the north have been short­listed in this year’s Pop­pyscot­land Learn­ing Com­pe­ti­tion – cel­e­brat­ing the cen­te­nary of the end of the First World War.

Pupils from Lax­dale Pri­mary School on the Isle of Lewis and Staf­fin Pri­mary School on the Isle of Skye are two of six schools short­listed by the judges in the char­ity’s ‘Poppy Places and Spaces’ de­sign com­pe­ti­tion.

En­trants have been tasked to pro­duce an area of re­mem­brance and reflection – ei­ther in­doors or out­doors – by hand, by computer of by us­ing ap­pro­pri­ate me­dia.

Lax­dale Pri­mary School has fo­cused on the re­vival of an area around an old bench, which would be painted and be dec­o­rated by hand-made wooden pop­pies. A mu­ral would sit above the bench and the pro­ject would seek to com­mem­o­rate the tragic war-time story of the wreck of the boat Io­laire which claimed 200 lives just yards off the coast of the Isle of Lewis.

Mean­while Staf­fin Pri­mary School plan to re­fur­bish an ex­ist­ing memorial area, which has be­come tired and un­der­used. The area would fea­ture a Pop­pythemed gate and a bog gar­den to rep­re­sent the muddy con­di­tions of the First World War, as well as the idea for poppy-shaped benches and a flower bed. One of the pupils has a great-great-grand­fa­ther who died dur­ing the Great War and has no grave. This fallen soldier would be re­mem­bered at the site, too.

Isla Camp­bell Lup­ton, the Learn­ing and Outreach Man­ager at Pop­pyscot­land, said: “We chal­lenged schools to de­sign a Poppy Place and Space – an area for Re­mem­brance and reflection. De­signs could have been pro­duced by hand, by computer or us­ing ap­pro­pri­ate mixed me­dia.”

Mem­bers of the pub­lic can vote for the en­trants un­til May 11.

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