Penkford School say “Happy Birthday St Helens!” in style.

Pupils at Penkford School are celebrating the town’s 150th birthday in a novel way by acknowledging the town’s wonderful glass making history.

Pupils have been crafting beautiful glass tiles and they plan to showcase their work by creating a large glass tile mosaic installation.

Julie Johnson Headteacher said, “We have invested in a glass kiln because we want to acknowledge the rich legacy of the town’s glass making past. Our pupils have social, emotional and mental health issues. We all know that the arts improve mental health and our pupils are loving the opportunity to design and make their own glass tiles within our Artsmark journey. A recent visit to The World of Glass inspired our designs.”

Pupils plan to launch a business enterprise in the Autumn course as several visitors to school have been so impressed with the tiles that they have even placed advance orders.

“Each tile is different and is unique,” explained Anita Johnson, Art Teacher. “Pupils have learned how to implement glass fusion techniques and also learned lots of local history about the very important role played by Pilkington Glass in the town over the years.”

Penkford School has been praised for its innovative and imaginative curriculum provision which includes an Outdoor Education Programme, Resilience Projects utilising the skill set of Military Mentors, an on-site counselling service, a school ukulele band, a High Priority Pupil Project and being involved in the national pilot of the Thrive intervention initiative.

Julie and her staff received national recognition for their tireless commitment to championing the needs of pupils who have Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues when the school gained a prestigious award earlier this school year. Penkford was awarded ADHD Friendly School of the Year.

Anita Johnson added, “Pupils with ADHD face lots of challenges but often excel in creative arts. Our Glass Kiln Project has channelled imaginative creativity in a positive manner and enabled us to say Happy Birthday St Helens in a special and original way.”

See the Penkford website and Twitter feed for further information.


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