AN extremely moving Service of Remembrance has been held at Warrington’s Sir Thomas Boteler CE High School which paid tribute to the “Old Boys” from the Boteler Grammar school as well as former students and teachers.
The service began in the school’s Peace Garden, where members of the uniformed services attended a short tribute in front of the school’s cross which was decorated with clay poppies, which had been created by the students. A full service was then attended by the whole of Year 7 and Year 9.
This year, students have played a key role in the Remembrance preparation. A poppy dress, worn by Sophie Barber, was made of 500 individual fabric poppies which each student in every art class had made, as well as staff and their families who had donated poppies.
Head of Art, Mrs S. Joice then put the poppies together to create the inspired dress, in memory of the fallen. The dress was initially motivated by a display she saw in a Salvation Army charity shop in Lowestoft last year.
Before each poppy was made, the students were shown the Royal British Legion website and were read ‘In Flander’s Field’, to remind them of the significance of the poppy. The school’s visitors commented on how impressed they were with the dress.
Head teacher Beverley Scott-Herron said: “This was a very powerful statement and was a very moving tribute to remember all those on our roll of honour”.
Inspired by Paul Cummin’s poppy display of 2016 in London, each Year 7 student made an individual poppy from clay which they then decorated with paper mache and acrylic paint. These clay poppies then decorated the school cross, made by Shropshire based artist Jas Davidson, which is mounted in the Peace Garden. The poppies were placed in such a way to create a waterfall effect down the cross, flowing into the flower bed below, creating a poppy garden. The intention is for all future Year 7’s to create clay poppies in the same style which will be added to the poppy garden.
The English department encouraged students to write poems about war and remembrance. These poems are now displayed on the windows of the corridors looking out to the school’s peace garden.
Mrs Joice said: ‘‘The students worked so hard and I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and respect they showed in the creations they were making. I was overwhelmed to see Sophie modelling the dress, she wore it with modesty and pride. Seeing all of the poppies together that the students had made showed a powerful mark of respect and remembrance”.