Outdoor gallery opened by Fittleworth pupils

An outdoor art gallery which has transformed the front of Fittleworth Primary School has been officially opened.

The gallery was funded by the West Sussex Decorative and Fine Art Society (NADFAS) and its chairman Beth Dugan was on hand with headteacher Graham Bloomfield, staff and pupils at the unveiling.

Mr Bloomfield said: "The society approached the school some time ago asking if there were any projects they could assist with, that might promote and raise the profile of art within the school and local community."

The school had just completed a grounds redevelopment project with the prestigious Kingston College of Landscape Design.

One of the ideas had been the creation of an area to celebrate art outside the classrooms and to add interest and colour to the front of the school.

"I was able to simply lift the idea from that project and present it for approval by the art society," said Mr Bloomfield.

Fittleworth village school, he said, was working closely with its Petworth area partner schools to develop the Forest Schools approach to teaching and learning.

"Working with natural materials in tranquil settings to create art and artefacts is an important part of the Forest School philosophy.

"As well as showing off art produced in the classrooms

the new gallery will provide us with a suitable showcase for natural art.

"Last year we applied to NADFAS for a grant to support a Young Arts Project at Fittleworth Primary School," said Mrs Dugan.

"This will be a permanent feature of the front entrance to the school."

For the opening, members of the West Sussex Decorative and Fine Art Society were invited into school for tea and cakes served by the older pupils.

Members were also given a tour of the school to view the new classrooms, pre-school and other facilities funded after the integration of Year 6 children into primary schools and for Early Years provision.

"We are fortunate to have a very supportive community," said Mr Bloomfield.