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November 22

Blackheath High School student wins national art competition

Abigail from Blackheath High School is one of the winners of national art competition ‘Spirited Arts’ held annually by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE).

Over 2000 students were selected from schools from across the UK and entered ‘Spirited Arts’ this year, to get people thinking about Religious Education (RE) through art.

In its 15th year, this competition has attracted over 320,000 participants averaging 20,000 partakers per year since 2004. Hundreds of UK schools get involved, with entries coming from as far afield as Cyprus and Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

The annual competition starts at the beginning of every school year and runs through to 31 July. Year 7 students at Blackheath High School complete a short unit of work at the end of the school year, where they reflect on a religious or philosophical theme and create a piece of artwork based on their own research and learning. Abigail chose the theme ‘Looking for God’ and created a pop-up picture book.

In the explanation of her artwork, Abigail said:

I enjoyed making my artwork. I like making things, which is why I made a pop-up book. I had already learnt how to do this in DT [Design and Technology]. I chose the theme ‘Looking for God’ because it gave me a lot to think about and explore. The concept of my story was the belief that God is everywhere and I used that in creating by book.”

Mr Barnett, the Head of Religious Studies at Blackheath High School, added:

We are delighted that Abigail has been recognised as a winner. Her artwork was very creative and showed that she had really engaged with the themes for the competition this year. The students and I look forward to the Spirited Arts competition every year, because it provides an opportunity to think critically about religious and philosophical themes, as well as providing a great platform for cross-curricular activity, combining subjects like Art, RE, English and History.”

Judging took place over the summer by RE Today Adviser, Lat Blaylock and Artist, Carly Brown and High Stride Society.

Lat Blaylock comments on the competition as a whole:

Spirited Arts is in its 15th year and has attracted over 300,000 participants averaging 20,000 participants per year since 2004, with hundreds of UK schools get involved. Every year the entries are a pleasure to see because they show that children and young people are doing vital thinking about the big issues of beliefs and values through their school RE. Young people from 3-19 express themselves with astonishing depth and clarity. Well done to all pupils and teachers involved.

When some people are cynical about the young and others think religion is out of date, I dare them to look at our web galleries of pupil art and remain unmoved.’

All the winners and some entries from 2018 can be found on the Spirited Arts gallery

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