A much-loved wandering sheep has finally returned to the fold at a Gosforth school. The Shaun the Sheep sculpture was designed and decorated by the children at St Oswald’s Catholic Primary School, and had been part of the Shaun on the Tyne Art Trail.

The project, which ran from July to September, saw a flock of 115 individually designed and painted sheep on display throughout Newcastle, and was held in support of St Oswald’s Hospice. It was the second time St Oswald’s Primary, a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, had taken part in the trail event.

Our school had previously taken part in their Elmer trail completed a mini Elmer sculpture,” explained Gemma Summersby, Year 1 teacher and Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities Coordinator at the school.

We were asked if we would like to take part in this art trail, and Fenwicks kindly offered to sponsor us by covering the cost of the sculpture. We designed our own mini Shaun the Sheep sculpture, which was part of the trail, and was displayed in Fenwicks store, and we were also invited along to the launch event at Newcastle Civic Centre where two of our Year 1 children unveiled the first sculpture. “At the launch event, they got to meet the creator of Shaun the Sheep from Aardman, and to see one of the original models.

The school’s design featured the fingerprints of each pupil and staff member, and was chosen through an in-school competition.

Every child and member of staff in school put a fingerprint on our Shaun, which was then turned into a little sheep,” continued Mrs Summersby. “They represented our school flock. The idea was chosen from a mix of designs that the children entered into a competition. Those who wanted to enter paid a small donation as part of our fundraising for St Oswald’s Hospice.

The end of the Art Trail was marked by an auction where the larger Shaun sculptures were sold, raising £195,400 for St Oswald’s Hospice. The ‘little flock’ sheep were then returned to the schools and youth groups who had created them.

Shaun returned after the auction of the big Shaun sculptures in the middle of October,” said Mrs Summersby. “He’s located outside the hall, alongside our Elmer sculpture. The children were so excited to have him back in school and love seeing both sculptures as they come to assemblies and PE lessons. We’ve even had some children trying to kiss him as they go past, they love him so much!

Projects like this are so important for us,” she added. “They not only bring us together as a whole school family and allow us to work on something collaboratively, but St Oswald’s Hospice is a local namesake charity that we always support. This year, however, it has been especially close to heart for our school family. We had a family at school who had to make use of the hospice, as we lost a dad who passed at the hospice.

His daughter was able to attend the launch event, and it made the whole thing even more precious and important for us, to help give back to a place that does so much for so many people in our local area.

Article created on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust by Barking Dog Media. For more information email: david@barkingdogmedia.co.uk or call 07754 271086.