Poppy Unveiling - Friday 10th November 11.45am

On Friday 10th November we will be proud to unveil our ambitious Poppy installation created by students, staff and members of our local community.

The idea to create a poppy installation came from our students who attend our extra-curricular art club. Students wanted to create a dramatic piece of artwork for Armistice Day. The students quickly focused on the London installation in 2014, where many of the pottery poppies were made nearby in the Johnson Ceramic Factory in Tunstall.  Following a discussion of the visual  impact of  The Wave and Weeping Window sculptures at the Tower of London in Autumn 2014. Students set about designing ways that that it could be recreated here at the academy. The poppies are made from recycled materials. The plastic bottle idea came when students realised how many plastic bottles are used within the academy every day. Mrs Turner Bradbury (Head of Art), Mrs Higgs (LRC Manager) and Miss Oakes White (Venture Community Leader) have all been involved in making the project happen. This involved leading after school clubs for students, trialling ways of displaying the poppies before finally deciding upon a successful and safe technique to use with the students.

After several different stages, the team attached the poppies to garden mesh and hung them from the roof of the academy. It was therefore decided on a wave design for our courtyard. The larger plastic bottles have been used to emphasise the wave into the flower beds. When the students make the poppies they feel a sense of pride and emotion that each bottle/ poppy represents a soldier who lost their life defending us. The whole academy has been involved by collecting plastic bottles and the art club has been cutting the bottles, painting the poppies and attaching them to the mesh. The site team have drilled the poppies, erected the structure and ensured the health and safety of the installation.

The poppy installation has become a great community project; Mrs Garrity (Director of Transition and Recruitment) approached our local community and engaged members of key community groups within our local area. Community groups that have been involved include Middleport Matters; Feral Spaces; Swan Bank Church and other members of the public have all been involved in painting the poppies. The news that the original Poppies from the Tower of London will be homed at Middleport Pottery in August 2018 will provide a wonderful setting for visitors to reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice but also mean that we can work together to ensure as many members of our community witness the display.

The Co-operative Academy students regardless of age, gender, ethnicity are aware of the importance of remembrance and paying their respects to others who have given their lives to make the world a safer place to live in.

We are pleased with the result so far and hope to build on our installation each year to create a huge impact on the courtyard and the students. We hope that you will join us and celebrate this amazing project at


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