St. Benedict's and their Silver Arts Award

Bury St Edmunds is not only a town immersed in medieval history, it is also the home of what has become a nationally recognised Christmas Market.

St. Benedict's and their Silver Arts Award

A team of Arts Award students from St Benedict's Catholic School have created a stall crammed with arts goodies to engage with the staggering number of visitors who will swarm the town over the period of the Fayre.

Meet Bennie & Co Arts Collective!

These pupils are currently working towards their Silver Arts Award with art teacher and mentor Louise Gridley. For their leadership project, they have spent months working towards a fresh and exciting stall for this year's Christmas Market, which runs from 24th November through to the 27th.

Their stand is bursting with all different types of crafts ranging from vibrant ceramics, embroidered cushions and intricately designed Christmas cards, perfect for the type of visitors who will be rolling in this weekend.

So what is the Silver Arts Award at St. Benedict's School all about? The students have been working all term – planning, budgeting, designing and producing - all culminating in this festive event. They have been encouraging all years of their school to get involved by creating their designs during after school activities.

Each pupil in the team has played a critical role in the venture. From the branding and creating a unique logo, to market research and graphics, as well as organising stock and financing the project.

Let's speak to the students…

Emily, Year 9, remarked that her favourite part of the project has been seeing it all come to life, after working on it for so long. "Also, making the products and pricing them up makes you feel very professional." She has played an instrumental role, by becoming secretary for the project.

Donda, who is in Year 13, has been engaging the school with a whole range of art forms during the scheme. "My favourite part has been bonding with the other members of the Arts Award group, as most of us haven't done anything like this before," she commented.

Aside from the stall situated in the Apex Centre, students from the school will also be showing off their musical and performance skills by busking around the town over the weekend.

Both Donda and Emily agreed that the biggest challenge for them has been getting organised and being punctual with deadlines. However, they also commented that putting in hard work and seeing the outcomes has been gratifying both personally and within the team.

"Getting behind the scenes of a project like this is great because you feel completely part of it," Emily said, summing up her Arts Award experience.

What's next?

After completing the project at the Christmas Fayre, the students are working towards another stall on the regular Bury market, in association with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, as well as their own individual arts endeavours. Donda is particularly interested in digital art, and drawing the human form using different media in technology. As for Emily, she is fascinated by the merging of tones – specifically landscape in watercolour.

Louise Gridley concludes: "Arts Award helps us give to them an invaluable taste of what it's like to work in the real word."


Sienna James

Sienna James Voice Team

Formerly Assistant Editor, Sienna now studies History of Art at the University of Cambridge and loves to write about the intersection of politics, history and visual art. Sienna is author of the Creative Education and Instaviews series.

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  • Isis Sky

    On 28 November 2016, 17:51 Isis Sky Voice Reporter commented:

    It's always fantastic to see children and students working as a team to create something - I think this stall was a great hands-on idea, and it's fantastic that it included all artistic aspects for everyone to get well as the technical, marketing & budgeting side! Fab article!

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