Island schools shortlisted in national poppy competition

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Two island schools have been shortlisted for Poppyscotland’s popular learning competition, which called on pupils to explore the power of design as part of Remembrance and reflection.

And members of the public are now asked to vote for their favourite design from the shortlist of six.

Poppy Places and Spaces is inspired by 2018 being the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and asking the question: ‘Why is it important to remember?’

The competition is open to two age groups – P4-P7 and S1-S3.

After scores of entries were received, a judging panel was given the unenviable task of whittling the number down to a shortlist of six.
Making that list is Bun-sgoil Lacasdail (Laxdale Primary School; Gaelic-medium 3-7), on Lewis, and Bun-sgoil Stafainn (Staffin Primary School; P4-P7), on Skye.

Laxdale Primary School's entry in the Poppyscotland design competition. NO__T18_Laxdale01
Laxdale Primary School’s entry in the Poppyscotland design competition.

Isla Campbell Lupton, the learning and outreach manager at Poppyscotland, said: ‘We challenged schools to design a Poppy Place and Space – an area for Remembrance and reflection. Designs could be produced by hand, by computer or using appropriate mixed media, in an outdoor or indoor space – we asked pupils to be as creative as possible. The aim was to get youngsters to work together as a class.

‘It is important that young people are well informed and able to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance.’
The entry from pupils at Bun-sgoil Lacasdail focused on reviving an area around an old bench, which would be painted and decorated with handmade wooden poppies.
A mural will sit above the bench and the project aims to commemorate the tragic war-time story of the crash of the boat Iolaire which claimed 200 lives just yards off the coast of the Isle of Lewis.

Bun-sgoil Stafainn’s entry will be located at a memorial area that already exists, but has become tired and underused. The plan is to revived the area with a poppy-themed gate and a bog garden to represent the muddy conditions of the First World War, and the children have created the idea for poppy-adorned benches and a flower bed.

One of the pupils has a great-great-grandfather who died during the Great War and has no grave. This fallen soldier would be remembered at the site, too.

Now the youngsters are calling on people to view their entries and vote for their favourite. To view the six entries visit learning.poppyscotland. Voting closes on May 11 with the winner to be announced a week later.

There will be one overall winner picked from a public vote of a shortlist of three in the primary school age category (P4-P7) and three in the secondary school age category (S1-S3).

The overall winner will have the opportunity to build their Poppy Place or Space. This will be limited to a maximum cost budget of £1,000. Runners-up will receive book tokens.