Pupils from East Oxford Primary School have been celebrating as their artwork goes on display on the Jesus College hoardings in the centre of Oxford.

Earlier this year, our Access and Outreach team invited children from the school to work with Headteacher Russell Kaye and teacher Zoe Calvey who supports EAL learners (pupils with English as an additional language) to create pictures featuring characters from their favourite stories in their native languages. The designs now decorate panels on Market Street while construction work is underway on Jesus College’s £36m Northgate Development.

The young artists were delighted to see their designs on display, before touring the College with the Jesus College Access team and taking part in a special activities session. 

The stories featured in the illustrations are: The Fox and the Crow (France); King for a Day and The Prophet and the Ants (Pakistan); Hansel and Gretel (Germany); The Fox and the Crocodile (Bangladesh); Monkey, Shark and the Washerman’s Donkey (Zanzibar); Lion’s Whisker (Sudan); Druon Antigoon (Belgium); Ratoncito Pérez (Spain); and images from the Chinese Zodiac.

Dr Alexandra Lumbers, Academic Director of Jesus College says, “we have worked with East Oxford Primary School in the past, and as a college which values and promotes diversity we were keen to engage with pupils from this school as the children come from very multicultural backgrounds and many do not have English as a first language. Professor Katrin Kohl, Fellow and Tutor in German at Jesus College, is heading up a research project on multilingualism, the creative potential of linguistic diversity, finding ways to strengthen language learning across the educational system and society and hence policy-making in the provision of language teaching, so this project was a perfect way to embrace the richness that speaking lots of languages brings.”

Zoe Calvey, EAL Support at East Oxford Primary School says, “our school is incredibly diverse and this is something we celebrate. The children are very proud that their cultures are being represented in Oxford City centre for all to see.”

Jesus College has vastly increased its Access and Outreach work over the last few years, meeting over 9,000 pupils in 2018-19. The initiatives targeting those from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, span primary and secondary schools to help encourage aspiration amongst younger pupils as well as encouraging applications from and giving advice to older pupils.

Other hoardings panels surrounding the development site were specially commissioned by Jesus College earlier this year and depict the history of Jesus College, from the 16th Century when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I to the present day. 

For more, please see stories on South Today - Oxford and That's Oxfordshire.