Skip to content ↓
Smithdon High School

Young artists take flight at Smithdon exhibition

A flock of over 550 swans formed the fitting centrepiece of Smithdon High School’s art exhibition this year, which was held to celebrate the graduation of our Year 11 students ‘flying the nest’.

‘Flight’ took place from 21 to 23 June at Hunstanton Town Hall and showcased the varied work of our GCSE art students, along with pieces from Year 4 pupils at neighbouring primary schools.

The flying swans, which were created by students across all year groups at Smithdon, were a tribute to the departing Class of 2024.

“There was a whole-school installation as part of the ‘Flight’ theme,” explained Laura Ruskin, Art and Design Technology Teacher and Year 11 Form Tutor at our school, which is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

“Each student at Smithdon High School created a paper swan to be installed, with Years 7 to 10 being made from white paper, and Year 11’s being made from pink paper to stand out from the crowd. There were approximately 560 paper swans on display as part of the installation.”

Artwork featured elsewhere in the exhibition included drawing, painting, textiles and print-making.

As well as pieces from Smithdon’s 35 Year 11 GCSE Fine Art students, visitors to the exhibition were able to enjoy work from Year 4 pupils at Heacham Junior School and Snettisham Primary (also WNAT members), Hunstanton Primary, Ingoldisthorpe C of E Primary, Dersingham VA Primary, and Docking C of E Primary.

It was the second time the event had been held in the Town Hall, with a private view with canapes and drinks taking place on the evening of Friday 21 June, before the exhibition was opened to the public as part of Hunstanton Carnival.

Miss Ruskin, who organised this year’s exhibition, was supported by fellow Teacher of Art and Design Technology Sian Wheeler; Teacher of Food Technology Becky Dibble, who was responsible for the refreshments; Holly Butcher and Marisa Stevens, Art, DT and Food Technicians, who assisted with installation; and Alix Birks, Teacher of Design and Technology, who helped run the event over the weekend.

“The title of the exhibition this year was ‘Flight’,” continued Miss Ruskin. “This academic year, both Mrs Wheeler’s and my own form are leaving Smithdon High School as part of the Year 11 cohort. I have had my form since they started in Year 7, with Mrs Wheeler taking on her own form in 2021.

“The exhibition is primarily a celebration of the Year 11 GCSE Fine Art student’s achievements and hard work during the two-year GCSE course. We wanted to further celebrate and dedicate the exhibition to the Year 11 students that are this year ‘flying the nest’."

“Events like this are really important to us," added Headteacher Amanda Gibbins. "It provides an opportunity to come together as a school and with the local community and celebrate the achievements of our talented students.”

There will be another chance to see artwork from our students – as well as from Marshland, St Clement’s and Springwood High Schools – at the annual WNAT Art Exhibition, which will take place in November at Guildhall Galleries in Lynn.