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Mural draws in community

Fish, animals, houses, a factory and mill, a miner, people, flowers, hills and trees in bold colours - blue, yellow, orange, green, purple, red and pink - burst out from the mural in the foyer of two primaries sharing a campus in Caldercruix in Airdrie.

The 16x10-foot brightly coloured artwork was created by the pupils of both schools at the end of last session - 134 at Glengowan and 76 at St Mary's. "The idea was to create a piece of artwork that the kids had ownership of," a spokeswoman for North Lanarkshire Council, explains. "Pupils were involved throughout the process. It's very much about providing a focal point for people coming into the building."

The new campus opened in January 2006 under the local PPP agreement. The mural was designed to give the children a sense of pride in their schools and to celebrate the past, present and future of the Caldercruix community. A print works and paper mill represent the village's industrial history.

Jennifer Paterson from Caldervale High and Nicola Rounagh from St Margaret's High, ran a series of workshops to show the children techniques and help them develop their ideas.

Through drawings and collages using a range of materials and techniques, the children created a scaled cartoon of the mural. This was then projected onto the foyer wall. The art teachers and pupils were able to transfer the outlines of the elements of the image on the wall with black paint so that the children could paint their design on the wall itself.

"The ideas came from the children and village residents and the children worked very hard to turn them into reality," says Margaret Rutherford, the headteacher at St Mary's. "The project has been a terrific example of how our schools can work together."

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