Pupils' project puts the Big Apple just a stone's throw from Scotland

16th April 2010 at 01:00

Children from Gigha Primary are working with a New York school on a community arts project.

The Scottish pupils have collected pebbles and shells from the Isle of Gigha's beaches, which will be shipped to the US. Children at Manhattan's City and Country School will then use the stones and shells to represent the island on a Scotland-themed mini-golf course.

Lorna MacAlister, headteacher of Gigha Primary, said: "It's very exciting for the children to be involved in a partnership project with a school in Manhattan, and we're looking forward to developing our links during the summer term.

"It's a great chance for children from both countries to explore the differences and similarities between a small island school in Scotland and an inner-city school in one of the biggest cities in the world, and we're very fortunate to be involved. It's an opportunity we will certainly be making the most of."

Teachers at the New York school were inspired to feature Gigha in their Scottish project when they heard about the island's community buy-out. The mini-golf course, called "The Golf Between Us Is Small", is part of a city arts initiative and will feature landmarks from around Scotland, including Loch Ness and the Forth Road Bridge.

It will be produced by pupils, with the help of teachers, parents and the local community.

Education Secretary Michael Russell, who recently visited the US during Scotland Week, said: "Links between Scottish schools and others from around the globe are not unusual but this particular project offers a new twist.

"By combing the beach for items to send to Manhattan, the 23 pupils of Gigha School will each be making a personal investment in the link-up and will help create a piece of community art on the other side of the Atlantic."

Mr Russell added: "All of our pupils should be global citizens with an understanding of the world and Scotland's place in it. This project is an excellent example of how our schools can achieve that in a creative and meaningful way.

"The connection between Gigha School and City and Country School is another example of the lasting bond that exists between Scotland and North America."

scoted@tes.co.uk.

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