Artemis the eco-friendly dinosaur joins Banbury primary school

The popular forest area at a Banbury primary school is now home to a model dinosaur called Artemis.

Sunday, 29th March 2020, 8:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 9:29 am

Students at Harriers Academy have taken great delight in welcoming Artemis, a model dinosaur who is almost 5 feet tall and 12 feet long. She was created using discarded plumbing tubes, shredded paper and unwanted plastic bags.

The impressive life-like appearance of the Stegosaurus is a reflection of the talent of year three Teaching Assistant Kerry Lyons and year three Higher Level Teaching Assistant Lyn Maycock.

The pair were brainstorming for enrichment ideas that would benefit pupils and were keen to fill the space at the end of the academy’s field that is used for forest school activities.

Pictured: Teaching assistants: Kerry Lyons and Lyn Maycock and pupils: Megan Clarke, 7, Year 2, Georgiafay Gordon, 9, Year 4, Amelie Holmes, 9, Year 4, Aaliyah Tabasm, 8, Year 4, Max Harrison, 10, Year 5, Courtney Piggot, 9, Year 4, Georgia Gibson, 9, Year 4, Cole Sammons, 8, Year 4, Jacob Payne, 10, Year 5, Cameron Clayton, 10, Year 5.

Ms Lyons said: ‘’Lyn and I are both artistic and we knew a project like this would suit our skills. We also knew that if we created a dinosaur that it could be a project that every child could have a go at getting involved in making and it could be something they could be proud of.

‘’With a forest on the doorstep we thought it would be interesting to have something like that out there in that space.’’

Miss Maycock added: ‘’Initially it was going to be small but then we decided let’s go big! We chose the name Artemis because she was the Greek Goddess for the protection of forests and woodland and small children, so we thought it was apt.’’

Chicken wire was used to hold the plumbing tubes in place and to give the dinosaur shape.

Artemis, a model dinosaur at Harriers Academy in Banbury

Other materials used included papier mache, wood to create the tail and the plates on the back were made out of used newspapers.

A local company that serves hotels and restaurants provided a batch of unwanted cotton serviettes, which were dipped in plaster and applied like plaster cast. This was placed on top of the papier mache and mod rock then used.

Some 10 to 12 layers of different types of material were used to mould and shape Artemis into the creature she is.

The school has almost 400 pupils and every child in years one to six had a go at doing something towards the dinosaur’s construction including painting her.

Nine-year-old Amelie Holmes who is in year four said: ‘’It was a big experience. I liked learning new things about art and making new things. It looks very realistic.’’

A base colour of brown was used before a mixture of eight to 10 different other shades were applied. Yacht varnish provided a top coat to protect her from the elements.

Ms Lyons and Miss Maycock spent two days a week working on Artemis after starting the project in September 2018 and finished last month.

Eight-year-old Aaliya Tabasm, also in year four, added: ‘’It was really fun and creative to be involved in making Artemis. I helped to stick on the papers and I like to sit by her.’’

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper when you do your weekly shop.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.