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A woolly visitor for pupils at St John’s First School in Bishop’s Wood
16th February 2017

Youngsters at St John’s CE (VC) First School, Bishops Wood near Penkridge were in for a treat recently when a very special woolly visitor popped in to see them – in the form of a newborn lamb!

Accompanying the lamb was Staffordshire-based wool artist, Ingrid Wagner and local farmer Ray Bower of Lower Drayton Farm, to tell staff and pupils all about an exciting creative competition for local schools.

Primaries across Staffordshire are being invited to help craft a ‘flock’ of sheep out of wool products which will be displayed at a new yarn and wool show – Wool @ J13 – taking place at the farm on 13 & 14 May 2017. Schools don’t need to deliver their entry until the week before the festival, but will need to let organisers know they wish to be a part of the competition by early March. Ingrid says:

“We’re keen to help inspire the next generation of wool crafters – and what better way than by launching a competition for local schools? Schools that enter simply need to create a free-standing sheep to the specifications set out on our website. These will then be judged over festival weekend and the winning school will bag themselves a half day felt art workshop for up to 15 students with local wool artist Barbara Meek of Felt World. They’ll get the chance to create a beautiful wet felted piece of art to display in their school.”

During the visit, students learnt all about wool and got a demonstration of knitting using ‘big needles’ from Ingrid, before Farmer Ray told them all about spring lambs as the farm prepares to open its gates for visitors in half term for its annual lambing week. Head teacher Emma Challiner says:

“It is lovely to have visitors in school who inspire our children to learn new crafts and try new things. The children thoroughly enjoyed meeting Farmer Ray and Ingrid, but especially enjoyed stroking Barbara the lamb! The school will be taking part in the competition and the children are already deciding how they want their sheep to look. We look forward to seeing the results.”

If you’d like to arrange for the Wool @ J13 team and their lamb to visit your school, or to request full competition details and an application form, email hello@wool-J13.uk or call 07717 036213.