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Aureus School Press Release: Light up Your Life March 2018 - History and Art Collaboration (Publishe

Aureus School in Didcot are the proud owners of a mobile/chandelier with a twist

Aureus School, the first mixed secondary in Didcot who opened their doors in September with a cohort of Year students, pride themselves on being a STEAM School. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are taught through an integrated approach with the Arts.

Working in collaboration with a number of local artists the school boasts an Art Gallery, an Art Therapy Room and now an original installation by artist Lorna Carmen McNeill.

The chandelier project arose when Oxfordshire Museums approached the school about participating in a history project inspired by the Didcot Mirror.

Inspired by the history of light in Didcot, each child in the school was invited to respond creatively by making a piece for the chandelier about what excites them most and lights up their life. . Lorna incorporatedLorna incorporated mMirror discs are incorporated into the chandelier to give a sense of place and belonging, connecting back to the Iron Age mirror found locally. The mirrors alsoand to remind, reflect back the children’s work , to remind them of it, illuminate and inspire each child of everyone in the school. Sun discs were included to connect to the symbol of Aureus Sschool logo and the golden Roman coins which were found in the school grounds.

The mirrors give a sense of place and belonging by connecting back to the Iron Age mirror found locally. The chandelier also aims to support Aureus’ holistic work with value based education to nurture hearts and minds in the development of the whole child.

A group of parent volunteers then helped Lorna in constructing the impressive piece of artwork which now hangs pride of place in the school’s assembly hall.

The project was made possible by the Oxfordshire County Council museums service, with funding through Arts Council England.

The school are keen to develop more links with local artists and have studio space for an Artist in Residence.

Lorna Carmen McNeill says:

“This has been the most wonderful project to be involved with conceiving and facilitating. tbcThis has been the most wonderful project to be involved with conceiving and facilitating. Working with such a special school as Aureus has been a privilege. It has provided the opportunity to connect up local archaeology with the wonderful holistic, values based education at Aureus school to create a piece to unlock creativity and provide a focal point offor inspiration for students and staff”.

Hannah Wilson, Headteacher says:

“It is really quite special to have a stunning piece of artwork made by our founding students hanging above our heads in our main hall. The ‘Light Up Your Life’ art piece symbolises everything that we stand for as a school community - our holistic, values-led approach is embodied in this visual masterpiece. Thank you Lorna, Sue and Kelly for making this project possible - our students are very proud of their accomplishments! ”.

Social Media information:

  • Twitter: @AureusSchool

  • Instagram: aureus_school

  • Website:


For more information contact Aureus’ Headteacher, Hannah Wilson:

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