Official opening for innovative schools’ art exhibition

Published: Friday, March 4, 2022

A Place to Call Home, part of an innovative partnership between Wandsworth’s state and independent schools, has opened in Southside Shopping Centre.  

Share this

Cllr Sweet and director of children's services Ana Popovici admire the artwork

Students, teachers, the Mayor of Wandsworth and senior council members and officers went along to the official opening this week.  

The free exhibition is open to the public until March 25, and everyone is welcome to go along to take a look and contribute their thoughts about community. The students will also go to see the exhibition, with schools partnering up for the trip so that pupils get a chance to interact with other young people.   

A Place to Call Home was led by local artist Alexander Mourant working with Wandsworth Council’s children’s services and arts service and over 2000 students from 51 local schools.   

Children were encouraged to reconnect with their sense of being part of their local community in response to the distance and isolation felt during the pandemic. Pupils from years 5, 6 and 7 were provided with materials, lesson plans and workshops to encourage them to express themselves creativity.  

Each class produced an artwork panel, which forms part of the group installation in the unit generously provided by Southside. The schools will each keep their own panel after the public exhibition.   

Alex Mourant, Cllr Will Sweet and Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Richard Field at the opening. 

A Place to Call Home is a key part of the new collaborative partnership between the borough’s state and independent schools. The aim is to make the partnership mutually beneficial for pupils, teachers and school leaders, with local hubs created to encourage communication and connections between schools.   

The partnership will make creative and academic resources and opportunities open to all the borough’s young people, and will enable teachers to share best practice, offer further opportunities for students to collaborate, and target high attaining pupils as well as those most in need of extra support. 

Other projects that have already sprung out of the partnership include careers fairs and revision and GCSE booster sessions. Ernest Bevin and Emanuel teamed up on a film project over February half term, and Saint John Bosco is working with Putney High on a project to build, test and compete with robots.  State schools have been sharing their work on equalities and joint learning reviews have been agreed to share good practice. 

Speaking at the opening, the council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services Cllr Will Sweet said: “This exhibition represents the opening stages of this partnership and I’ve found it overwhelming to see how much collaboration has been going on across our schools. I want to say thank you to our school leaders for the ambition they’ve shown and their enthusiasm during a really difficult time over the last two years.  

“Now that this partnership has been securely established I hope that we will see in the years to come how it progresses and how we all work together to improve the lives of the young people of Wandsworth.” 

The exhibition will be open from 9.30am - 5pm each day. It can be found inside the Garratt Lane entrance to Southside near Paperchase.  

Go along any time from 9.30am to 5pm. Find the store half way between Decathlon and Waitrose.