Arc of Remembrance to impact of Covid-19 unveiled at school near Sleaford

Having already planted an Avenue of Remembrance at its Sleaford campus, St George’s Academy completed the second stage of its living tribute to those impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Kieran lloyd, Year 10, and Harriet Giles-Bone, Year 9, planting one of the final trees for the Arc of Remembrance at St George's Academy, Sleaford. EMN-220321-143104001
Kieran lloyd, Year 10, and Harriet Giles-Bone, Year 9, planting one of the final trees for the Arc of Remembrance at St George's Academy, Sleaford. EMN-220321-143104001

An Arc of Remembrance of six trees and three benches, accompanied by six selected poems by pupils was unveiled at the school’s Ruskington campus on Thursday afternoon.

The poems were chosen as winners in a competition and reflect upon the impact the pandemic has had on the pupils, community and the world. They were engraved on plaques beside each tree. Three motivational phrases to boost mental health and wellbeing were also selected by staff and added to the benches, which have been positioned at the edge of the school field, following the curve of the running track.

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Academy principal, Laranya Caslin, said trees selected were flowering cherries and lime trees and will help screen a bare section of fence while becoming a place of remembrance to those who may have suffered loss during the pandemic, for quiet reflection and tranquility and supporting mental health and mindfulness, as well as adding more trees to the environment.

Poetry reading at the Arc of Remembrance ceremony. EMN-220321-143149001

The idea came from a member of staff in 2020 to plant some trees as part of an Eco-week and link it to the pandemic.

Mrs Caslin said: “We wanted some way for these special trees to stand out and involve the community.”

She said they wanted to recognise how the community had pulled together and how the school had been a constant during the pandemic.

Funding was raised from a non-uniform day plus donations from parents.

Poetry readings at the Arc of Remembrance ceremony. EMN-220321-143200001

The winning poets from each year group recited their poems to invited parents and guests and Rev Al Jenkins, priest in charge at Ruskington chuerch, gave a short address, adding: “It is a special day when we reflect on the effect the pandemic has had on all of us. We emerge from the pandemic and all that has befallen us across our community and the world. Poetry also reflects hope and new beginning.”

Some of the younger poets were invited to plant the final two trees.

Year 8 student Lilly Mawson, left, and Skye Lee Dalton, Year 8, plant one of the trees in the Arc of Remembrance at St George's Academy, Ruskington. EMN-220321-143052001
Rev Al Jenkins gives an address at the dedication of the Arc of Remembrance at St George's Academy, Ruskington. EMN-220321-143115001
The new Arc of Remembrance to the covid pandemic, placed at St George's Academy, Ruskington. EMN-220321-143125001
One of the poems by students, engraved onto a plaque beside the trees planted at St George's Academy, Ruskington. EMN-220321-143136001