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Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College

Spirited Arts - Art in Heaven 2020 National Winners

Ivybridge Community College Year 8 students, Emily and George, have won two categories in this year’s national Spirited Arts Competition.  Together with Edward and William in Year 8 and Mia in Year 9 who were highly commended in three categories. 

NATRE, who organise this annual competition, received 65,000 entries, a record number from the UK, as well as receiving entries from Indonesia, China and Brazil!  The competition has an impact on standards, depth, creativity and enjoyment in Religious Education for students.

Winner - 'God's Good Earth Category'

Emily, in Year 8 said, “I chose the category ‘Gods Good Earth’.  A mandala is a symbolic picture of the universe.  At this time, during the Coronavirus lockdown, my universe has been reduced to my home and garden.  I have chosen to decorate my mandala with hundreds of small images from my garden to represent what I have and can be grateful for.  The mandala is part of the Buddhist religion and represents an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation.


Each part of the mandala represents an area of my garden and you can imagine yourself there, whilst taking some time to meditate.  During the creation of this artwork, I have been able to recognise the colour and life that surrounds me. My garden has become my comfort blanket during these difficult times."

“The earth is not just our environment. The earth is our mother” Dalai Lama



Winner- 'Picturing Faith Category'

George, also in Year 8 said, “My Art in Heaven work shows peace and tranquility in a sad and difficult time.  Prior to a recent bereavement of a friend we spent some quality and peaceful time at Buckfast Abbey, where we all prayed and found some peace in our hearts.  The photos and the poem show the quietness and deep thoughts we all had prior to her passing and allowing us the peace to carry on but always remember our final times with her… 



They speak of this moment.                                                                                                  When your soul finds peace.                                                                                                        No anger. No doubt.                                                                                                                    They have all been released.                                                                                                          I have not moved but                                                                                                              Everything has changed.                                                                                                              When your heart feels peace.                                                                                                         The silence reigns…"

Gail Snodin, Head of Religious Education at the College, said, “I am so proud of the outstanding pieces of work that our students have produced.  They were created at home during lockdown which was the inspiration for some of the pieces of work.  Yet again, Ivybridge Community College students have managed to create thoughtful and imaginative entries which were recognised nationally."

William's Highly Commended entry

“The whole team at NATRE were impressed with not only the quality of the artwork we received, but also the excellent Religious Education and deep thinking that was evident in the entries sent in to us.  We are so pleased that this competition continues to give children and young people the opportunity to explore and express their personal world view, and showcase their subject knowledge through creativity.”

We were delighted to hear from students, parents and teachers how much everyone enjoyed working on their entries.  Many students amazed their parents with what they produced and had lots of big conversations at home about their understanding of a variety of religious and non-religious world views, and the world around them.

Mia's Highly Commended entry

There were 5 themes this year, all attracting very large numbers of entries – none more so than ‘God’s Good Earth’, which had such a high volume of excellent work that we found it extremely difficult to pick our winners.  This theme really showed the passion that young people have for protecting our environment.  Our future is in very safe hands!

We estimate that over a staggering 65,000 children and young people took part in the competition, and we would like to thank them all, and their teachers and parents for the insight, hard work and spiritual thinking that went on.”

Edward's Highly Commended entry