Colourful fun as pupils ‘move on’

Students and staff from Pells C of E Primary School, which is to close this summer, led this year's parade. Photograph: Edward Reeves Photography (www.edwardreeves.com)
Students and staff from Pells C of E Primary School, which is to close this summer, led this year's parade. Photograph: Edward Reeves Photography (www.edwardreeves.com)
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A 10-metre-long dragon, the Eiffel Tower, and a huge Day of the Dead skeleton were among the structures on show in this year’s Moving On parade.

The annual Lewes event, which is organised by arts charity Patina (parents and teachers in the arts) and marks outgoing year 6 pupils’ transition to secondary school and into adolescence, took place on July 7.

This year the theme was ‘Wonders of Our World’ and it saw about 400 children from 16 primary schools dress in costumes and walk with structures inspired by places and festivals from around the globe, such as Japan, Brazil, Venice Carnival and Chinese New Year.

Patina director Caroline Croft said it was ‘spectacular’.

“We had a great turnout. People lined the route all the way. It was several people deep in some places,” she said.

“It’s really lovely how people come out – it’s super to see.”

She added that the charity is ‘massively grateful’ to everyone that supported the event.

Starting from the Paddock at 12.30pm, the children, along with dozens of parents, carers and teachers, paraded into New Road, Westgate Street and on to the town centre. For the second year, the route was extended down School Hill and along Court Rd to Cliffe Precinct before returning to the Paddock via School Hill, Market St, Market Lane and Mount Pleasant for a party.

Pells C of E Primary School, which is to close this summer after 120 years, led the procession wearing straw skirts and flowers inspired by Hawaii. The whole school – all pupils, teachers and staff – joined in and Patina stopped the parade on the High Street to pay tribute to its community.

Ms Croft said: “It is always very sad for a community to lose a school and we are extremely sorry to see Pells close.

“We wanted to thank Pells for all the school has done for the people of Lewes over many years and wish the pupils and staff every success and happiness as they move on. It was really moving to see how much this was shared by all the people watching the parade.”

The parade was the culmination of months of work and fundraising, with the schools creating their costumes and structures with the help of Patina artists.

Patina art co-ordinator Raphaella Sapir said that it was probably the charity’s most ambitious parade to date.

Patina is a network of parents, teachers, artists and volunteers. It was formed due to the concern that art was being given less focus in the primary curriculum.

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