They may be a year away from qualifying as primary school teachers, but five university students are determined to make an early impression on Portsmouth’s education world.
Sonia Hall, Jess Sneddon, Beth Milton, Tessa James and Sarah Wills are taking on the challenge of painting a fresco to liven up a room used by Boscas after-school club in North End.
The final year BA in primary education students have been consulting with staff and students aged five to 14 to find out what they would like to see on the walls.
So far suggestions have ranged from large ‘spot the difference’ pictures to an ‘under the sea’ theme and the use of materials like carpet so children can feel different textures on the walls.
But before the girls get started they are appealing to anyone in the community with a scaffolding tower who can sand down the walls and give it a base coating.
Sonia, 25, of Montague Road, North End, says: ‘We are so excited about this project and can’t wait to get started.
‘When we first visited the after school club our jaws dropped when we saw how big it was.
‘It’s not surprising when you think there are 250 families who use the service, but it’s still a pretty intimidating job and we want to do the community proud.
‘There have been so many good suggestions from the children and when we told them they could help us paint the walls they were over the moon.
‘The idea is to reflect the ethos of play and, together with the children, I know we’ll rise to the challenge.
‘I can’t emphasise enough how important we feel the environment is to help youngsters thrive.
‘A lovely painted hall will inspire the children and give them a sense of pride in their surroundings.
‘It would be great if someone could help us take that first step towards making their ideas come true.’
The students have until Christmas to complete the task, which will form part of their three-year undergraduate course.
They are also seeking volunteers and local artists in the community to give them a helping hand painting or donating paints.
Anyone who would like to be involved should contact the students by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Boscas on (023) 9278 5656.