CaptureARTISTIC students have reflected on the past to draw inspiration for the future by designing four stained glass windows for a new school chapel.

Students at St Michael’s Catholic Academy, Billingham, have created a series of striking glass art panels which will form the centrepiece of their new academy building.

The project, funded by St Michael’s Academy Parent Teacher Association and The Carmel Education Trust, enabled students from Year 9 and 10 to work with artists from Northern Star Stained Glass, of Newcastle, to produce the six foot high works of art.

Bryan Curtis, director of Northern Star Stained Glass, said: “We have been involved with the students at St Michael’s from the conception of their project, helping them to hone their drawings into workable designs and then turn them into stunning stained glass panels for their new school.

“Although this is the first time they have worked with glass all of the students picked it up really quickly and the results are amazing – they should all be really proud of what they have achieved.”

The four window panels, which depict images of a fish symbolising Christianity, St Michael’s sword, a dove representing the Holy Spirit and the Holy Trinity, will be hoisted into place within the new chapel and has been designed to be suspended above the ground floor.

Chief Executive of Carmel Education Trust Maura Regan said: “The windows are absolutely fantastic, quite extraordinarily beautiful. It is so fitting that our students’ designs will be in the centre of our new academy for everyone to see.

They are so uplifting and symbolise the ethos of St Michael’s, where our students are always at the very heart of whatever we do.”

Headteacher Andrew Ramsey said everyone was glowing with pride in what has been achieved for the community of Billingham.

For Year 10 student Eve Winstanley, 14, who helped to design the St Michael’s sword panel alongside students Jude Smart, 15, Lily Nicholson, 15, Lily Bover, 14, and Mae Donohoe, 14, the glass windows will also count towards her GCSE art.

“This may be a one off project but it will last a lifetime,” said Eve, of Billingham.

“I never imagined that my art coursework would form part of the new academy building but I am so proud that it will be there forever for everyone to see.”

Twins Isobel and Masie Pritchard, 14, designed the fish panel with Adam Browne, 14, Caoimhe Ronan-Wilson, 13 and Max Rafferty, 14. Isobel said:

“We have really enjoyed the project and can’t wait to see them in place.”