To celebrate this year’s Olympics Lion Walk Shopping Centre & Red Lion Yard in Colchester town centre asked four local schools to create works of art depicting the Olympic ethos, its iconic symbols and what the games mean to the pupils.

Pupils from Lexden Springs, Kingswode Hoe, St John’s Green and St Thomas More’s schools spent part of their summer terms designing and making a variety of colourful pieces of art to celebrate the Olympics.

The art was unveiled with the help of pupils from St John’s Green and Lexden Spring schools and will be on display in the centre throughout the summer while the Olympics and Paralympics are taking place.

Peter Scopes, Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard Centre Manager said: “This is one of those rare things we get to do, nowhere near often enough, that lets us say a huge thank you to Colchester. These children, through their work, have not only displayed the Olympic themes, but also the values of the communities they come from. The designs look fantastic and all the children involved should be so very proud of what they’ve created. When people pay us a visit through the summer we’d like for everyone to take a moment out of their day to take a look and reflect on what it means to live with values of Friendship, Respect and Excellence.”

The children learnt about the Olympic values and ethos defined by the mottos CITIUS – ALTUIS – FORTIUS (meaning Faster – Higher – Stronger) and Excellence, Friendship and Respect, which they have illustrated through their displays. They also learnt about the countries competing in the games including food, animals and traditions as well as discovering the huge number of different sports that make up the Olympics.

The pupils explored art through a variety of mediums and materials and have created the imaginative, colourful and illustrative pieces for the Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard display.

Lexden Springs School, on the Halstead Road west of Colchester, caters for pupils aged 3 – 19 years with educational needs. Pupils from the school took part in a sponsored swim to cover the distance from Colchester to Rio in the school swimming pool (equating one length to one mile). The swim raised money for outdoor play and educational equipment for the school. The pupils made flags to represent a selection of countries competing in the Olympics which are now displayed as bunting in Red Lion Yard.

Kingswode Hoe School, the Sussex Road community day special school for girls and boys from 5 to 16 years old who have moderate learning difficulties, designed wonderfully colourful pieces of artwork to symbolise what the Olympics meant to them.

St Thomas More’s, a Catholic primary school in the town centre created Olympic flags and rings filled with landmarks, animals and foods associated with the participating countries, and festival masks to represent Rio, the host city.

And finally, St John’s Green Primary – near Abbey Field – produced artwork to represent each word of the Olympic motto, to be displayed as window vinyls Lion Walk.