Inside the cave…

This afternoon, we put our art skills to the test.

We replicated a cave-like feel within our classroom so we could get a sense of what it was like drawing cave art in the Stone Age.

Some of us complained of stiff backs and necks, and even complained that we couldn’t see what we were doing. Maybe we should have had a fire torch in the classroom!

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Stone Age Cave Art

We have started our new topic in class this week. The Stone Age!

Our hook for the topic was Cave Art, we had a look at Cave Art and replicated the skills cavemen/ women would have used back in the Stone Age.

Keep your eyes peeled for us working in a cave-like, dark classroom. 

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Banksy stencils

This afternoon, we produced our very own stencil artwork in the style of Banksy, this is the emulate stage of art.

We had a look at some of Banksy’s most famous pieces and the messages behind them, we focused in on certain aspects of the images that we like. The heart balloon, from ”There is always hope” was a popular one amongst the class.

Next, we’re going to innovate Banksy’s work – this is where we will come up with our own inspiration for a piece of artwork that portrays a message in our own style but using the same skills as Banksy.


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Banksy’s use of stencils!

We’ve figured out that Banksy is so fast and mysterious with his work that there must be something he uses to help him!

We recognised that he uses graffiti stencils, this afternoon, we had a go at crafting our own stencils using VERY sharp knives so we had to be extremely careful with our cutting skills.

Tomorrow, we’re going to have a go at painting with our stencils and see if we can produce our very own Banksy style artwork with slogans.

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Reading about Banksy

This week, we have started our art week!

We’ve had a brilliant start to learning about Banksy and come across a lot of vocabulary that we haven’t heard of before. Such as:

  • political activist
  • anonymous
  • conceal
  • speculation
  • identity
  • slogans
  • imitate

We’ve used our VIPERS vocabulary skills to match the words to their definitions. Why don’t you ask us at home what the words mean?

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Rudolph Run – sponsored event!

We had so much fun taking part in our sponsored event, The Rudolph Run, today!

We even saw Mr Crouch with a HUGE smile on his face!

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Birdwell Explorers

We took our overhead maps of Birdwell and set off on foot to see what we could add.  There are so many businesses and special locations in our village that it’s quite surprising when you note them all down!

We also had some areas of our map that were incomplete so we had to ‘fill in the blanks.’

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Archery time!

Today, we have had a belter of a time! We have been practising our archery skills, we even used a real bow to shoot the arrows!

Check out the images below to see us in action.

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A Monday morning treat!

Elise, from Barnsley Music Services, came to see us this morning.  She demonstrated some of the instruments that she teaches children how to play and told us about how they work.  SHE WAS AMAZING!!!!

If you would like to sign up for lessons, let us know.

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End of Topic Roman day!

We had such a brilliant end of topic day celebration, thank you to all of the parents that helped make this happen!

We really enjoyed dressing up in our Roman attire and heading down to the field to hunt the Celt (thanks, kids!!)

In the afternoon, we were split into small groups and sampled some famous pizzas from around Italy, we even got to wash them down with some delicious dessert, tiramisu (yum!)

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Roman buildings

This week, we have brought Ancient Rome to life in our classroom!

Doesn’t the spring water look inviting in the baths?


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Roman portraits

Our art skills have come on such a long way!

The children should be very proud of themselves for the amazing work they have produced, they look like actual photos!

Year 4, can you spot yours?

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The SHINING STAR of the Half Term

Well, today wraps up the first half term and here is out shining star of the half term!

Well done – 7 children were nominated out of 204, what an achievement Mr! This is something to be proud of :mrgreen:

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Easter Egg hunt


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Our car manufacturing is well underway, will they be spotted cruising up and down Sheffield Road!?

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Check out some of the portraits and even SIMS characters of the teachers we received!

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This was a very thorough inspection of the house!

Well, Birdwell’s chief fire inspector turned up at this house and put the grown ups through a very thorough, formal inspection.


Fortunately, the grown ups have done a superb job and passed the inspection. The inspector sent a report in the post to let the grown ups know the outcome.



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Some pieces of work from the week commencing 4.01.21

Here are some snaps of the work that has been completed this week.

We are so proud of you guys, keep it up!

Mr Mathieson and Miss Housley

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Creative Christmas Wreaths

Check us out, we have been super creative this week designing and making our own Christmas wreath.

We designed the wreath in our topic books and then we had to go on a hunt on the school field to find all of the necessary items.

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Working on our Dr Seuss biography

This week, we have been learning about Dr Seuss – we have started writing a biography about his life.

We enjoyed reading our drafted versions to each other, it was helpful as we spotted mistakes in our sentence structure so we were able to green pen our edits in! 

I can’t wait to see the final product.

Mr Mathieson

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What is the most important thing about Christmas?

We are so excited to introduce our new topic! What is the most important thing about Christmas?

Have a look at the topic map to see what we have coming up over the next 4 weeks in our runup to Christmas! 

We have lots of exciting things coming up:
Christmas dinner
Meeting the Grinch!
Christmas traditions
It’s a Christian holiday 

[embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google” ]


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Challenge 8 – Indiana Jones and the Tunnel of DOOM!

We are going to risk life, limb and laundry on our quest to find the Pharaoh’s relic…behold the tunnel of terror!!!!  Somewhere in all of the gunk, leaves and creepy crawlies lies the relic that will help us unlock the chest!

The Real Story Behind the McGuffins | Movies | Empire

Can I just say a huge thank you to all of our parents!  Today was so much fun!  The rain didn’t stop us and every single pupil went through the Tunnel of Doom.  We had LOTS of squealing and screaming but all of them had a ball!  Even the ones who were really scared before they went in wanted another go!

Thank you so much for sending their old clothes and allowing us to get them in such a state!  We have been really frustrated that we haven’t been able to take them on a trip to the museum so it gave us the chance to end a truly fantastic topic in a way they will remember!  Thanks again

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Challenge 7 – Cracking the code

The Pharaoh’s ancient stone tablets are littered around the school field.


The children will use all of their finely honed archeology skills to locate the tablets and decipher the hieroglyphs to crack the code.  Once they decode every word and reassemble them in the right order, they will be able to solve the ancient riddle left by the Pharaoh centuries ago…

Why don’t mummies like holidays?

Well done everyone…I think most groups got most of the words (no thanks to the wind and rain doing their best to make all of the clues disappear!!!)  The answer is…

They are afraid they will relax and…UNWIND!

Boom boom!

Thank you for that one Mr Swallow 🙄 

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Challenge 6 – Mummy mayhem!

The raiders have disturbed the remains of the Pharaoh, making him very angry and cursing all archeologists!

The children have got to use their scientific knowledge of anatomy to rearrange the bones correctly!

Six fun facts about the human skeleton

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Challenge 5 – History mystery

Breaking news, Ancient Egyptian scroll found.

A cryptic message, ancient and mysterious artefacts found, a tricky puzzle to solve… it looks as though we are going to need all of our knowledge about Ancient Egypt to succeed!

The Great Pyramid Was Not Built by Slave (+ 9 Other Surprising Facts About Ancient Egypt) - HistoryExtra

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Challenge 4 – Nile Valley know-how

Here, the children are going to apply their knowledge of the Nile valley and their understanding of the water cycle.

Can the children explain how it all works and links in together to you at home?

We did have another video that we wanted to upload but unfortunately names were mentioned! Ask your child at home if they can retell the water cycle process 🙂 

Nile River Map, Nile River Facts, Nile River History - Journey To Egypt


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Challenge 3 – Indy’s bootcamp


Enter at your own risk! 

This is where the children will be dodging for their lives. The children must enter the bootcamp avoiding all contact with the near impossible tripwires.

Once the wires have been activated the children will be pushing their physical fitness to the limits. They will  be dodging boulders, avoiding spears and crawling through gooey, sticky leaves!

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Being Revamped For 2021 – /Film


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Challenge 2 – Indiana’s leap of faith!

First, the children must complete a daring assault course. They will be applying their PE skills to balance, travel at height, control movement, push their endurance and SURVIVE! 

At the end of the assault course, the children will be presented with a daring leap of faith! Each child will choose the dismount from the apparatus that is suitable for them.

Do they have the courage they need to make it to the Pharaoh’s tomb? Or will they be stopped at this early stage?

Raiders of The Last Crusade | Deja Reviewer

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Creating Authentic Egyptian Flatbread!

Today we learnt all about Ancient Egyptian flatbread called ‘Saboob’. We talked about why the Egyptians ate bread so much and what ingredients they used.

We then looked at a recipe and corrected it so it was in the correct layout for instructions. This included using numbered bullet points and an ingredients list.

In the afternoon we used our edited recipe and worked in groups to create our own flatbread! We worked as part of a team and created some delicious bread to enjoy!

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Lest we forget

We had a 2 minute silence in class today, followed by a visit to the ‘memory garden’ to plant our poppies in the ground and reflect on what we are grateful for today.

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Designing an Amulet!

Today Year 4 used their designing and clay modelling skills to create an Egyptian Amulet. The class discussed the use of an amulet in ancient Egypt and how these were used in the burial process to protect the Pharaoh in the afterlife!

They also looked at various designs and why the eye was linked to the Egyptian god ‘Horus’.

Here are some of our amazing amulets from today.

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We were really fed up of having nothing to play with in our play area so Mr. Crouch persuaded Mr. Bailey to get his wallet out (YES I KNOW!!!!) and pay for lots of sports equipment, not only just for our class but the WHOLE SCHOOL! Thank you Mr. Bailey and Mr. Crouch.

Now we just have to work on our frisbee skills so Mr. Mathieson doesn’t spend half of his break up and down Sheffield Road collecting them!

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Bringing mummification to the classroom!

Today, our classroom was converted into an Ancient Egyptian museum.

We have written instructions in literacy which were key to the mummification process. We used them to make sure everything was done correctly and in the right order.

Check out some images of the museum.

You could even ask us some questions about the mummification process!

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Year 4 Halloween HORRORS!

We’ve had such a fantastic and scary day in Year 4 🙂

Check out some of the wonderful and terrifying outfits!

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This week, we have been learning about mummification.

Check us out mummifying each other in class.Parents, make sure you hide your toilets roll at home!

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Mini archaeologists!

Check out the mini archaeologists!

We headed down to the field to see if we could locate any of the Egyptian artefacts that had been buried there thousands of years ago.

We looked at key vocabulary words too.

Ask us about them!

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Welcome to Year 4!

Hi everyone,

What a fantastic start to Year 4 we have had.

The children have taken everything in their stride, it’s as though we haven’t been apart! I’m so proud of them, with the fantastic attitudes towards school and learning, I’m sure we are in for a good year.

Our first topic is ‘Indiana Jones and The Pharaoh’s Curse!’ – The topic planning map is attached if anyone would like to check out what is coming up.

Mr Mathieson.

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I have a dream!

As you are aware, Martin Luther King, Jr. played a key role in the American civil rights movement.

This was not easy for Martin Luther King, Jr. as he was arrested and even his house was bombed! Pretty severe for a bloke wanting to change the world for the better.

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to organise the famous “March on Washington”. Over 250,000 people attended this march in an effort to show the importance of civil rights legislation. Some of the issues the march hoped to accomplish included an end to segregation in public schools, protection from police abuse, and to get laws passed that would prevent discrimination in employment.

It was at this march where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech has become one of the most famous speeches in history. The March on Washington was a great success. The Civil Rights Act was passed a year later in 1964.

Below is a video of the famous speech.

Here are a few questions to think about. You could discuss them with an adult in your home.

  • What did you notice about the way he spoke?
  • Discuss the message – What was he talking about?
  • What was his vision for the future?
  • Has this happened?
  • Was this fair for Martin Luther King, Jr. to want as a right?
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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid 1950s until his assassination in 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr. is considered one of the greatest public speakers of modern times and his speeches still inspire many to this day.

I would like you to present as much information on Martin Luther King, Jr. as you can. You could record yourself speaking, create a PowerPoint or Word document, you could also present it as a word-map or fact file, it is your choice!

Below are some helpful resources to get you started on Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Click this link to open a Martin Luther King, Jr. biography

Tomorrow, we will be looking at the famous – I have a dream! 

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Unit 3: World-Changers!

In this unit we are going to learn about people who wanted to change the world for the better, through their strong beliefs.

Now, you would like to think that you would be forgiven for thinking that trying to change the world for the better would make you very popular! No, these people had to endure violence, threats and even prison to make the changes they believed in!

In America (1960s), unprivileged or uneducated people had to pass a test in order to vote. The tests were mainly administered to black voters. The tests were almost impossible to pass and had the intent to disenfranchise black voters.

Below is an example of a test, The Louisiana Literacy Test and to be honest, it doesn’t test your literacy skills at all! Have a go at the test and see how you get on…

You have 10 minutes to complete it!

Once you have completed the test, you could test an adult, brother or sister.

You could also create your own test and upload it to the blog for your classmates to have a go at or you could administer it on an adult at home.

Click the download link to download the Louisiana Literacy Test.

Remember to let us know how you get on and what you think to the Louisiana Literacy Test. Do you think it’s a fair test? How did you feel sitting the test?

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Here are the possible answers to the Louisiana test.

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This weeks maths is tricky

As you can see, we are continuing to learn about decimals, thus week we are rounding decimal numbers, representing halves and quarters as decimals and looking at money!

As always, please pick and choose the activities you do. The White Rose sheets and lessons are very good but if you do every question every day they can be very time consuming.  Learning at home can be difficult and it’s not the same as being at school so keep it manageable and keep it fun.  Don’t feel bad about missing a day and working on your times tables or doing something fun!  AND keep sharing what you are doing with me!

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Noah the caveman

I researched the stone age on the laptop and wrote about it. I then made a cave out in the garden. I collected sticks on my walk for my fire and made a spear to hunt animals out of a garden cane and a rock. I also used my mum’s coat as my clothes. [embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google” ][embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google” ][embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google” ]

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Finn’ work this week 20/4

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Mr Mathieson has tips for our cave paintings from when his class did some last year…

Hi Year 4. 

I find cave painting so fascinating, there’s a special reason why the cavemen painted animals on the cave walls, can any of you find out why they did it?

Here’s a quick and easy tip that will make your cave art replicate the real thing…

  • Once you have drawn your picture, leave it to dry and spray over it with hairspray (don’t worry, you won’t use the full can so you’ll have plenty left to do your hair!)
  • After the hairspray has dried you need to cover it by using a tea bag. Here’s the trick – ASK A PARENT TO OVERSEE (I don’t want any burnt hands or tea stains in the house). Leave the teabag in hot water, let it cool down and then gently ‘pinch’ the teabag out and dab it over the artwork. Dip the teabag back into the water as it will start to dry when applying it to your artwork.
  • Leave the artwork to dry and you’ll have your very own cave art.

We can’t wait to see your finished outcomes.

Mr Mathieson 😉🤞

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Mr Swallow – by Jenson :-)

Jenson portrait … haha bless him .

Also his Stone Age facts and “shun” words .

Maths & bitesize today! Hope everyone else is having fun


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Cave painting

Cavemen decorated their caves and shelters with pictures of the animals they saw, the friends they lived with and hand-prints that can still be seen by us all of these thousands of years later.

I would like you guys to have a go at your own cave paintings.  I have posted some links to sites online that have examples.  There are lots of different ways of doing authentic-looking ones, including; working on old cardboard boxes, using hands in mud and painting with brushes.  (So we don’t have to destroy your mum’s lovely wall paper!!!)  As always, let me see what you get up to, I’ll be having a go at this with Syd today so I’ll do the same!


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My cave

I used: Blankets (Animal skin and rock), Football cone, post it notes, rocks and pebbles(all for fire and fire protection),cushions and dog/Buddy bed as seats.I also found some bones that my dog likes to chew. And when I was little, me and my dad used to make dens in the same place as I did today!

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Why do we call them ‘Cave’ men?

All living things need certain things to survive and flourish.  They need to eat and drink, they need to rest, they need to stay warm or cool enough and shelter to keep them safe.  Cavemen were so successful because they found a way of improving all of these things…by using…(that’s right)…a cave!

Think:  How would life in a cave or shelter be better than living outside for:

  • Eating & drinking
  • Keeping warm or cool
  • Resting
  • Keeping safe

I want you to pretend to be a caveman (not too difficult for some of you I imagine!)  Now the first thing you are going to need is a cave!  You could build it out of your duvet cover or a big box…let your imagination run wild (and tell your parents I understand that the first day back I will have lots of cross Mummys to answer to!)  Do a good job and maybe you could sleep in it tonight???  If you do an amazing job, it may even protect you from the angry parents when they see what your challenge is!!!

Once you have built your cave, I want you to tell me all about why it is so good at improving your life (as a caveman) and keeping you alive.  You could do it as a piece of writing or a letter along with a photo of your cave.  Or you could make a video diary, showing off your new shelter and explaining why it is a big improvement on just living outside.  Let’s see what you come up with.

I can’t wait for the rest of unit 1…here’s a sneak preview of what will be coming up:

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Reading at home

I have created us an account on Oxford reading owls.  You can access books suited to our year group for free.

Go on the Oxford Owl website by clicking this link: 

Once you are on the website, click on My class login, it’s right at the top of the page so you won’t miss it.

Next, you will have to enter the login details, they are

Username: birdwellyear4
Password: Read

(Don’t forget the capital R in Read)

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BBC bitesize

Dear Parents and carers,

To support you during these difficult and challenging times the following link below is a new BBC Bitesize primary planner.  A ten minute daily Podcast commencing on the 20th April covering the National Curriculum and links to other useful resources. This will also cover some elements of how to cope during these challenging times. This is available on BBC sounds via the web or via the BBC sounds App.

Thank you and stay safe.

Mr Bailey

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New Term, New Topic!

This week, we would normally be starting our new topic:

Could you survive the Stone Age?

So Mr. Mathieson and I thought it would be a good idea to find out about what life was like in the Stone Age.  What did our ancient ancestors wear, eat and shelter in?  Are they really like they are portrayed in films?  Hairy and strong, wearing fur and hitting things with clubs?  When was the Stone Age?  Why was it called the Stone age?  What was the world like back then?

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Spellings: the “SHUN” sound

This is a rule that we covered in Spring Term 1 but it is one I like to revisit.  All of these spelling patterns sound like they say “SHUN” at the end of words but they are spelled a variety of ways:

-tion      -sion      -ssion      cian

Can you remember one of the ways we can spot which pattern to use?  That’s right, the root word can give us a clue in the way that it is spelled.  For example:


Root word:            Suffix:

magi      Magician

Try to identify the root word for each of these spellings that fit our rule:

invention, injection, action, hesitation, completion
expression, discussion, confession, permission, admission
expansion, extension, comprehension, tension
musician, electrician, magician, politician, mathematician

Are there any it doesn’t work for or that you have to be careful of?  Watch out for that tricky double SS suffix!!!!

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Barnsley in Bloom Competition

Barnsley Council’s annual Barnsley in Bloom poster competition will still go ahead, despite schools being closed. This year, instead of children designing their artwork in school, they are encouraged to get creative at home.
The poster competition will run from Wednesday 15 to Thursday 30 April. Children up to the age of 16 are encouraged to draw their best Barnsley in Bloom picture on a sheet of A4 paper, take a picture of it and email it to with the subject: ‘Barnsley in Bloom entry’. Include the child’s age and name in your email. This year there is no specific theme – just get inspired by nature and the flowers blooming around your home this spring. Use colours and paints to brighten up your picture.

There will be three age categories: six and under, seven to 11 and 12-16. Our park services team will judge and shortlist the artwork, and then the Mayor will choose one winner from each age category. Each winner will receive a certificate over email, and their artwork will be shared on Barnsley Council’s social media channels, so everyone in the borough can celebrate them.
Cllr Pauline Markham, Mayor of Barnsley, said; “This year we’re doing the Barnsley in Bloom competition slightly differently, but we still want all of Barnsley’s budding young artists to get involved. This fun activity should hopefully keep children entertained for a while at home, and I encourage families to stick their artwork in their window so that other children can enjoy spotting them on their daily exercise.

“I’m sorry that I won’t be able to welcome the winners to lunch with me at the Town Hall, but hopefully they will enjoy seeing their artwork being celebrated online.”

This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. We believe, that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.

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