Band receive framed tribute to teacher

Caroline Pryer with the framed graphic of a hand-painted mural at Ponteland Middle School that she presented to Guy Garvey. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Caroline Pryer with the framed graphic of a hand-painted mural at Ponteland Middle School that she presented to Guy Garvey. Picture by Jane Coltman.
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An eye-catching permanent tribute to a teacher at Ponteland Middle School who died from a brain tumour was inspired by well-known uplifting song.

And after hearing Elbow perform One Day Like This and other hits during their set at the recent Mouth of the Tyne Festival in Tynemouth, headteacher Caroline Pryer gave one of the framed images to lead singer Guy Garvey.

The hand-painted tribute mural, including some of Elbows One Day Like This lyrics, at Ponteland Middle School. Picture by Silver Bullet Marketing Ltd.

The hand-painted tribute mural, including some of Elbows One Day Like This lyrics, at Ponteland Middle School. Picture by Silver Bullet Marketing Ltd.

Pupils and staff created a hand-painted mural on one of the school walls last summer as a living memorial to the art teacher, who died in July 2009.

To reward the staff for the excellent set of SATS results in 2016, the governors commissioned a professional photographer to come into the school and he used a high-aspect image of the mural to put together a high-quality graphic that were then made into framed works and large postcards.

The wall – and the subsequent graphic – includes the following lyrics from the song: ‘So throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year would see me right’.

Dr Pryer said: “In our assembly to celebrate our outstanding Ofsted result in 2008, One Day Like This was one of the songs played and I saw my art teacher singing it out loud and crying with joy.

“Sadly, she died a year later and the song has become even more poignant since then. It was played following the outstanding Ofsted achievement in 2013.

“When the issue of the school’s future and submitting an application for academy status came up last year, the idea came to us to create a living memorial to her that reflected how brilliantly she taught art to the children.

“We wanted to do something with her song – our Ofsted song – and we decided to do a mural that incorporated the iconic lyrics and the five-panel abstract she had created of our school logo.

“Through a friend we contacted the PR company for Elbow and we received permission to put these lyrics and the score along the wall.

“It also includes a hand panting of the permission and our words of dedication to her.

“Staff could choose framed or postcard versions of the graphic and we’ve also presented the frames as gifts to other schools, for example the Wanga Primary School in Kenya that we support and a school in Northern Ireland before a game of netball between us as a gesture of friendship.

“The frame presented to Guy Garvey was the final one left and it was great to be able to hand it over to the band at Mouth of the Tyne so I could thank them in person.”

Ponteland Middle School is expected to become an academy on September 1.