PUPILS from East Oxford Primary School have been celebrating after their artwork went on display off Cornmarket as part of a major revamp.

Earlier this year, children from the school worked with teachers to create pictures featuring characters from their favourite stories in their native languages.

The designs now decorate hoardings in Market Street while construction work is under way on Jesus College’s £36m scheme to demolish Northgate House and build a new student accommodation and shops block.

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Zoe Calvey, EAL (English as additional language) Support at East Oxford Primary School said: “Our school is incredibly diverse and this is something we celebrate.

“The children are very proud that their cultures are being represented in Oxford city centre for all to see.”

Oxford Mail:

The images feature stories from countries from Spain to Sudan, and this week the pupils were invited to see their designs on display and to take a tour of Jesus College, followed by an activities session with the College Access and Outreach team.

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The illustrations include: The Fox and the Crow (France); King for a Day and The Prophet and the Ants (Pakistan); Hansel and Gretel (Germany); The Fox and the Crocodile (Bangladesh); Monkey, Shark and the Washerman’s Donkey (Zanzibar); Lion’s Whisker (Sudan); Druon Antigoon (Belgium); Ratoncito Pérez (Spain); and images from the Chinese Zodiac.

Oxford Mail:

Pupil Camila, whose picture shows Ratoncito Pérez, a mouse version of the tooth fairy that visits children in Spain and collects lost teeth from under their pillows, said: "People will see the stories we tell in my country.”

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Alexandra Lumbers, Academic Director at Jesus College, said: “We have worked with East Oxford Primary School in the past, and as a college which values and promotes diversity we were keen to engage with pupils from this school as the children come from very multicultural backgrounds and many do not have English as a first language.

Oxford Mail:

“One of our Fellows at Jesus College, Professor Katrin Kohl, is heading up a research project on multilingualism, the creative potential of linguistic diversity, finding ways to strengthen language learning across the educational system and society and hence policy-making in the provision of language teaching, so we wanted to embrace the richness that speaking lots of languages brings.

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“We collaborated with the school’s headteacher Russell Kaye and teacher Zoe Calvey who support EAL learners to create these fantastic images.

Oxford Mail:

“We are delighted with the results and pleased that the children’s designs are going to be on display in one of Oxford’s busiest streets for the next few months.”

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Other panels surrounding the development site were specially commissioned by Jesus College earlier this year and depict the history of Jesus College, from the 16th century when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I to the present day.

The former Northgate House has now been demolished and the project is expected to be completed by 2021to coincide with the college’s 450th birthday celebrations.