Schools sculpture design competition

Schools in Tower Hamlets get creative

We invited schools in the Tower Hamlets borough to get creative as part of our Paws on the Wharf art trail. Throughout September and October, they got busy designing a sculpture for our Guide Dogs Sculpture Design Competition for schools.

To accompany the competition, schools were given a free learning resource pack. It provided information, class guides, lesson plans, templates and more to encourage conversations about sight loss and accessibility. The pack supported the Ofsted Framework, enabling learning through art and creativity.

An arts-rich education contributes to the development of all aspects of a child’s powers and personality; a school that is rich in the arts enhances the life chances of a child.
Cultural Learning Alliance

Judging the designs

The winning school saw their design translated by our talented and experienced trail artist Jill Busby onto one of the trail sculptures for all to see!

We were delighted to be joined by a panel of judges to review all the wonderful and creative designs that were submitted. The panel included award-winning author and illustrator Adam Stower who is well known for being the illustrator behind the David Walliams children’s books. Judges also included Louise Spence, Art Curator from Citi; Isy Langhorne from Wild in Art; a student and young Guide Dogs service user; and Pip Brady, Head of Brand at Guide Dogs. Jill Busby was also on hand to provide guidance in terms of how to translate ideas onto the real sculpture.

Watch our video below to see the judging panel event and hear from the judges.

Accessible video of the school sculpture design competition judging panel event

The winning design!

We're delighted that the name of the winning school was Ben Jonson Primary School with their design called ‘Ben’!

Each member of the Ben Jonson year 6 class designed a mini dog to go on their design and wrote the names of their dogs in braille to ensure the design was inclusive. The dog's names were chosen to reflect how guide dogs help their owners, such as Angel and Buddy. They suggested neon and glow-in-the-dark paints, so their design is as visible as possible.

The Guide Dogs Paws on the Wharf team with guide dog owner Dave and guide dog Faldo were delighted to visit the school to meet some of the children who got involved in the competition. 

However, due to the high quality of submissions, it was a tough choice between designs. Therefore, in addition to the winning design, the panel also chose a highly commended design. And, one of our guide dogs in training, German Shepherd cross golden retriever Derek also picked a design as his ‘Pup’s choice’.

  • The highly commended design was: 'Thomas Buxton' by Thomas Buxton Primary School.
  • The pup's choice was: 'Athlete's Dog' by Mowlem Primary School.

It's not too late to get involved in Paws on the Wharf

If you’d like to get involved in Paws on the Wharf, you can still benefit from the fun activities and lesson plans within the Learning Resource Pack. While the design competition is now closed, you can still host a competition of your own – and we’d love to see some of the designs!

Download the schools learning resource pack

It's not too late to get your students involved in the Paws on the Wharf art trail using the learning resource pack. While the design competition is closed, you can still use the templates, class guides, lesson plans and other resources to inform, inspire and educate your students. 

Use creativity to start important conversations around sight loss, accessibility and inclusion.

Want to support our life-changing work through Paws on the Wharf?

More about the trail...

Graphical silhouette of Canary Wharf cityscape, plus the Paws on the Wharf logo and partner logo consisting Wild in Art, Citi and Canary Wharf Group logos

Paws on the Wharf

A Guide Dogs and Wild in Art event supported by Citi and hosted by Canary Wharf Group and Canal & River Trust.

Follow the trail on Instagram @pawsonthewharf_guidedogs