Capturing life through a lens after lockdown: West Norfolk school pupils show off photographic talents
Pupils at a West Norfolk secondary school have shown a keen eye for detail by looking at the world around them through a lens.
Students at the Smithdon High School in Hunstanton have been taking part in a photographic competition, which was intended to make them take a fresh look at their surroundings following the coronavirus lockdowns.
Steven Chapman, the school's head of geography, said: “We wanted to inspire students to get out of the house after remote lessons and at the weekend, to take exercise and also to be aware that geography is all around them.
“One of my colleagues showed pictures of how his garden had changed over a period of time, and another had pictures of how new housing developments impact on and change existing communities.”
Dozens of entries were submitted, despite the continuing government guidelines still discouraging any unnecessary journeys.
“We’ve had a real range, including the 1953 North Sea Flood memorial, landscapes changed by snow, heathlands, farming landscapes, snowdrops as a sign of spring, flooding, weather conditions, fallen trees – a really interesting mix,” said Mr Chapman.
“One pupil included pictures of a pre-lockdown trip to London, as a reminder of what awaits us when this is all over and we can start to move around a bit more.
“The contest really caught the imagination of the students and revealed how much they’ve learnt about geographical processes, which they were able to express in their photo descriptions.
“The judges commented on how one of the best things was that this knowledge wasn’t something that they had looked up online, but that they had acquired in the course of their studies, and put to good use.”
Prizes were awarded to winners in each of the school's five year groups.
The Year 7 winner came from Ella Asker, showing the lasting damage of the 1953 floods on a ruined road at Snettisham bird reserve.
More recent flooding at Hempton was the theme of Year 8 pupil Adele Carty’s winning picture, and in Year 9 Chloe Moulton won for her picture of a snowy sunset at Heacham North Beach, with the flood defences featuring.
In Year 10, Arnold Wilson won with a picture of a burst levee taken near the appropriately-named Watery Lane, Litcham, and the Year 11 prize went to Jack Bolderstone for his depiction of the impact of coastal erosion on the cliffs at Hunstanton Beach.
Mr Chapman hopes the initiative may also inspire similar work across the trust's four secondaries in the future.
He said: “The competition has raised their awareness of their surroundings so we’re going to use the pictures in future assemblies, to illustrate local issues and educate students about where they live and how their lives affect that.”