Little Hoot education programme 'captures imagination of families'

Pupils from Bildeston Primary School dressed up as owls 

Pupils from Bildeston Primary School dressed up as owls to celebrate the school participating in St Elizabeth Hospice’s ‘Little Hoot’ education programme, as part of this summer’s Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 art trail, and to mark World Book Day. - Credit: Bildeston Primary School

Pupils from Bildeston Primary School had a real ‘hoot’ by dressing up as owls to help raise funds for Suffolk charity St Elizabeth Hospice.  

The children donned costumes to transform themselves into a parliament of owls to celebrate the school participating in the hospice’s ‘Little Hoot’ education programme, as part of this summer’s Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 art trail.

The event on March 3 also marked World Book Day.

The Little Hoot programme "has really captured the imagination of our families".

Julia Shaw, executive headteacher at Bildeston Primary School, said the Little Hoot programme "has really captured the imagination of our families". - Credit: Bildeston Primary School

Julia Shaw, executive headteacher at Bildeston Primary School, near Hadleigh, said: “The Little Hoot has really captured the imagination of our families.

"We launched the fundraising at Christmas with a raffle for hampers and we were overwhelmed with support in the form of prizes and families selling tickets to their wider family and friends. 

“We also had a competition to decorate stars and displayed them outside the school.

"We were hoping to make a good start to our £1,000 target but ended up doing far better than we thought.

"We knew the generosity of families supporting St Elizabeth Hospice on World Book Day, which was owl themed, would easily get us to the target and we intend to keep going with our fundraising efforts!” 

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The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 is the third art trail brought to Ipswich by St Elizabeth Hospice in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art, following the success of Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019. 

As part of the Big Hoot 2022, 50 ornately decorated owl sculptures will be scattered throughout Ipswich between June 19 and September 3 as part of the biggest free art event in Suffolk.

The Little Hoot education programme is running alongside the Big Hoot and has seen many schools and youth groups in Suffolk signing up to be inspired and get creative as part of the art trail.  

The Little Hoot education programme is running alongside the Big Hoot art trail in Ipswich

The Little Hoot education programme is running alongside the Big Hoot art trail in Ipswich - Credit: Bildeston Primary School

By joining the learning programme, each school has pledged to raise a minimum of £695 for the hospice, while they have also received a blank ‘Little Hoot’ sculpture to decorate and a resource pack linked to the curriculum to help teachers stimulate young minds.  

All the Little Hoots will come together at the Suffolk Show for the pupils and their families to be able to admire the great work. 

Brandon Orton, community fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, added: “A huge well done and thank you to all the pupils and staff at Bildeston Primary School for their brilliant support and their fantastic costumes on World Book Day. 

“They all looked ‘owl-tastic’ and we are so pleased to see they are as excited as the hospice team are for the arrival of the Big Hoot this summer and we cannot wait to see all the Little Hoot statues come to life as well!” 

For more information about the Big Hoot 2022 visit the website.