Students at a Buckinghamshire school helped to create a ‘poppy wave’ out of plastic bottles in a creative and sustainable tribute to war heroes ahead of Remembrance Day.

Kat Joseph-Stewart, 36, who lives in Reading but has taught art and design at the Great Marlow School for 13 years, first had the idea to embark upon the “huge” project of incorporating hundreds of plastic bottles into a poppy wave after seeing Paul Cummins and Tom Piper’s similar artwork at the Tower of London in 2014.

In years past, the school community has honoured Remembrance Sunday through smaller-scale projects including the construction of miniature poppy wreaths, but this year Kat decided to throw caution to the wind and embark upon her ambitious poppy wave idea, the sustainable slant of which she knew would appeal to students and staff alike, with Great Marlow School receiving official accreditation as a ‘Green Flag’ by the Eco-Schools programme in 2022.

Over the past five weeks, students across year groups have collected over 1600 plastic bottles, both from home and the school grounds, and worked to turn, cut, heat, spray and glue them into poppy shapes – with one armistice flower to represent each student and staff member in the school.

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Kat said it had been a “labour of love”, but one that had come to fruition thanks in large part to the willingness of all pupils and staff members to lend a hand and get involved.

“We had the students compete in a competition, which helped to motivate them, but I think they really enjoyed it anyway. Having one poppy per person helped to make it feel really special.

“The installation has been up for a week now, and we’ve had so much praise already from visitors, parents and the wider community, and it will be great to show at an opening evening we have next week.

“It looks even better at night when it’s all lit up. I hope that this will be a space the children can come to reflect on Remembrance Day and that it’s something they can look back on with pride, for more reasons than one.”