PUPILS at Kingsdown School were working for the benefit of the community yesterday as they painted flower pots and distributed them to residents for free.

The entire school was off-timetable as they worked on personal, social, health, citizenship education.

The Year 11 pupils, who were offered a welcoming break from their GCSE exam preparation designed the plant pots and then took them out into the community on the estates which surround the school.

The plants, grown and donated by the Jubilee Gardens Project, in Purton, were delivered with a leaflet explaining the gift and how best to care for it over the coming months.

The idea behind the plant pots was to illustrate community spirit and instil that principle in the pupils.

Subject head Hannah Townsend said: “The plants will be a complete surprise to the residents who receive them. “The pupils are working on their citizenship as a part of this.

“It is all about community cohesion and making the pupils aware of how they should respect their community and give something back to those they share their streets with.”

Approximately 260 plants will be taken out into the community over the coming days.

Ten pupils from each of the nine tutor groups in Year 11 took theirs out into the community yesterday.

Two students involved in painting the pots yesterday said they welcomed the opportunity to be creative at a time of the academic year when so much is focussed upon exam preparation.

“We took time putting together a plan on how we would want the plant pot to look at the end of the day this morning,” said Rory Marchant, 16.

“We are trying to show community cohesion. “Painting these pots and taking them out into the community will hopefully work on that for us.

“It’s been good to have a day off from our timetables. It’s been a fairly relaxing way to switch off from exams.”

Max Mulercock, 16, said: “We think they will appreciate it, but I guess we don’t know for sure.

“People who take art are probably going to have slightly better designs, but it’s nice for us to get the chance to be creative if we haven’t taken art.”

Rory said: “I miss painting. This is a good opportunity to do it again right at the end of our time in school. Everything’s been so focused on exams recently it’s good to get this chance.”