Notre Dame Girls’ School
This Elmer was designed by the Year 8 students at Notre Dame RC Girls’ School in collaboration with artist, Jenny Leonard.
Founded by the sisters of Notre Dame in 1855, the school prides itself on its ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating. It says it offers a safe and inspirational environment in which pupils study all subjects in the national curriculum together with exploring their individual faith journeys. Students also enjoy a wide-ranging choice of extra-curricular activities after school, at weekends and during holidays.
The girls came up with ideas about what Elephant and Castle means to them, and chose their design because they associate it with being a place of learning. They included a sunflower as it is the school’s emblem.
“The children were really happy to be a part of the project. They knew who Elmer was and very quickly wanted to get involved with it. During our brainstorming sessions, they talked about how much greener Elephant and Castle is now because of Elephant Park. So, leaves and trees have featured in our design, but a big part of what Elephant and Castle means to them is their school. It’s where we’re based and have been for a long time, so the inclusion of the sunflower – our school’s emblem – represents this.’”
The Artist – Jenny Leonard
This Elmer was designed by Jenny Leonard, a local south London artist who specialises in murals and public art commissions.
She has created art for more than 50 sculpture trails in the past, working with various groups to paint different creatures in cities across the UK.
This design was devised from workshops with a group of students from Notre Dame RC Girls’ School, and the result showcases how Elephant and Castle has embraced green spaces but continues to retain its history and classic roots, with a nod to the iconic elephant sculpture overseeing Newington Butts.
“I’ve been working on various trails for a number of years, but I jumped at the chance to work on this Elmer the Elephant project as the trail will be right on my doorstep. It offered me a great opportunity to be part of something local, as well as create a positive and colourful piece of art that pulls together the visions of young people living in the community.”
Find out about other community group’s Elmers, the Elmer at the Elephant trail and other Elmer activities.