FIBREGLASS sheep will delivered to schools across the Diocese of Winchester.

The deliveries mark the start of ‘Ewe Matter’, a new intergenerational initiative across Hampshire and Dorset’s church schools that aims to foster closer links between schools and the parishes in which they sit.

As part of the project, worshippers from parishes, particularly from older generations, will come into schools to lead assemblies, read with pupils, help them in the classroom and share their skills and experience.

The project aims to help students to think positively about their self-worth as well as well as the value of the skills and experience of people from other generations.

The life-size sheep, which have been delivered to thirty one schools so far across the diocese, will be used in collective worship and across a range of curriculum areas, with resources provided to schools that are linked to the National Curriculum.

The initiative remains open and it is anticipated that further schools will take part.

Children at each of the schools will decorate the sheep in a project that is reminiscent of the Marwell Zoo zany zebras in Southampton, the Wallace and Gromit statues in Bristol, and the Paddington Bear statues in London.

Once decorated, sheep from across the Diocese will be displayed at Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals in July during a number of Leavers’ Services for children going on to secondary school.

Following these services, the sheep will return to the schools where they will continue to be used in the classroom.

The Diocesan Director of Education, Jeff Williams said: “We’re really excited about Ewe Matter and I’ve been so pleased by how enthusiastically students and teachers across the Diocese have embraced it.

“These sheep will act as visual aids in the classroom and will provide impetus for students to think about what makes their community great, and what they can learn from people from other generations”.