Tortoises ‘Take Over’

House events have taken a creative new turn this term at Victoria College with students from our five Houses going head-to-head in a competition to design the best tortoise! This is all to support Durrell’s Tortoise Takeover project, which is currently bringing together every part of Jersey’s Community to shine a spotlight on Durrell’s work with reptiles and to raise funds to build a new Tropical House at Jersey Zoo.

Students were given three weeks to come up with their winning designs, with the promise that winners and runners up would all have the opportunity to paint these designs onto the blank tortoise sculptures, ready to take their places in the upcoming ‘Young Tortoise Trail’, which launches on 16 June 2023 around the Island.

Artist, James Carter who judged the competition said: “I was impressed with the enormous number of highly creative entries all vying for that top spot for their House. Competition was fierce and it was an incredibly difficult task to shortlist and choose the winners and runners up.”

Students gathered in the Art Department over two days at the end of March to start the process of turning their designs into reality, a slightly daunting but extremely exciting task that none of them had ever experienced before. Working in their House teams, winners and runners up collaborated well and set about the challenge with real energy and enthusiasm.

Victoria College Headteacher Gareth Hughes said “the response to this competition has been phenomenal. With more than 200 brilliant entries across all our Houses, this initiative has captured the hearts and minds of students and staff across the College. Victoria College chose Durrell as one of its two main College charities for this academic year, given the strong focus on environmental awareness and sustainability. Ensuring Victoria College students feel connected to local and global communities, and realise the importance of fundraising and charity, is really important. There are further fundraising plans for the summer term and beyond, but I am delighted this particular initiative has allowed our students to showcase their artistic flair and creativity, whilst at the same time supporting Durrell in its efforts to protect endangered species across the globe.

Durrell’s Learning Manager, Fiona Marchant said “It’s fantastic to see how the students at Victoria College have embraced Tortoise Takeover and I have been so impressed by their creativity and enthusiasm for the project. It’s wonderful to see the whole College has been involved and the students are showing the same passion for exciting fundraising initiatives as they are for the designs of their tortoise."