STUDENTS at Rudheath Academy have been watching on with interest as a wall of famous faces has gradually appeared in the grounds of the school.

The graffiti artwork, which has been spray-painted on to wooden boards that keep the last part of the school's massive refurbishment sealed off for safety purposes, was commissioned by North West Academies Trust, who run the school.

Artist Andy Birchall, who was commissioned by the trust to add some colour to the previously dab wooden boards, with the famous faces featured being associated with the names given to several of the new classrooms. Andy said: "Steve Docking (CEO of the Trust) had seen some of my work I'd done at a school on the Wirral.

"He told me what had happened at the school and about the boards.

"It was originally going to be a workshop based with the young people here, but because of everything going on around covid, we obviously had to change things a little.

"All the characters that are on here are named from the classrooms, so it was simply a case of taking all these inspirational people and putting them on here."

"The idea is that the kids will be inspired and I've had loads of them come up to me as I've doing it, asking 'who's that, who's this'.

"Once I tell them who they are, they can then go away and learn a little bit more about them."

"I've had to do that myself for of them."

Famous faces appearing on the wall include Jimi Hendrix, Frida Kahlo, Professor Stephen Hawking, Sir David Attenborough and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, and they will soon be joined by the Beatles.

Andy went on: "It adds a splash of colour.

"I've been into graffiti since I was kid and always loved art and drawing.

"I've been doing this full time since 2008 now and that includes workshops and things like that, so it's great to be able to do something you love."

Year 11 art student Lana Targett said the wall had been inspiring and that she thought it was a great way to learn about the people behind the faces.

"I was really surprised when I first saw it.

"It really fascinated me.

"It's nice to see so many different races featured and all kinds of body types being brought together.

"It's cool to be able to see all these different famous people and although I only know half of them, it's something we can learn about at the same time."

Jack Jevons, Business Manager at the Academy said: "It's a bit more vibrant than just having the blank wooden boards.

"It all comes back to theme of trying to inspire the children.

"The figures are all inspirational figures and they match the names of the classrooms that we changed over the summer.

"We've got writers in the English section, famous scientists and mathematicians, as well as someone like Sir David Attenborough.

"It looks fantastic and brings an area of the school back into life and colour."