Three pupils from Alperton Community School have inspired a new public sculpture at Grand Union.

The sculpture, titled The Next Step, was created by leading figurative sculptor Brian Alabaster, and it is based on Alperton pupils Pratham Rathod, Nisha Nangi and Chantall Piechowska.

St George, the developer behind the 3,350-home Grand Union, in partnership with Brent Council, commissioned the public artwork.

Brian and St George contacted Alperton Community School to ask whether pupils might like to be involved in the project.

Art teacher Juliet Bowerman said: “When St George approached us about the project, I thought it was something really exciting for the school to be a part of. Brian needed three students for the sculpture, so there was an audition process that started with more than 50 pupils, before Pratham, Nisha and Chantal were selected as the models.

"The process from start to finish has been a privilege to be a part of. It’s been so worthwhile and educational for the pupils, as well as teachers like me.”

Brian wanted the sculpture to symbolise the learning, progression and achievement of local children. The result is the three pupils climbing a stack of books.

He held clay sculpting workshops at the school, leading to the introduction of 3D art to the school’s curriculum. After creating wax moulds of the pupils, liquid bronze was poured at 1,100 degrees to create the final work.

Brian said: “This is a sculpture about a community, for a community. The pupils were amazing and came to lots of modelling sessions outside of school hours.”

St George unveiled the sculpture in October at community event.

Stephen Kirwan, regional managing director at St George West London, said: “We loved Brian’s design and his thought process behind it, with the pupils climbing books to reach their full potential, which is a lovely analogy for the spirit of the wider area.”

Pratham said: “My mum almost cried when she knew I was going to be in the sculpture.

"I feel proud seeing it now and I’d really like to be an artist one day. I’m thinking of studying art in my GCSEs and this experience has definitely inspired me."

Chantall said: “When so many of us auditioned, I didn’t think I’d get picked, but then I was so happy when I was, though I think my mum was even happier. She kept talking about it and telling the whole family.”