A unique schools partnership has been formed in Thamesmead. It means that all 13 local primary schools will be working together on a project which aims to emphasise the history of Thamesmead and create a sense of civic pride.
Called ‘T'riffic Thamesmead', the project has been developed with the area's leading community development agency, Trust Thamesmead, and will involve all Year 6, and some Year 5 pupils taking part in a range of curriculum-based activities in the classroom and out and about in Thamesmead before the end of the summer term.
The project is the brainchild of the Trust's Head of Marketing and Communications, Elaine Johnson. She said:
“Many people, even those living here, think of Thamesmead as nothing but a series of housing estates, but it is so much more than that. Thamesmead's first residents may have only moved in 40 years ago but the area has played an important historical role since medieval times.
“Many of its streets are named after people who have made a significant contribution to our society and students of sociology and architecture continue to focus on the area. Thamesmead also has an abundance of wildlife and open spaces which we want to encourage local youngsters to explore.
“We've also researched a comprehensive resource pack to support the schools and have uncovered some real gems including a 1931 Ordnance Survey map of the area which has been amended by the then Department of War. Marked ‘SECRET' in red ink it is a fascinating record of the extensive activity that took place when Thamesmead was part of the Royal Arsenal.”
Other teaching materials include a series of maps and plans which show various versions of what the planners had in mind for Thamesmead which can be compared to the facilities that exist now. For example, at one stage there were plans for a cinema, ice skating rink, civic piazza and yacht marina.
One of the schools involved in the project is Jubilee Primary School. Headteacher Simon Prynne explained why:
“At Jubilee School we are delighted to be involved in this exciting learning project for our children. Using the outstanding curricular planning guidance, known as ‘The Creative Learning Journey', all the schools involved in the project will be well placed to provide some very special learning opportunities for our children to really discover more about the background, history and heritage of Thamesmead”.
Trust Thamesmead will also be developing a T'riffic Thamesmead area on its website so that many of the plans, maps and photographs can be viewed by anyone interested in this fascinating area. It is hoped that ‘T'riffic Thamesmead' will become an annual project with hundreds of local children participating each year.
Trust Thamesmead showed two films at a movie night which took place on Tuesday 13 May and is working with George Pelmper and the BAB regarding 'Then and Now - School Days Through a Lens' photography exhibition running 27-30 May, which falls during Local and Community History Month. Please contact Mary Austen for further information regarding the photography exhibition, T: 020 8320 4470.