Brixton Townscape Heritage works with schools
Written by Our Hut
July 28, 2016
Categories: Brixton Central, Townscape Heritage Initiative
This blog originally featured on the Our Hut website and discusses the work that the Townscape Heritage Initiative has done with local schools.
The Brixton Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is a Heritage Lottery (HLF) and Lambeth Council funded regeneration project which aims to preserve and enhance the unique architecture and historic character of Electric Avenue, whilst stimulating economic regeneration and raising knowledge, awareness of and participation in local heritage.
As well as providing grants to building owners for repair and restoration, the scheme includes a programme of complementary community initiatives to address the aims of increasing knowledge of and participation in heritage. As part of this community remit Our Hut has designed and delivered a programme of creative heritage workshops in two local schools, Hill Mead Primary School and Evelyn Grace Academy. This will take place in two phases: Summer 2016, before the regeneration and Summer 2018, post-regeneration.
A schools resource will be available for other local schools to use.
Phase 1 Workshops
The workshops took place over 6 weeks with Year 5 at Hill Mead Primary and Year 7 at Evelyn Grace Academy. They were designed to engage the children with all aspects of the Brixton townscape heritage area so that, as ‘local experts’, they would be in a good position to evaluate the area and think about what improvements should be made. In particular, the project has focused on helping the children to learn about and connect with their local area, especially the market and heritage of Electric Avenue. Workshops have included an introduction to architecture and the built environment, a visit to the market, learning about Brixton’s past and present and thinking about future changes that would improve the area.
The children in both schools examined maps and archive material including historic photos and writing relating to Brixton Town Centre, and carried out their own research on a visit to Electric Avenue and the surrounding area. They then produced a wealth of creative responses to the architecture, history and daily life of the heart of Brixton. For their final pieces the children in Hill Mead worked in teams to create ‘Brixton Information Boxes’: each team was given a theme relating to Electric Avenue and Brixton Market such as ‘Decorations’,’Pre WW2 history’ ‘The arcades’, ‘Improvements needed’, ‘Electricity’ etc and asked to create their information box in an old apple crate. At Evelyn Grace Academy the students created a free-standing ‘street’ in which all the buildings also related to a Brixton theme.
All the work was displayed in a joint exhibition at Evelyn Grace Academy on July 12th 2016.