For Newham Heritage Month 2021, Newham Music is creating a Songbook!
Participating schools took part in Heritage Inspiration Days led by community experts, enriched with information gathered by a local historian. Each school identified specific topics of interest enabling pupils to learn more about their local area and discuss their roles in the future.
After a year of being stuck at home in lockdown this activity was a way for young people to reconnect with their neighbourhood and wider borough in a new way, as well as reconnecting with friends and their community.
These two schools had the opportunity to discover about the working and social lives of employees at the Thames Ironworks, including the beginnings of West Ham Football Club.
Newham Music Teachers followed up the Heritage Inspiration Days with Songwriting Sessions where pupils created original music inspired by their heritage explorations. The songs will be compiled alongside accompanying heritage and music learning activities and published as a Newham Heritage Songbook which will be made available to all schools in Newham.
Pupils from Carpenters Primary School were visited by local experts of the House Mill, where they learned about the mechanical workings and the varying materials that were produced when the Mill was in operation. For their musical inspiration they chose Samba
Zooming in remotely from Cody Docks, Basia the Community Participation Coordinator spoke to pupils from Star Primary about life for women working on the docks in the past and the exciting redevelopment of the area
'we were thinking about the meanings of work... like when we said "strength and courage and dignity" they're really powerful words that show how the women were acting and how they got what they wanted in life'
For their Inspiration Day, Selywn Primary School put questions about the history of Queen’s Market to Market Manager, Phil, who answered them remotely and shared more about his role in the community and memories of his career. Pupils also shared their own experiences visiting and shopping at the market.