Our Through Our Eyes Heritage Project has been an illuminating adventure so far, that bridges the gap between the past and the present. During the Summer Term, it brought history alive for the young learners in Burnt Oak Junior School, Sidcup and Old Bexley CE Primary School, Bexley. Guided by the knowledgeable and passionate archivist, Oliver Wooller, the pupils were introduced to the rich resources of the Bexley Council Archives, where [dusty] records and long-forgotten documents revealed intriguing tales of their schools' origins and evolution over the years.
One of the most captivating aspects of the project has been the opportunity for children to glimpse into the past through old photographs of their school. As they looked at faded photographs, they were transported to a different era, catching a glimpse of the generations that had come before them. The images not only kindled a sense of nostalgia, but also instilled a deep appreciation for the continuity of their schools' legacies.
One of the most anticipated aspects of the Through Our Eyes Heritage Project was the filming day, where the pupils stepped into the world of documentary filmmaking. The excitement was palpable as they learned to handle professional equipment and were organised into mini crews. Working collaboratively, they felt empowered and involved throughout the whole process, embracing the roles of directors and cinematographers. It was a day of camaraderie, creativity, and inspiration as they worked tirelessly to capture the essence of their schools' history on film.
Learning how the cameras and technology worked was really good. My class loved working in mini e2e crews to film our scripts, written about the history of our school. I also interviewed an alumni visitor and really enjoyed interacting with someone who had come to my school 36 years before! It was a great shared experience that took us all out of our comfort zones and enabled us to do something new as a team.
The Through Our Eyes Heritage Project is proving to be much more than just a historical exploration. It has been a journey of empowerment for these young historians. As they delved into the past, they discovered their place within a larger narrative, realising that they are an integral part of their schools' ongoing histories. Their enthusiasm and love for the project were evident as they embraced their roles in documenting and preserving their school's heritages.
As the students continue to weave their schools' stories into captivating narratives, we eagerly await the unveiling of the documentaries, a testament to their dedication and passion. The Through Our Eyes Heritage Project stands as a testament to the power of history in shaping young minds and instilling a sense of pride and connection with their heritage, paving the way for a future generation of informed and inspired leaders in Bexley.
As the Autumn Term begins, Hurstmere School and Bexley Grammar School begin their research, with the exciting addition of project partner Bexley Music working with all four schools; producing soundtracks to add to the digital outcomes and the new heritage collection, scheduled to be unveiled in 2024.