Saturday, 15 June 2013

What a creative curriculum can produce

Chalkhill School prepares to celebrate the opening of the new park
 Jean Lambert's statement that the arts, humanities, physical education and citizenship are as important as English, Maths and Science LINK in the primary curriculum made me reflect on my experience at Chalkhill Primary School in Wembley where I am Chair of Governors.

The plans to build a new park close to the school presented a great opportunity for work across the curriculum. More than three years ago children were involved in submitting  possible plans for the park with ideas for the kind of equipment that should be installed. They had to think about provision for all ages and safety issues.

The School Council got involved when plans for the park were delayed. They wrote lettes to local Brent councillors, e-mailed them and spoke to them face to face to urge action to complete the park, emphasising how important it was for children on the Chalkhill Estate to have somewhere safe to play and the importance of exercise and play in adopting a healthy lifestyle.

When  completion neared they were again involved in putting forward ideas for the opening ceremony and pupil delegates went to one meeting where activities, within budget constraints, were planned. In School Council they came up with the idea of a Junior Friends of Chalkhill Park to litter pick and take care of the equipment. Within th school there was a competition to make posters to urge the public to look after the park, pick up litter and clear up after dogs. The best of these were placed on the park notice boards.

For the opening ceremony the children and staff worked with Mahogany Arts to create carnival costumes, the staff steelband rehearsed, a pupil samba band was formed, Bollywood dances created and the school choir chose pieces to sing on the day.

Meanwhile Year 3 pupils collaborated with the Brent and Kilburn Times  to produce a page of the newspaper about the park.

The pictures below give some idea of the results of all this work.


  1. I have come conclusion That it isn't about dressing up and playing steel drums.
    I believe it is about inspiring people and reminding them that they have a responsibility to dispose of litter in the right and proper way rather than the wrong and popular way which is to drop food wrappers etc here there and everywhere.
    The wrong yet popular way of disposing food wrappers etc has made many parts of wembley look untidy to say the least and certainly gives residents more reason to feel ashamed than proud.
    I have stood and watched people drop food wrappers and drink tins without a care and it's not as if they are babies that don't understand anything yet.
    These are people that have been around long enough to know what litter bins are for, but They just don't care and are perhaps even lazy
    and so just drop things on the floor which of course causes an environmental problem.
    I have also learned that when people care about something they tend to take care of it.
    so using some of the time we have to talk to the people and remind them that this is our home and we are obliged to take care of it and when we do that we will reap the benefits whereas when we do the opposite we reap the results of negligence which isn't beneficial.
    The governments have much to answer for the problems in this country because it is due to their putting profit before principle why conditions are worsening by the year.
    when someone has at last inspired people's hearts and we start to notice the positive difference that makes then we have reason to dress up and skip around.
    but right now I think what this council is doing is once again in vain.
    enough time has passed and people have suffered enough notice that the council never get things right and I think that is because they are not listening.
    they appear to be listening but when it comes down to it they do what they think is right which often turns out to be wrong.
    take the old chalkhill estate, that was basically a failure even though it was hailed as something special in the beginning.
    the estate that is now in it's place was described as a regeneration
    and yet the flaws that plagued the old estate are once again plaguing the regenerated estate
    clearly showing that the council didn't to the complaints from the people that suffered on the old estate.

  2. Hello Trevor, it was good to meet you briefly at the park opening the other day. I don't agree with your gloomy views on this. I think the new park has already done a lot to improve the area and it is great to have somewhere to rest, relax, play and chat.

    Surely the fact that the children have volunteered to set up a group to pick up litter and take care of the park is something to be please about?

    1. Well I'm sad my views come across as gloomy in your opinion Martin
      But I agree That it is a positive start that some children have volunteered to pick up litter.
      I just wish The people on whole responsible for the Litter Problem would draw inspiration from those children and Start disposing of Their Rubbish Properly.
      That would naturally improve the general appearance of Wembley Park.
      I was Very Pleased To Meet You Martin at the Park Opening.
      I recognized your face from pictures I have seen of you online in the past and so Didn't want to miss the opportunity of Greeting you introducing Myself to you as the Man that expresses his gloomy views on your excellent website ; )
      actually joking aside
      I do sincerely Care Martin and feel That Choices made in the past and rubber stamped by our mp's have caused many problems which really upset's me.
      as you can Tell I am passionate about my views on housing in this borough and my views are not just haphazardly expressed but are inspired from personal experience having lived in brent from my childhood in the 1970s onwards.
      and so I think I can therefore Speak with Confidence When I say that Housing is often Poor in this borough and that the people that live in Brent deserve so much Better.
      Best Wishes To You
      warm Regards