Forest Gate pupils get snapping for Olympic memories

Pupils at Earlham Primary School are busy proving that the only way to capture the excitement of the 2012 Games is through the eyes of a child.

These lucky students have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to document the experience of growing up in the shadow of the Olympic stadium and be trained by expert photographers.

Teachers at the school, in Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, hosted a very special assembly where they gave the children cameras to make a portfolio of 20 photos, made from visits to the stadium, meeting volunteers, workers and athletes.

Their first model was trampolinist Emma Britton, 17, who has been training competitively since the age of nine and will be taking part in the Games next summer.

The 12 best portfolios will be given a more advanced camera, receive photography classes and may even have their work exhibited in a London gallery.

The 20 x 12 project is the brainchild of organiser Di Macdonald, 43, who said: “One thing I learnt being a PE teacher is that not everyone is great at sport so it’s a great way to get connected to the Olympics without getting your trainers on and pretending to enjoy throwing a ball around.”

Di, from Australia, went into corporate training only to find that she missed aspects of teaching and wanted to give something back.

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So she gathered 10 people from her work contacts to help her set up the project, choose the right school and get athletes involved.

Di said: “The thing I really miss about teaching is inspiring kids and doing something to give back to the kids.

Also, I don’t know a school that teaches photography, I only got into photography a few years ago.”

So Di’s team got in contact with the teachers at the school who jumped at the chance to give the children a unique 2012 experience.

Di said: “This is happening in their back yards, but they are not completely connected to it, it’s just something exciting that’s coming to town.

“So we set out to find an East End school that was in the shadow of the Olympic Games.”