Young are really planning the future

CHILDREN at a primary school have been celebrating the end of a project that charts the past, present and future of Stratford through a variety of modern media.

The youngsters from Colegrave Primary have spent two years working on the Story of Stratford with resident artist Helen Marshall. The result is a living and virtual archive of stories, videos and photomontages, writes KAY ATWAL.

The project documents the progress of the Westfield Stratford City development, from a building site in 2009 to an operational retail centre upon its opening in 2011, and explores how the history and subsequent regeneration of Stratford will change the lives of the students and their families.

In the Spring, focusing on the theme of Games, the year 4 pupils together with their teachers and artist Helen Marshall created a series of large scale photomontages that included images of the Westfield Stratford City site, the surrounding streets, spaces and buildings.

Highlights include stories of when Charlie Chaplin and Mahatma Ghandi stayed in Newham, the rise to fame of champion boxer, Lennox Lewis, and war time actress Dame Anne Neagle.

Throughout the project, pupils visited Holden Point’s Olympic viewing platform, and have forged links with residents living in the building. Pupils wrote to the residents, to find out more about their own histories — where they come from, their expectations of the new Westfield shopping centre and the arrival of the Olympic park. The school aims to continue working with the residents.

about its past, present and future during a time of major regeneration activity within Stratford.”