Torriano Primary School
The Poetry Society
Camden Spark is Camden’s Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP). We support all children and young people living or being educated in Camden to have access to a wide range of high quality cultural and creative opportunities.
Through our brokerage model, primary and secondary schools and colleges identify their priorities and we seek and develop opportunities for expanding collaborative programmes between partners. Torriano Primary School has worked with Camden Spark for many years, and in 2017 we were both keen to develop an innovative project with the school and at least one business partner.
The school identified that new partnership work could support the following priorities:
- The annual whole-school focus on a Sustainable Development Goal (see below)
- The new Camden Oracy Hub
- The annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) exhibition
The school selects one of the SDGs to focus their work on each year. This year they chose Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. This describes that a successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships that place people and the planet at the centre are needed at the global, regional, national and local level. The school is focusing on encouraging its pupils to be ‘Change Makers’. This involves understanding how organisations and communities collaborate to bring about change, and how partnerships can work together to achieve goals.
Outline of the project:
This new project partnership involved a collaboration between Torriano School, Argent LLP, The Poetry Society and Global Generation to develop and deliver a new creative project based on the areas of priority identified by the school. Year 5 classes, accompanied by poet Francesca Beard, visited the Skip Garden in Kings Cross to see the work of Global Generation. They took part in a range of activities around the theme of ‘I, You, We’ which references the ethos of Global Generation – starting with personal development, moving to connection with others and then to responsibility for the planet. Activities included a scavenger hunt and mindful walking where the children were encouraged to consider the following: “I see” “I notice” “I wonder”.
The children then took part in a tour of the re-developed Kings Cross site led by Jane Temple of Argent LLP. They visited the scale-model, and the roof garden on 2 Pancras Square and many had the opportunity to speak to Steve Kellett, Sustainability Project Manager at Argent LLP. The students learnt about the story of Kings Cross as an example of how ‘organisations and communities collaborate to bring about change’. The contrasts and connections they saw during their site visit sparked some brilliant poetry. Francesca then returned to school to lead follow-up poetry sessions. A poetry performance, building on the student’s oracy skills, was performed as part of the school’s amazing STEAM exhibition in March 2018. Podcasts of the poetry and photos of the site visits were also displayed and shared with peers, parents and visitors. Examples of the poems can be seen below.
Through dark and strange matter,
We’re sending our words,
Through light-years and star dust
We’re spreading ideas,
We hope that our wishes,
Our wisdom and youth,
Will reach to the future
And transport our truth.
I speak the language of:
Galaxies to dark matter.
Light to the leaves.
Skip Garden to nature.
Apples to trees.
Fresh air to cotton candy clouds.
Greenhouse gases to polar bears.
Climate action to cattle farmers.
Freedom to the little birds.
Bees to the flowers.
Honey to the bees.
Rebelling to the suffragettes.
The world to world peace.
Hope to the homeless.
Soil to the seeds.
Joy to music.
Sorry to the plastic in the seas.
Elk to the wolves.
Gender equality to women.
Water to the fishes.
Education for everyone.
Words to books.
Rights to a childhood.
Climate change to the coasts and ozone layer.
Hope to the future.
Blue to green.
The earth to clean.
Through galaxy clusters
We’re sharing our poem,
To travel through spaces,
So vast and unknown,
Our beautiful planet
Is ours to keep clean,
It shines in the cosmos,
So blue and so green.
Class 5L And…
And the wavy coal yard roof sparking regeneration rumours.
And the spiral patterns on the re-used rocks.
And the curious circular gas houses that now contain people instead.
And the gigantic immaculate future model of Kings Cross.
And the tiny apple trees providing food.
And the icy February breeze blowing around the newly built skyscrapers.
And the bang and clang of building work.
And the snuffling of the coal fire in the corner of the yurt.
And the sunshine crocus with the woody stripe.
And the yellow and green potato plants.
And the fragrant silver lavender brightening up passing office worker’s days.
And the tingly feeling in my feet when I sit down after walking.
And the bumpy grass, the undulating lawn.
And the ebbing and flowing laugh of the fountain.
And the leaves of chard, almost as tall as the Shard!
And the soft crumbs of the kinetic chocolate soil.
And the orange glow of the lantern fruit plant.
And the Google building with the valentine balloons.
And the high office roof, shooting into the sky.
And the rainbow salad treasure hunt.
And the 9th floor solar panelled garden.
And the glass room made of random recycled windows.
And the peregrine falcons resting in the tall tower of St Pancras Station.
And the smell of rosemary.
And the green taste of a daffodil leaf.
And taking the potted sweet pea seed home.
And the furore of the city in amongst the plants.
And the wonder that is our own.
Contact [email protected] for more information.