The Year 5 class of St Thomas’ CE Primary School in collaboration with Digital Works.
North Kensington is the place where we live and go to school. It is an area where creative things happen, an area famed for its music, the arts, Notting Hill Carnival and – a sometimes rebellious – community spirit. The project, The Kensington Creatives, was not just an exploration of the arts, but also an exploration of migration. Through participation in specialist workshops, talks and fieldtrips, all of which were run by local people and groups, we learnt how North Kensington has been shaped by migration.
The project resulted in this blog, a documentary called, Standing at the Crossroads and the children getting to respond creatively to what they had learnt. The film is to be screened at The Tabernacle, Powis Square, on June 6th 2016, to a large community audience. It will start with performances of dance, song and poetry by the children, and end with a Q&A with the audience after the showing of the film.
Over the course of the project, the children worked in two teams: a Film Crew working with Matthew and Sav of digital:works, and a Web Team, working with their teachers, Ms Wilson and Ms Brierley.
The Film Crew learnt oral history techniques and how to use equipment to record interviews, whilst the Web Team learnt how to design and write blogs. All children had the opportunity to interview and meet creatives from across North Kensington; carry out field work; visit sites of historical and cultural importance; use historical sources of information alongside historians; and collaborate with musicians, photographers and artists to produce their own creative pieces – some of which you can read, see or listen to on the ‘Being Creative’ page.
They also took part in activities to enhance their understanding of the migration of communities, with a particular focus on the experiences and impact of those living in North Kensington. For example, they visited The Pepper Pot Centre to meet elders from the Caribbean community to find out what it was like to move to England, and went on a local black history walk with Tony Warner from Black History Talks. All talks, workshops and trips were led by local people and groups – showing just how special North Kensington is.
You can read more about our learning on the rest of this site and in this Standing at the Crossroads DVD Booklet that comes with our DVD of ‘Standing at the Crossroads’. We wrote the content for the booklet with with Ms Brierley, our English teacher. It was designed by digital:works.
Here are just a few of our thoughts on the project and our learning.
“I have learnt about the different features of a camera and that you don’t just press a button and it starts filming perfectly. You have to go through stages and do a sound check. You also have to use different microphones. I enjoyed JC0001’s rapping; when Nigel used his head as an instrument; and Emzee’s singing. It has been amazing and I am going to miss it.” Harrison.
“We learnt how to make blogs. At first I thought I would never conquer it but thankfully, I did. I enjoyed writing about the clay workshop, Golborne Road, Fiona Hawthorne and much, much more. I also enjoyed going to the Tabernacle because we all found out that Sam, our steel pan teacher plays there in the pan room.” Cajarna.
“I have learnt how to use a professional camera and use the acronym WIFFLE to help me remember what I need to do to film successfully. (Almost) each letter stands for something you have to do: W is for white balance; I is for iris; F is for focus; F is for framing; LE is for level of sound. I have also learnt how to interview artists, singers and musicians. One of the things I particularly enjoyed was going to Kindred Studios, meeting everyone and having a tour. Angel, Nasr, Cosmo and I saw the pots and houses that Year 5 made in school there. Angel and I also saw a lady at work making mugs on the wheel. She was also drinking out of one that she made. I was inspired to work there as well. I also had fun going on all the amazing trips. They were thrilling and exciting.” Lilia
“I have enjoyed going to places and learning about other peoples’ ambitions, how to use a camera, and how to interview people. I also liked seeing how artists produce their work, for example seeing how clay pots are made. We’ve learnt lots about carnival and Rhaune Laslett and Claudia Jones.” Nasr
“I was in the Web Team, creating a blog called ‘The Kensington Creatives’ using WordPress. During the project, we have met many inspirational people, such as Fiona Hawthorne, an artist (who took the Web Team out for a walk to show us her creative artworks in the local area: ‘150 Years of Portobello’ and ‘Project Ramp’); and Dave Walker (an archivist) and many more. During my photography workshop with professional photographer, Zute Lightfoot, I learnt how to frame something with a photograph mount before taking the picture. We have met so many artists, photographers and musicians. I enjoyed everything but most of all I enjoyed working together, sharing ideas and going on trips. We just had so much fun. I hope we can do it again.” Chelsea
“We’ve met lots of people: Dave Walker and Tom Vague, historians; Zute, a photographer; Toby and Fiona, local artists…I have learnt lots of things about North Kensington and other things like taking photographs and how to write a blog. I’ve learnt when Carnival started and about lots of famous people in history. For example, Kelso Cochrane, Rhaune Laslett and Claudia Jones. I really enjoyed going to the graffiti park (with Ms Brierley, Zute and Toby). For the first time I used a real camera. I liked framing and taking the pictures. I also had fun making clay pots with Jaime and Angelique (other local artists).” Ahmed
“I have learnt more about the history of North Kensington, and how to create a real blog, how to post, how to make hyperlinks and how to import pictures from the photo library onto our blog.” Tiffany
“I have learnt how to set up tripods, and about: white balance, ins, focus, framing, the level of sound, zooming, lighting, sound channels, on board mics, type in mics, gun mics, and the dead cat mics. I have enjoyed interviewing people because I learnt more about them and it made me intrigued. I also enjoyed going to Kindred Studios because I enjoyed seeing all of the artwork on the walls.” Cosmo.
“I enjoyed it when Fiona Hawthorne came in because I do something similar in art. She was an inspiring person. I enjoyed all of the trips we went on but especially The Tabernacle tour and local black history walk” Aaliya.
“During the Digital Works project we’ve met loads of people such as musicians Niles (a drummer), Emzee (a singer) and Sam (steel pan player). When Niles played the drums we danced. He also said you could play and perform with any object. Emzee was a very good singer. I enjoyed the Tabernacle tour and working with Matt and Sav.” Shekai
“My favorite trip was to the Archives because it was a good experience and I learnt what carnival used to be like.” Ellie