1,200 children protest ‘demolition’ of Gascoigne school for writing inspiration

Gascoigne students were galvanised into action at a protest rally

Gascoigne students were galvanised into action at a protest rally - Credit: Archant

Students at Gascoigne primary school in Barking have staged a huge protest after hearing that part of their school was to be bulldozed to make way for more flats.

With SATS fast approaching, youngsters at the school were horrified when they were told that the Year Six building and two of their playgrounds were to be built over, and held a 1,200-strong protest march – but it was all part of a creative writing exercise.

They didn’t realise it at the time, but Monday’s announcement was designed to galvanise and inspire the children.

James Fox, deputy head teacher, said: “The children didn’t know it was a mock announcement and still don’t.

“At the end of the day they were told by the head teacher that the “proposed development” was being cancelled.”

“The over-arching aim of the whole thing is to give an immersive experience to the children and give them opportunities to use high-quality language.”

All staff were briefed about the exercise beforehand and made sure that the children’s wellbeing was key.

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“We were very careful to keep everything incredibly upbeat,” Mr Fox said. “All the way through, it was about being empowered to do something about it.“

The deputy said that the exercise had roused some “passionate opinions” amongst the pupils, and added: “For the rest of the week the children will now be involved in writing, such as persuasive letters and newspaper articles.”