Search

Dagenham school chosen to help pilot new Historic England scheme to promote teaching local heritage

PUBLISHED: 12:07 24 September 2020

Sydney Russell School pupils and assistant vice principal Aris Dimakos with their Champion Heritage School Award. Picture: Historic England

Sydney Russell School pupils and assistant vice principal Aris Dimakos with their Champion Heritage School Award. Picture: Historic England

Archant

Historic England has chosen a Dagenham school to help pilot a scheme championing the value of local heritage and its role in the national curriculum.

Lower school pupils at Sydney Russell with the Champion Heritage School Award from Historic England. Picture: Historic EnglandLower school pupils at Sydney Russell with the Champion Heritage School Award from Historic England. Picture: Historic England

Sydney Russell School is one of only eight in the country - and the only secondary school - to be selected by Historic England for a champion heritage school award, in recognition of its commitment and excellence in teaching pupils about their local heritage.

It received the new award on account of the work it has done through Historic England’s heritage schools programme, which the school joined in 2014.

As a champion heritage school, Sydney Russell will work with Historic England over the coming year on a new schools-led scheme to highlight the importance of local heritage and how it can be integrated into various subjects.

Sydney Russell will receive £1,000 to support this work.

Veteran Les Underwood shows his medals to a pupil commemorative event hosted by Sydney Russell School to mark 80 years since the Second World War evacuation began. Picture: Sophie MortonVeteran Les Underwood shows his medals to a pupil commemorative event hosted by Sydney Russell School to mark 80 years since the Second World War evacuation began. Picture: Sophie Morton

Historic England’s local heritage education manager in London, Helen Spencer, said: “Sydney Russell is thoroughly deserving of champion heritage school status, and will serve as an inspiration to other schools looking to weave local heritage through their curriculum.”

You may also want to watch:

As this is the first year of champion heritage schools, Sydney Russell will play a key role in shaping the scheme’s activities and future development.

These activities could include testing new education resources, developing a panel of young heritage ambassadors and sharing best practice in heritage teaching.

Sydney Russell School principal Janis Davies said: “Working with Historic England has been a very rewarding experience for staff and students alike.

“It has allowed our students to connect with the history of their own environment as well as develop their research skills and deepen their historical understanding.”

Last year, the school collaborated with the borough archives to create “evacuating Dagenham”, which marked the 80th anniversary of the evacuation of children at the start of the World War II.

Pupils learned about the impact of the war on Dagenham by studying wartime records.

The project featured an event where evacuees shared moving stories of life during the war.

In November 2018, the school hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the centenary of the armistice.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Barking and Dagenham Post