When teachers at Crowland Primary School used ‘All About Tottenham’ as the theme for learning this term, the intention was for pupils to have a chance to explore the area they live in, and build a sense of love and respect for their community. What teachers hadn’t anticipated was the level of enthusiasm from pupils as they eagerly embraced the topic.
As part of the exercise pupils learnt about the history of the area, spent time exploring local places of interest and even had an opportunity to learn about the real types of decisions Haringey Council makes when planning infrastructure and services for the future.
Members of the council’s Regeneration Team visited the school and spent the morning giving pupils in Years 1, 2 and 3 an overview of the work they do. Pupils then took part in a hands-on group exercise to demonstrate the factors that must be considered when deciding how to use the councils limited resources for the benefit of the community.
Groups of pupils were given a fixed amount of money to spend on local services like schools, libraries, a swimming pool, housing, a police station, a hospital and a cinema. The highlight of the morning was when each group presented their spending plans and the thought processes behind their decisions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a new school did not feature as a top priority for any of the groups. But the exercise did get pupils thinking about some of the needs of their local community that they might not have previously considered.
‘We were happy to spend time with the pupils today. These children will possibly be the residents of the future. It was lovely to see them thinking creatively about how their local area could be improved while considering the needs of the community as a whole. If they continue to think like this, the future looks positive for Tottenham.’ Said Tracey Edghill, Tottenham Charter Manager, Haringey Council.