Bexley children create heritage documentaries of school’s history

Children across Bexley have created short films and documentaries that look into the history of their schools as part of a multimedia heritage project. 

The Through Our Eyes project worked with pupils aged between eight and 15 from Burnt Oak Junior School, Old Bexley C of E Primary School, Bexley Grammar School and Hurstmere School, between May 2023 and December 2024.

The children created the documentaries by collecting stories from former students and staff at the schools, as well as old newspapers, logbooks and films, between the Second World War and the present day. 

The project involved children from four schools across Bexley (Picture: end2end TV CIC)

One pupil, Victoria Dartford, 11, of Old Bexley C of E Primary School, in Hurst Road, Bexley, said: “We loved looking at the actual school log books during our research sessions.

“We learnt more about old fashioned photographs and how cameras worked. We experimented by trying to smile and not move for our one-minute smile challenge.”

The initiative was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and created by TV production company end2end TV CIC, which has managed the project in partnership with Bexley Council Archives, Bexley Music and Hall Place and Gardens, Bexley. 

The children created the documentaries by collecting stories from former students and staff at the schools (Picture: end2end TV CIC)

Caitlin Mackintosh, 11, of Burnt Oak Junior School, in Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup, said: “We didn’t know that Burnt Oak Junior School was once a primary school with younger year groups or that the car park used to be the playground!” 

The films are currently on display at The Stables Gallery in Hall Place, Bexley, until March 18.

Lorraine Smith, co-director of end2end TV CIC said: “It has been a pleasure to work with these schools over the past 10 months.

“Hundreds of pupils have worked on the Through Our Eyes Heritage Project, working with industry professionals and specialists in their field.

The initiative was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (Picture: end2end TV CIC)

“The outcomes speak for themselves – young people have achieved outstanding results and created a brand new, vibrant digitalised collection of heritage, destined to tour for the rest of 2024, before being donated to Bexley Archives in January 2025.”

Pictured top: The children planned and created the documentaries with the help of TV production company end2end TV CIC (Picture: end2end TV CIC)

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