‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’: Students get creative as part of Oldhill Community School and Children’s Centre’s rebrand with new name
High-flying students at Oldhill Community School and Children’s Centre have been getting creative to kick off the academic year with a kite-flying session in Springfield Park.
The launch event on Thursday (9 September) was attended by staff, students and parents, as well as Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children's Social Care, to mark the school’s rebranding under its new name.
The school was originally named after Francis Tyssen - a name identified as contentious by the Council’s Review, Rename, Reclaim, which reviews Hackney’s public spaces and buildings that are named after former slave and plantation owners.
It was an absolute joy to spend time with the brilliant staff, students and parents at Oldhill for a kite-flying session in the sunshine on Springfield Park. The enthusiasm of the children was infectious and it was great to see them throwing themselves into a creative project illustrating a landmark moment in the school’s history.
This is a shining example of how the Council’s work - from Review, Rename, Reclaim, to our Black history curriculum - can inspire Hackney’s other organisations to push for change.
Last year the school launched a consultation with parents and children. With a community of over 70 percent ethnic minority pupils and 60 percent ethnic minority staff, the overwhelming majority was in favour of removing the old name.
In addition to a £15,000 grant to fund updates of the new name including notices, signs and new uniforms, Hackney Council led interactive design workshops with the children to help land a new logo.
Students at Oldhill have been truly embracing the kite-flying spirit this week by learning the Mary Poppins song ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’.
Oldhill Headteacher Jackie Benjamin said: “The children had a fantastic time trying to fly their kites. We chose the kite as the new symbol for our school as kites symbolise freedom and aiming high. Seeing the children enthusiastically trying to get their kites off the ground and persevering until they were able to take flight is exactly what we want from our children; perseverance and the eagerness to get the best possible outcomes.
“This is a new beginning for the Oldhill community and we will always aim to achieve more.”
For more information about Review, Rename, Reclaim and the work being done to ensure Hackney’s public spaces reflect the diversity of the people who live here, visit: hackney.gov.uk/naming-review.
Hackney’s Diverse Curriculum - The Black Contribution launched in October 2020 and is now in over 600 schools worldwide. For more information and to sign up, visit news.hackney.gov.uk/introducing-hackneys-diverse-curriculum-the-black-contribution