Heritage Schools Award for Swavesey Primary School
Journey to our Heritage Schools Award
This week has seen our Heritage Project, which we started in 2019, finally come to completion achieving a Heritage Schools Award from Historic England. This project began with our exploration of the 'Lost Words' by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, during the academic year 2018/19, and finally came to fruition this week as our Year 5s took part in a virtual concert linked to the wider heritage project 'When Cambridgeshire sings'.
As many of our families will remember, we read Macfarlane and Morris' 'Lost words' book and decided we didn't want them to be lost to our school community. So we ventured into Fen Drayton Lakes hunting for evidence, spoke on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and engaged everyone we could in these wonderful words linked to nature, which were disappearing from our vocabulary. Firmly placing them back in ours.
This led us to joining a project called 'When Cambridgeshire sings', which focused on schools working with the folk group the Young 'Uns, whom we had worked with before, writing a song about our local heritage. Of course, we couldn't lose the opportunity to make our song about Fen Drayton Lakes and the Lost words. So in October 2019, our then Year 5s worked with the Young 'Uns and wrote a song entitled 'To the Lakes!', which tells of the changes the area has undergone and some wildlife to be found there today. In the summer of 2020, these Year 5s should have taken part in a concert with all the schools engaged in the project, but Covid stopped that from happening.
Meanwhile, the PTA supported us with funding to join in with another project, 'Cows about Cambridge', which led to Mrs Cowburn, and her merry crew of artists from across the school, creating Dandelion, our mini-moo. Dandelion, features the children's illustrations linked to the lost words and Fen Drayton lakes, including the words of the song, 'To the Lakes!'. Dandelion was then displayed in Cambridge (in Primark) for all to see, representing our local heritage. Although again, Covid led to this happening later than originally planned.
Alongside the work with the Young 'Uns, our teaching staff worked with Kate Argyll, from Historic England, to learn more about the local area, its history and geography, and she helped us build a wider bank of resources to support the children's learning about this.
This Thursday, 27th January, saw the final part of this mammoth venture undertaken by our present Year 5s. They sang the song, 'To the Lakes!' with the Young 'Uns beautifully in a virtual concert, along with 8 other schools from Cambridgeshire, also singing their heritage songs. At the end of the concert we were awarded our Heritage Schools Award plaque.