Hotspur’s Ouseburn Project

Ouseburn: Officially Not Too Cool For School

School children hosted a celebration day last Friday to mark the end of a 6 week takeover of the Valley.

The project, ran by Hotspur Primary, was designed to introduce pupils to the area and give them some idea of the roles they can play there both today and in years to come.

The school worked closely in partnership with people who live and work in the Ouseburn.

Among those present with stalls at the celebration day were Ouseburn Coffee Company, Cycle Hub and representatives from the Ouseburn Trust and Ouseburn Futures.

hotspur 1“It’s been absolutely fantastic being able to provide learning based on real life situations,” said Headteacher Miles Wallis-Clarke.

“The children have got really involved in the area,” he continued.

“They’ve been talking to people from real businesses, looking at wildlife in the Valley, looking at housing, exploring artist studios… they even took over the Star and Shadow for a week and ran a gig at the Cumberland Arms.”hotspur logo

The whole school embarked on a boat building challenge. For some children this marked the very first time they had ventured down the Ouseburn Valley.

“Some of them had never been to the white bridge, which is only five minutes’ walk away from the school,” said Miles.

“We’ve certainly raised people’s awareness. At the [Ouseburn] Festival last weekend there were many families with children here who were out enjoying the day because the children wanted to show their parents.”

First and foremost was the aim to show to children the type of job roles they could aspire towards.

Miles added: “A lot of the children that went into Xcite Architects came out saying ‘I really want to be an architect when I’m older’ or ‘I might want to run a coffee roastery’ after they’d found out about the Ouseburn Coffee Company.

“If we’re going to raise aspirations for children then they need to know about the different things open to them, and the Ouseburn is such a great showcase of the range of different possibilities.”

The Valley incidentally lends its name to the newly formed Ouseburn Learning Trust, of which Hotspur Primaryhotspur3 is a part.

Miles explained: “What it is is a group of seven primary schools in Heaton Manor, and it’s a way of ensuring the best possible quality of education for all the children in the area from three to nineteen. Rather than being schools that compete against each other, we want to be schools that work together for the benefit of everybody in the area.

“The Ouseburn just weaves its way through the course of our schools. And we didn’t want to be called Inner East Newcastle Learning Trust or whatever else… even the word ‘Ouseburn’ just has a real buzz of innovation and creativity about it.

“The whole area has got a real future and a buzz about it, and that’s what we want learning to have for our children.”

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A 6 metre by 2 metre artwork created by the children for the Celebration Day which depicts the Ouseburn Valley.

Hotspur Primary School wrote their own song about the Valley as part of their Ouseburn Project, which they performed as part of the Celebration Day.

You can watch the pupils perform the song via the video player below.