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Supported by NEWHAVEN HERITAGE CENTRE is recognised as a Scottish registered charity No. SC044837
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The Phoenix Project is an innovative project is an opportunity for young people to interact with their local history in a hands-on, cross-curricular way. It is a process and a product: pupils of Victoria Primary will have the chance to learn research skills with a real, relevant context and to use the information they find to expand their creative, expressive and imaginative talents. For a more complete report, you can visit the Reports page by following the link below.
Newhaven Heritage is grateful for the co-operation of the National Records of Scotland, the National Libraries of Scotland, the management and teachers of Victoria Primary School, and the older generations of Newhaven who gave up their time to speak to the children.
Class of 1917, Alex Young (Roll No. 320) seated crosslegged at far left
Willowbank Row, Alex’ address. No.18 was a ground floor house roughly where washing can be seen in this picture from the 1960s
What follows is the text of the hand-out given to the P6 pupils of Victoria School who participated in the pilot project —
A Phoenix is a magical bird that the Ancient Egyptians believed in. It lived for five hundred years then burst into flames and died — only to be born again out of its own ashes.
We’re calling this project you are going to be working on “The Phoenix Project”. This is because, after one hundred and seventy five years in this one, Victoria Primary School is going to be born again in a new building over the road. We want to make sure that the special spirit of this school lives on when you move over the road.
You will be the keepers of the spirit of the school
When Victoria Primary School was built, Newhaven was a village where most of the people depended upon the sea for their living Fishing has never been an easy job and in those days was dangerous. People had to work together to keep safe and help each other when times were hard. They cared and looked out for each all through their lives.
That spirit was carried into the school and lives in you. Being kind to, and caring for each other, has always been something we expect to see in the school. It’s how the pupils behaved in the past. By working on the Phoenix Project you’ll learn about their lives. and you are keeping their kindness going.
How it will work
You’ll be working in teams of three as detectives finding out about a child who was at Victoria Primary long ago.
You will choose who you want it be from the school roll. Then you’ll find out when and where they were born, where they lived, when they died and as much as you can about their lives. You’ll search for facts in in lots of different places and also talk to older villagers who may be grandchildren of these pupils. You’ll also build up a picture of the village in the times when these children were alive.
You will be story tellers
How you tell these stories will be up to you.
You can write stories, poems or songs, do drawings or paintings, take photos or videos to show how pupils lived then. You will also work with Newhaven Heritage feeding into projects to bring the peoples’ stories back to life.
You will be pioneers
No primary school learners have ever done a project like this before. Your work will be new and also on the internet so that anybody, who wants to, can always find it. You are writing these histories for yourselves and for others to use. They are not in textbooks or on other websites
So now, make it happen and have fun
Badge designed by one of the school’s P6 pupils and presented to the children who participated in the Phoenix Project
The Phoenix Project
|A Poverty of Vision|