Greenmount Primary celebrates culture on their doorstep

Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits or keep the crowds away on Friday 14 July 2023 as Greenmount Primary School celebrated their Culture on the Doorstep project.

In the hall amazing maps were on display along with photographs of important places; a poem about the area was read aloud by children (see below) and maps were handed out for an audio trail of a story written by the children.

On top of all of that there was food and sweets, football and taekwondo, and even a hook-a-duck stall to entertain the children and parents.

All photos by Jeremy Morton

The school had been approached by the University of Leeds to be part of a project called Culture on the Doorstep. They were assigned an artist to work with them to explore what’s on the doorstep, within a fifteen minute walk of the school.

The artist, Hafsah Naib, worked with a Year 3 class. They went out in small groups and she asked the pupils to tell her and show her what’s important to them where they live in Beeston. The maps show where they took Hafsah to, places like the mosque, Nafee’s bakery and Yasin Catering.

Following on from the map work, the children wrote a story which anyone can follow by visiting the QR codes placed around the community at points of interest. If you scan the QR code at each location you will be able to hear the next instalment of the story. Maps were handed out to help you find your way around.

Headteacher Lisa Dixon said:

“It’s wonderful to see everyone come into school today. We saw this celebration event as the end of the project, but it’s not, this is the beginning of what lots of other classes could do.

“The project introduced a lot of teaching techniques that we wouldn’t necessarily know.

“It will probably change some of the ways we approach geography, especially in the Autumn term when the whole school does a topic called ‘Where in the World is Beeston?’ We’ve done that for the past few years, but it might take a different slant this time.”

Briony Thomas from the University of Leeds and Chair of the Cultural Education Partnership which initiated the project explained:

“This was an experimental, creative approach aimed at embedding the children’s voices into what they’re learning within school, what’s really relevant and engaging to them.”

Chris Singleton from Brave Words CIC worked with the childrten to create this poem:

Welcome to Beeston! We’ll show you around –
give you a tour of the places we’ve found
the places that live rent-free in our heart
we hope that you like them – if you’re ready, let’s start!

Past Victorian red brick homes
past Gurdwara moons and domes
Allah’s home, the home of God
the scent of deep-fried chips and cod
fresh-baked cakes, samosas, sweets
drifting down the terraced streets
the holy spirit, the holy smell
the lunchtime rush, the crowds that swell-

cobbled crescents, paving slabs
the pilgrimage to King Kebab’s
crossing roads and passing parks
with swings and slides and pullup bars
where children play and parents chat
Brickfield, Rocky and Cross Flatts

we’ll run on grass, then ride our bikes
up Beeston Hill to hill-top heights
from where we see, beneath our nose
Rajas, Mariam, Saiedbros,
Greenmount, Nafees’, AJ’s, Hamara
Has anybody brought a camera?

To photograph these streets we’ve known
the parks and houses where we’ve grown
the shops our friends and family own
this place we’re proud to call our home.

Now we’ve finished the tour, we’ve shown you around
we hope that you’ve loved the places we’ve found
we’ve only scratched the surface – this was only the start –
Welcome to Beeston! Our community. Our heart.


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