Monday, 7 June 2010

The Flag Project: A Visit To Links School, Tooting

Links Primary school is in Tooting to the east of the borough and right near the border with Lambeth. It's a very friendly school and one of the first things you notice as you walk through the corridors are all the different types of artwork the children were producing, from murals to tapestries, rugs to stained glass. If ever there were a school that would be happy to have a go at a flag this must be it!

The classrooms to the sides were all full and the odd curious glance was coming my way!

I had arrived early and was shown into the assembly room whilst the pupils were settling themselves down in their classrooms and sorting out their week ahead after the half-term break. Then just after I'd managed to set some flags up, it was time for assembly  -  the classrooms quickly emptied and everyone filed into the hall in very neat and orderly fashion.

After Ms. McEwan had  discussed the important business of the day she talked about the World Cup and pointed out all the flags around the room (although to be honest I think the children had already noticed them ...) and then I was introduced and asked to say a few words to explain what the Haydon Flag Project was all about and what we would like them to do. 

I found out that there were lots of children who liked football.....

and there were lots of children who like art....

and quite a few children who liked ART and FOOTBALL which was just perfect!
"So how many of you like art and football?..."

I had to be careful not to go on for too long so rather than display the flags one by one, having most of them already up seemed to work quite well. I think it was certainly out of the ordinary for a Monday morning assembly and I was able to use both my furry womble and Haydon's very own  flag to explain exactly what a womble was, where they live and the sort of values they live by. It was interesting because Links School were just about to start working on their Refugee Week and with names from all over the globe I'm sure Haydon, Orinocco, Wellington, Uncle Bulgaria and the rest would be more than welcoming to any wayward womble that came their way.

This photograph shows about half of those present - 
the rest went right to the back and then up on the stage!

I was also able to point out how flags do not have to be perfect and how some have them have paint going over the lines but that really it didn't really matter what was important was the colour and the overall design which needed to be bold and easily readable from a distance.

To finish off I was able to persuade Ms McEwan to help me show the High Path Super Dons flag as an example of what the school might do and I could hear lots of Ohhs! and Ahhs! and everyone seemed to be really inspired by it, which I am sure will please the Super Dons when I tell them!
The artistically back-lit High Path Flag makes another appearance!
Finally I gave Ms McEwan Links Schools flag, paints, brushes and programmes. It seems as though there will be quite a few working on this flag so we felt that maybe having a couple of flags from Links School would be fairer than just the one, so I'll be returning with some more blank flags for them to work on. Then assembly was over and everyone filed out quietly for quality playtime, hopefully thinking about exciting designs!

When I was packing up I had an interesting chat with one of the teacher's who is an Oxford supporter and also had a drink  from a Tooting & Mitcham FC mug in the Staff Room, so it looks as though Links School is already a hotbed of Non-League football!

I'd like to thank Ms McEwan, the staff and especially the pupils of Links School for being so friendly and open and for making my visit so enjoyable. I'm sure your flags will be excellent and I look forward to seeing some updates and then viewing the finished products when AFC Wimbledon play Charlton Athletic in a few weeks time!

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