Publications

Our Story (Creative Partnerships, 2003) developed out of a residency at Lauriston School (an inner city primary in Hackney). When Rachel was asked to develop a creative writing project she encouraged the entire school community to start exploring their own family stories. Teachers attended inset days, helped run workshops and began investigations. Parents came to assemblies and archive days, where they brought in treasured family possessions and told remembered fragments of personal histories. Some have been inspired to conduct further research: assembling family trees and visiting archives.

The children in the school filled sketchbooks with beautiful drawings, family photographs and snippets of interviews with elderly relatives. They uncovered stories about their area from libraries and talking with local people. They became enthusiastic detectives into their own histories. This book records a small portion of the wealth of material gathered during the Our Story project.

 

When my son David came back from his first day at  Lauriston Primary School he told me about his new classmates from Africa, Bangladesh, Turkey and India. Later I learnt over twenty-nine different languages are spoken at Lauriston.

After being invited to develop a creative writing project at Lauriston I knew I wanted to get everyone in the school involved in exploring their family histories. Teachers attended Insets, helped run workshops and began their own investigations. Parents came to assemblies and archive days, where they bought in treasured family possessions and told remembered fragments of personal stories. Some have been inspired to conduct further research: contacting distant relatives, assembling family trees and visiting archives.

The response from the children in the school has been overwhelming. They have filled sketchbooks with beautiful drawings, family photographs and snippets of interviews with elderly relatives. They have dug up stories about their area from libraries and talking with local people. They have become enthusiastic detectives into their own histories. The incredible archive of material gathered for this project includes: medals from both world wars, a receipt from an Irish funeral Parlour in Limerick, a photograph of a Kenyan Chief, ration cards from WWII and countless other priceless belongings. This book records a small portion of the wealth of material and stories gathered during ‘Our Story.’