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Waterfront helps create School Museum

Over the past few weeks pupils at Waun Wen Primary School in Swansea have been discovering the historical past of their community.

With the help of the National Waterfront Museum’s Modern and Contemporary Industry Curator, Ian Smith, pupils have been researching school records, interviewing former students and looking back at old pictures of the area in a bid to uncover memories from 1875 onwards - the year the school was established.

Their efforts will culminate in a School Museum showcasing objects and artifacts from the 1800s onwards. Some of the objects on display will include a certificate from the Royal Humane Society.  This was presented to local man Thomas Sullivan, a former pupil of the school, who dived into Swansea Docks to save the life of a nine year old boy in 1912.

The project is a result of funding allocated by Welsh Government’s Community Cohesion Programme which aims to strengthen links between local authorities and Communities First Partnerships.

Speaking about the programme, Deputy Head Teacher at Waun Wen Primary School, Louise John said: “The school children are very engaged in their learning about this project and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped us. We have interviewed many former pupils of Waun Wen Primary School, and past and present residents of Waun Wen whose accounts have fascinated our children and demonstrated the diversity within our school community. Our project will be presented to local MP Geraint Davies during our Community Cohesion Day on Friday 23 March.”

“We’re delighted to help the school undertake this interesting and insightful project,” said Ian Smith. “Many people, who have lived in the area during the lifetime of the school, would have worked in the neighboring Hafod Copperworks and Cwmfelin Steeland TinplateWorks - industries which are represented in the National Waterfront Museum as part of the thriving industrial history associated with this part of Wales.

“It’s a fantastic idea and a great community-based project for us to be a part of. The children are very excited at the prospect of opening their very own School Museum and for all their efforts to be on display for their friends and family to see.”

Mandy Westcott, the Museum’s Learning Officer said: “Waun Wen Primary School are regular visitors to the Museum and take part in the range of learning opportunities we have here. This project demonstrates how well we’re all working together both inside and outside the classroom which ultimately enriches the pupils’ experience. We’re all looking forward to seeing the end result in March.”

Notes to editor

For more information or to set up a photo opportunity at the school, please contact Marie Szymonskion 01792 638970.

Admission to Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales sites is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Amgueddfa Cymru operates seven national museums across Wales.

National Museum Cardiff

St Fagans: National History Museum

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Big Pit: National Coal Museum

National Wool Museum, Dre-fach

National Slate Museum, Llanberis

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea 

Date: 2 February 2012
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