KAFFEINE / Arts & Culture, Events, Placemaking


2 August 2019

Kallaway helped children in Croydon see their hometown in a new light in a photography-focused placemaking competition that we created for The Whitgift Foundation and the Croydon Partnership. 

From a 12th century church, to the 600 year old Surrey Street Market, to street art throughout the borough, over 800 photos were taken by 10 to 11 year olds from local primary schools in our ‘Capturing Croydon’ campaign aligned with the national curriculum.

Sarah Jones, MP for central Croydon, who presented the awards at the winners' ceremony, said the initiative helped “children understand their sense of place, and that they are part of the community”. 

One of the oldest educational and care charities in the UK, the Croydon-based Whitgift Foundation approached Kallaway to help support its ongoing work with young people, especially during a time of major redevelopment for the area. 

We went beyond the original brief to work with the Foundation to create a new educational scheme that would enable Croydon schools to elevate their teaching of Sense of Place, a key part of the national geography curriculum. It would also provide a longer lasting educational legacy and increase the engagement with the borough’s younger generation about Croydon’s history and future.  

The approach won support from the Croydon Partnership led by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson which is delivering a major development for the area.  They recognised Capturing Croydon’s potential to help engage children in the changing nature of Croydon as a place to live and work. 

The scheme was based around special class sessions in and out of the classroom led by professional photographer and geographer who used photography and the power of the image to unlock the geography principles of Sense of Place. 

This helped the children see their hometown in new ways. They used the eye of a camera lens to capture its different aspects from panoramic cityscapes to fine urban detail and human interaction.   

Teachers like Rebecca Clarke from Fairchildes Primary said of the initiative “The childen took onboard the ideas such as looking for contrasts, patterns and different viewpoints. They got to see parts of Croydon that they would never normally go to or see. They would never normally get this opportunity. Their sense if place was developed and so was to expand their understanding of what Croydon offers.”

Rebecca Clarke also noted; “The children were really enthusiastic about the project to the Inclusion Quality Mark assessor and they were very impressed at the impact the project had had on the children and their understanding of their local town.

Some of the children on the workshop had never used a camera before, with many discovering a new skill. Donika Grundey, a teacher from Howard Primary said the initiative was “really beneficial for the children’s confidence” and gave one child a “future [in photography] that she didn’t really think about before”. See more in the video below. 

Steve Yewman, Development Director, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said of the winning work: “Estelle’s image confidently depicts so many aspects of the regeneration of Croydon. She has captured both our growing urban landscape and our important green spaces in one shot. I am blown away by the response to the workshops from these children, who have been both surprised and delighted by Croydon.”

Martin Corney, CEO of the Whitgift Foundation said it was “really interesting to see the engagement from these young people”, and praised Kallaway for its work in delivering such a “successful first year”.

All participating schools said they would recommend the scheme to others and participate again. Due to its success Capturing Croydon will be expanded and continue in 2020. 

The winning image by Estelle, aged 11, from Atwood Primary.

Shortlisted image taken by Ygor from All Saints Primary.

 Shortlisted image taken by Cayden from Fairchildes Primary.

A pupil from one of local primary schools in Croydon who took part in the workshop.

Sarah Jones, MP for Central Croydon, with some of the runners up at the Capturing Croydon winner's ceremony at Old Palace of John Whitgift School.