Year 7 journeyed to Birmingham to investigate its Big City Plan, an exciting and innovative initiative to change the urban fabric of Birmingham City Centre.
The City’s plan is to create a sustainable city fit for the 21st Century. The pupils began looking at developments near to Brindley Place, followed by a boat trip to explore some of the recent canalside developments and learn about Birmingham’s industrial heritage.
Next stop was the Jewellery Quarter and Newman Brothers’ factory, or the Coffin Works as it is otherwise known. The very informative guide talked the children through the history of the factory, as well as the traditional trades and craftsmanship of the city. He also explained how some of the oldest buildings had been put to reuse, whilst those around it had been demolished. Year 7 hopped onto a tram to get back to the city centre where they then had the chance to ask questionnaires and try out a Brompton Bike.
A visit to the roof garden of the library, itself a central piece of the Big City Plan provided a superb view over the new developments. The next phase of the Big City Plan is the re-development of Digbeth and our pupils’ guide was one of Digbeth’s leading graffiti artists. This was a very revealing tour and led to the debate of the boundaries between art and vandalism.
A meal at the traditional Pakistani restaurant, Imran’s rounded the day off nicely. The children enjoyed tasting a range of different foods and spices, as well as admiring the wonderful traditional dress and jewellery on sale in the shops.
The children were a great credit to the school and now have wonderful ideas for their project to produce their own Big City Plan.