Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Oasis Academy Shirley Park pupils transform play areas during lockdown

Oasis Academy Shirley Park pupils transform play areas during lockdown

In one local primary school situated in the heart of Croydon which has remained open to key worker and vulnerable children during the stricter lockdown period, and opened its doors to Year 6 in June, students and staff set about creating a communal project to transform two of their playground areas.

Oasis Academy Shirley Park Primary Phase worked on a shared project which involved every Year 3-6 child and staff member who has still been attending their Long Lane site during lockdown.

During the lockdown period the playground walls of Long Lane Campus have been totally transformed with bright colours and a quote reading; “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”

Sarah Kee, Teacher at Oasis Academy Shirley Park Primary, commented on the project saying; “Painting the walls of the school has been an amazing way for the staff and the children at Shirley Park to build a sense of ownership, community and pride within our school and for the children (especially the Year 6s who have been at school), to leave behind a legacy which marks and celebrates life in school during these strange times of COVID-19.”

“The murals were inspired by Keith Haring’s work in community centres in New York, such as his ‘Boys’ Club Mural’ (1987) which was painted on the wall of a community centre intended as a space where local boys could congregate and partake in recreational activities.”

“As a school, we were inspired by the message of his work and it fits in perfectly with our Oasis habits and ethos of family and community.”

Students learned all about Keith Haring and his work as part of their Picture of the Month work. Each month, children learn about a different artist and their work. This is alongside Composer of the Month, and from next year, Inspirational Person of the Month, introduced by their Break the Cycle group, who are working hard to ensure that all children in the school community are given the same opportunities to succeed in life.

Lisa Delaney, Teacher at Oasis Academy Shirley Park Primary, added; “We wanted our amazing pupils to be inspired and remember that whatever life throws at you, you have the power to create happiness. Our pupils are unique individuals who face challenges head on, they continuously support and encourage each other to achieve positive outcomes.”

“Therefore we as a school worked together to create an amazing activity which would allow pupils on site to leave their positive, happy legacy while COVID-19 disrupted the world.”

“Keith Haring’s inspirational message through his art echoes through our class and community, it is the heart beat that drives us and our pupils to clearly understand that success can and will be achieved because we all believe in each other.”

Daniel Marsh