A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Barbican Creative Learning and The Sydney Russell School


The Sydney Russell School

23 October 2021

Barbican Creative Learning partnered with The Sydney Russell School as part of their Associate Schools programme since 2016. Throughout 2021 they worked together to develop an exciting programme of creative and cultural activities to celebrate the centenary of the Becontree Estate. This culminated in a co-produced festival called FestivALL: Becontree Restart, hosted by the school in autumn 2021.

FestivALL explored the 100 years of Becontree. The event was accessible to the local community and schools in the Barking and Dagenham area, providing a platform for creativity and showcasing local culture. Students became producers and designers of FestivALL, working with staff at Sydney Russell School, Barbican Creative Learning and professional artists to create content that was presented as part of the event. Planned work in the lead-up to the festival included a designed anthology featuring students’ reflections on lockdown, workshops for students focused on developing their digital skills, as well as a new permanent wall feature at the school inspired by the Becontree centenary.

For more information about FestivALL click here.

The Sydney Russell School
Secondary Campus
Parsloes Ave
Dagenham RM9 5QT

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Barbican Creative Learning

Barbican Creative Learning pioneers new models for creative and cultural learning across the art forms. Their mission, Creative Skills for Life, underpins all aspects of their work and approach in the design and delivery of meaningful and impactful learning experiences across three strategic pillars: Education, Employability and Enrichment.

Every year, they deliver more than 40 programmes and events alongside 150 partners to over 29,000 participants. In order to achieve this, they build partnerships with teachers, artists, young people, schools and community organisations locally, nationally and internationally. To find out more – click here.

Barbican Creative Learning’s Associate Schools programme involves a school-wide approach that inspires senior leaders and teachers to harness the power of creativity, and to widen access to the arts for all their students. To find out more – click here.

The Sydney Russell School

The Sydney Russell School is an all-through, EYFS to Year 13, co-educational comprehensive school in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The school has 2519 students on roll, of which 19.57% are Pupil Premium and 16 out of 17 possible ethnic groups are represented. Graded Outstanding by OFTSTED, the school’s student outcomes are above the national average. They aim to deliver a carefully crafted curriculum which provides their students with the currency needed to succeed in later life.

The Sydney Russell School strive to develop the cultural capital and the character of their students, through providing a diverse experience with a range of opportunities which students may not have otherwise been able to access. They utilise a wide range of cultural opportunities to inspire and remove barriers to help students gain a true sense of self-worth and have the skills and knowledge in place to expand, reach and exceed their aspirations.