Hugh Macknight
By Hugh Macknight

Senior Staff Writer

20 June 2019

| | 1 min read

Education

Newcastle Schoolchildren's Old Town Road flood warning

Schoolchildren sang a new version of hip hop hit Old Town Road to warn of the dangers of flooding.

Year six pupils at Hawthorn Primary School in Newcastle’s West End rewrote the record breaking Lil Nas single as part of their Flood Week school project with the Environment Agency.

 

Year six pupils Maz and Jessica and their classmates rewrote Old Town Road
Year six pupils Maz and Jessica and their classmates rewrote Old Town Road

Old Town Road has been Number One in the UK and in the United States.

Environment Agency community engagement officer Taryn Al-Mashgari said it had been a privilege to work with the children.

She said: “It’s been a fantastic week here at Hawthorn Primary; the kids have been amazing.

“They’ve been learning all about flooding and what to do before during and after but more importantly, how to stay safe.”

Flood Week involved each class learning about what to do before, during and after a flood, the emergency response involved and important safety messages.

The children learned about new approaches to flood risk management engineering and sustainable urban drainage solutions.

They will be working in the coming year to create a rain garden at Hawthorn Primary and looking at how they can help to slow the flow of rainwater by using planting on the school grounds.

Year six head of year Jessica Moyo said: “We all came together to make posters and stuff but for the song we wanted to use a hip hop.

“We rewrote Old Town Road using messages from the MetOffice.com website to tell people what to do and help them remember in a flood.”

Hear Hawthorn Primary sing Old Town Road

The week culminated in a fantastic assembly led by the children for parents and staff to demonstrate what they had learned.

Year six teacher Jen Pearson said: “It’s been about learning how to protect our environment and about how to protect the school in a flood situation, which we knew nothing about before this project.”

Year six pupil Lewis Mullaney said: “We wrote a message in a sing about how to stay safe in a flood.

“You should always be prepared and you should stay safe.”

Year six head of year Jessica Moyo said: “We all came together to make posters and stuff but for the song we wanted to use a hip hop.

“We rewrote Old Town Road using messages from the MetOffice.com website to tell people what to do and help them remember in a flood.”

Hawthorn Primary School is the first school in Newcastle to work with the Environment Agency in this way.

The Flood Week project is to be rolled out to schools across the North East.

Hawthorn Primary school is a music specialist school that works with SAGE Gateshead, where every pupil learns to play a musical instrument.

 The Flood Week project involved the whole school was funded by Northumbria Regional Flooding and Coastal Committee.

You can find out about preparing for a flood on Newcastle City Council flood pages: https://newcastle.gov.uk/services/environment-and-waste/flood-management and the Environment Agency website: https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk

It’s been a fantastic week here at Hawthorn Primary; the kids have been amazing.

They’ve been learning all about flooding and what to do before during and after but more importantly, how to stay safe.

Taryn Al-Mashgari

Environment Agency community engagement officer