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Schools Programme 10 December 2020, Faces and Places

Schools Programmes Manager Francesca Laws interviewed year 2 children with their teacher Mrs David-Jekyll at Reay Primary School in Lambeth to find out about their portrait project to celebrate footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford.

In October this year, like many children and young people around the UK, the year 2 class were inspired by Marcus Rashford’s work to set up the Child Food Poverty Task Force. They decided to show their appreciation for his work to end child food poverty by making his portrait, and writing to him. The project to celebrate Marcus Rashford and his campaigning resonates with the Gallery’s Faces and Places programme for schools, taking place during the Gallery’s closure, due to launch in Spring 2021. One of the planned activities is for children to explore who their local and national heroes and heroines are in the present day, and how we choose to remember them. Reay Primary’s project exemplifies how to do this in a meaningful way.


Congratulations on your fantastic portraits of Marcus Rashford which featured in The Guardian newspaper in October. They look fabulous – can you tell us how you made them?

We made them with paper and oil pastels, we made collage portraits of Marcus Rashford wearing his Manchester United football shirt.


Why did you choose Marcus Rashford for your class portraits?

We chose him because he tried his best to fight child poverty and gave children books.
He helped get food to children who didn’t have food to eat – no one should be hungry.
He’s good at playing football, he plays for Manchester United and England, and he’s a striker.
He’s kind, he’s inspirational, he’s good at scoring goals, he’s generous, he’s a famous footballer, he’s unbelievable.


Lots of great answers and ideas, thank you! I read in the same newspaper article that you wrote to Marcus thanking him for his campaigning to end child hunger and to extend free school meals provision to cover the school holidays. Can you tell us about the messages you wrote to him?

Here are some of the messages we sent to him:

You are good at scoring goals and helping people
Thank you for writing to Boris Johnson
You made a difference by writing to Boris
You’re an amazing role model
I wish you were my PE teacher
You are an incredible inspiration to me
You helped with meal vouchers
Thank you for helping all the children
We sent a photo of the display we made at school to Marcus Rashford (photo below)


That was so brilliant to hear what you wrote. My next question is - why do you think that people listened to Marcus Rashford when was campaigning?

We think people listened because he was a famous footballer
Because of all the things he did to help the children,
he looked after families
Because it was a good thing
Because he’s kind
He never gave up
Because he’s really famous
Because he’s a scorer
He’s a professional hero


And following on from that, what special qualities does Marcus Rashford have?

He’s inspirational – he has helped get children food
He’s heroic – helping children have enough food
Because of him I like football now


In our upcoming ‘Faces and Places’ workshops with schools we’ll be looking at portraits of people who have campaigned for change on behalf of people in their local area, or all over the UK. We’ll be asking children to think about what it means to be a hero. What does a hero mean to you?

Being kind, helpful, amazing, brave, generous, awesome, unselfish, inspirational, friendly, unbelievable, special and they stand out

Someone who never gives up, helps people in need, saves people, hopeful for the future, rescues people and animals, being very kind to everybody, saving peoples lives, lights up the darkness, prays for people who are no longer with us, strong inside and outside, has a good heart, makes a good life for people, stopping people getting killed. Treats people the same, stops CO2 and harmful gasses

We’ve got a whole list now of what it means to be a hero, thank you!


What do you think is the best way to make a portrait of someone who is important to you – a photograph, a painting, a sculpture or statue?

Statue, sculpture, photograph were chosen, however sculpture seemed to be the most popular.


And following on from that, how can you show someone’s qualities in a portrait? Lets think about how the person would be standing, what their facial expression would be.

For Marcus Rashford we would show his face smiling, with a happy expression, very very very happy, blissful, proud, understandable, incredible, looking fantastic.
We could show his legs with him playing football, running, kicking a ball.
We could include books in his sculpture, showing him reading in the book club.
Showing him helping people in his portrait.
He might be celebrating.
What might his hair be like and what might he be wearing? 3 stripes in his hair, curly hair and a red top, wearing his football kit.


And my last question is if you were as famous as Marcus Rashford, what would you want to change?

Make the world a better place for humans and animals
Investigate outer space
Stop climate change
Change global warming, stop CO2 gases
Change whats happening to the planet
Stop people being homeless
Help homeless people
Stop cutting trees down
Stop people being broke (not having enough money)
Stop throwing litter, especially plastic
To have a nice environment
Treat people the same way you want to be treated
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
Make the world a better place
Have a healthy world
Listen to your mum and dad and teachers at school

Thank you so much year 2 for all your brilliant ideas and responses! I can tell you’ve been really thinking about the issues that Marcus Rashford has raised. And thank you for sharing your fantastic portraits with us, it was lovely to meet you and hear all your ideas. Thank you.

The Faces and Places outreach programme will take place in schools in seven London boroughs (Brent, Lambeth, Westminster, Haringey, Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham), with the Gallery contacting all state primary, secondary and special schools in these boroughs early in the Spring term with an invitation to take part. To find out more join our Teachers and Schools mailing list and visit Faces and Places on our Inspiring People page.


Got something to say?

Thomas Mylne

25 February 2021, 14:29

Well done to you all; inspired!

Vicky Ling

15 February 2021, 17:28

Very thought-provoking. I'm going to use some of these comments in management leadership training! Thank you!

Jill David

27 December 2020, 16:53

I think they are a great class and must have a very inspired teacher. Well done Reay.

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