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A day in the life of the Olympic Park


Sarah Bonnell School

Project Artists:

Ollie Harrop


Summer Term 2014


25 Year 10 GCSE Art students


Photographer Ollie Harrop worked with a group of Year 10 GCSE art students over two days to capture a day in the life of the Olympic Park. The project aimed to upskill the students and to support them to engage with their local built environment.

Students spent time learning skills and techniques and exploring the work of photographers, including Ollie, who have captured urban regeneration before they started shooting on location.

They worked in small groups and set themselves specific briefs, each focusing on a different aspect of the park. These included the juxtaposition of old and new Stratford as well as the appearance of nature in the park. Following the shoot, they edited their photographs to tell specific stories relating to the Olympic Park; they chose ten photographs per group and used Photoshop to manipulate and enhance the images. They then presented their ideas to the rest of their class.

Outcomes and Impact:

  • 100% of students reported having enjoyed the project
  • 100% of students reported that they learnt something new as a result of the project
  • Students gained knowledge in the different ways in which photography can be used to communicate a message or tell a story
  • Students gained insight into completing a photography project in its entirety – from setting their own brief to the editing and presenting stage
  • Students gained new knowledge and skills in photography including: using a reflector and a tripod, producing a portrait and using Photoshop to manipulate and enhance images
  • Students learnt about composition including angles, perspective, lighting and use of lines
  • Students analysed and investigated their own relationships to the Olympic Park through photography
  • Students gained new understandings of the Olympic Park, and its history and complexities
  • An opportunity for individual enquiry


  • 4 x artist led sessions in school
  • 1 x non-contact time session for printing and post-production
  • 6 x final prints per group
  • A body of supporting images 


“I can now tell a story using images in which I hadn't realised before.” Year 10 student

“I have learnt how to use a camera in a professional manner, how to strictly follow a brief and work towards accomplishing it, how to use Photoshop to enhance photos and how to think outside the box!”  Year 10 student

“Photography is not about taking random photos it's actually about the many angles within your surroundings and what kind of subliminal message that you're feeding to the audience, whether that be critical or complimentary. I have also learnt that photography is a new hobby of mine.” Year 10 student

“I enjoyed how working with a particular brief enabled us to use different mediums to explore the different facets of the park and how not everything is indeed as it seems.” Year 10 student

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