Local history goes to top of the class
July has been a brilliant month for engaging schools with local history as two major Voices Gloucester partnership projects have come to fruition. Both projects have been made possible by funding from Historic England under the Heritage Schools programme, and sprang from ideas suggested and shaped by local teachers.
For the 'Gates Street' project, Civic Trust guides led children from six local primary schools on tours of Gloucester city centre’s four ancient streets. Westgate Street had so much of interest, it had to be divided between two schools! At strategic stopping off points, the children were encouraged to capture things which had caught their interest, either by sketching or in words. Project artist Catherine Hawkridge ran a follow up session in each school and then developed the children’s work into a four- fold leaflet giving a unique child’s eye view of the city centre. The leaflet will be printed and available in time for the Gloucester History Festival and there will be an exhibition featuring more of the children’s work at The Folk from 1-15 September.
Then on 12 July, we ran a one day Schools Heritage Conference at Gloucestershire University’s Oxstalls campus with support from Archives staff and University Events students. Around 90 year 12 (A level) history students and their teachers attended the day which kicked off with a panel discussion on What is Heritage Now?, chaired by award winning podcaster Jo Durrant. Students then broke into groups to attend their choice of workshop on the varied topics of Fake News, the Windrush, Archaeology and Oral History.
After lunch, best selling author, historian and broadcaster Tracy Borman spoke about the mother daughter relationship of Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth 1, the subject of her latest book. The day closed with a heritage focussed market place and book stalls. Here's some of the feedback we received:
Tracy Borman was so informative on areas of the curriculum
Great, loved it
Fantastic as a first event
We’d love to make the Conference an annual event and involve more schools, possibly extending it to younger, GCSE, students.