Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Prehistory sessions now available for schools

With the addition of Prehistory to the National Curriculum we have been contacted by a number of schools for help and advice. Many teachers have never taught the subject and are not sure what it covers. Central guidance just mentioned the main national sites such as Stonehenge, Avebury or Orkney's Skara Brae. Worcestershire has a rich heritage of prehistoric archaeology too, and it is a great opportunity to link a subject to local primary evidence. We now have Prehistory sessions available to schools wishing to find out more about the topic. 

Two of our community archaeologists, Justin Hughes and Rob Hedge, have both plenty of experience and knowledge in prehistory and working with young people. Both of them got hooked on archaeology through prehistoric archaeology and have in depth knowledge on the period and the tools. In 2006 Justin created an education pack for secondary schools looking at the local prehistoric archaeology in local quarries.

 Justin Hughes & Rob Hedge with replica axe, pottery and antler tool

Prehistory covers a very wide period of thousands of years, including changes in landscape, tools and technology. Our sessions use reproduction tools and animal skins so the children can handle objects to find out more about the technologies of our ancestors. Reconstruction drawings by our archaeological illustrators, which show scenes from different periods, are based on discoveries by our archaeologists and these can be used to allow the children to see and understand some of the developments that occurred and the context in which the object they handle would have been used. It also starts conversations around historical evidence and what we can tell about the past. Where possible we highlight information on local sites, which teachers and pupils are amazed by as they are usually unaware that so much prehistory lies in the areas where they live and work.

For those schools coming to Worcester they can have a joint visit with Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery. Here they can explore what an Iron Age Village would be like, and help to create what we think it would look like.

If you'd like to find out more please e-mail explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk or phone our Learning and Outreach team on 01905 766352.


Neolithic pottery found in Worcestershire



 Neanderthal Hunters – reconstruction based on evidence from Worcestershire

3 comments:

  1. Way back in the 1970s I made regular use of the loan boxes assembled for schools containing some originals and some replicas of artefacts through prehistory (and more recently). These were from The County Museum at Hartlebury. My primary school children gained a lot from handling "the real thing", as opposed to seeing illustrations in books. It is to be hoped that the 'boxes' still exist and can be used, with updates, for this very worthy initiative. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Dear Roger,

      Many of the replicas from the original loan boxes are still in use! In recent years, we haven't had a 'prehistory' loan box, as the absence of the topic from the curriculum meant that demand was low. Now it's firmly within the history syllabus, we're working with our friends at Museums Worcestershire on a new, updated loan box. We're currently sourcing lots of exciting new materials for the box, which should be available for teachers by Easter.

      Best wishes,
      WAAS.

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  2. Hello My name is Rita and I worked for the Hereford and Worcester Archaeology Section in 198l for 12 years. During the following years I gave talks to schools and museums about ancient pottery using some loaned examples. The hands on method is extremely good for children around the ages from 8-12 years.I put together some homework questions & illustrations for children to help them recognize the different pottery from Iron age to Roman and later times. The response was excellent. There is lots of info regarding this on my blog..www.ritaroberts.wordpress.com

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