Exploring, Discovering, Learning

I want to make the Past, both History and Prehistory, more exciting, relevant and 'hands-on'. It's a fun place with some great stories, I want to share these with everyone.
I work with schools, museums, community groups, either at their place or outdoors in the Landscape.
I develop and deliver projects. I create resources. Exploring the Past and our shared heritage, bridging the divide and Discovering the links between these artefacts, sites or museum and Us. I try to put objects back in context, helping people Learn about the past. I use objects, both orginal and replica, costume, crafts and role play, in other words - Living History.

I'm a member of a small group of like-minded people - The Deja Crew

Thursday, 18 March 2010

the Wall to Wall project

This is the other big project I'm involved in at present. These two characters
may well appear in an exhibition I'm co-ordinating at Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend.
Over the past 10 years Burnside Business and Enterprise College and Segedunum have worked closely together, the culmination has been the Wall to Wall project. Part of 'People and Place', a British Museum project, the whole school has been involved. All of Year 7 spent a 'Cultural Day' off timetable, discovering about Roman times and exploring their own identity by looking at favourite objects that meant something to each of the 5 senses. A smaller group has been thinking about what objects can tell us about the past and what objects could tell future generations about us. Much of this work will be on the Wall to Wall website (http://www.wall-to-wall.org).
The school has been developing links with School Number 19 in Hebei Province, near were the Great Wall of China begins. Both ancient wall are World Heritage Sites, both valued for their 'outstanding universal value' and have helped Burnside become a UNESCO 'Associated school'. This link with China has inspired work by other students, including GCSE Art.
The theme running through the exhibition is 'exploring ourselves', looking at the questions,
Who Am I? - exploring contemporary identity
Who Are You? - looking at the cultural identity of their partner school in Hebei
Who Were They? - what can objects tell us of the people who lived at Segedunum in Roman Times
The exhibition will open on 27 March 2010, so come along and explore your identity.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Campaign! Make an Impact

Campaign! Make an Impact is an innovative project that uses the Past to teach Active citizenship in the 21st Century.

I am involved in a pilot project to use the 3 step model developed by the British Library (see www.bl.uk/campaign) along Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site.

Things are moving along, we have 2 groups on Tyneside who began by looking at a campaign from 1870's South Shields. It had been known for many years that a Roman 'Station' lay buried beneath the farmland on 'the Lawe', but in 1875 the building of houses began. Robert Blair, a local solicitor and member of the Society of Antiquarians of Newcastle upon Tyne, gathered support and ran a campaign to excavate and preserve as much of the fort as possible. Blair kept scrapbooks, with letters and newspaper cuttings describing what happened. Eventually the Town Council designated a part of the fort as the 'People's Roman Remains Park' , saving the site to later become Arbeia Roman Fort.

Using this resource the groups have now decided on campaigns that they will run. I'm hoping to post updates on these and the work of the 3 groups at the Cumbrian end of the Wall in a separate blog -http://campaignmakeanimpact.blogspot.com/- so watch that space.