SHARE with Schools outreach return visits

Last week the outreach project on which I'm a Postgraduate Coordinator hosted three return visits. These are one-day events where pupils that we have previously seen in their schools come to the department for a range of activities.

Visiting pupils investigate genuine printing materials from the SCOLAR special library collection.
I've posted about the return visits it at the SHARE with Schools site in a bit more depth with a couple of pictures. Also worth checking out is the link provided to Melissa Julian Jones's more detail account of formulating her Medieval history activity.

It was a tiring three days, lots if running up and down stairs to make sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. Special mention should go to PG Coordinator Cath Underwood-Horler for doing a fantastic job organising the days, especially in light of the chaotic effect of ongoing refurbishment in the John Percival (Humanities) Building, which led to room bookings being changed to inappropriate spaces or rooms lacking ceilings etc.

On the day, there were a couple of hiccups but nothing major and our undergraduate volunteers did a great job leading groups of pupils around the building and library. It was also good to have got faculty representatives from ancient history, mediaeval history and religion to present interactive lectures to the kids. By all accounts the children thoroughly enjoyed the chance to experience this type of learning format, which of course were more fun than maybe the average lecture would be. One lecturer emailed through some very nice feedback about my role in contacting her and making sure she was all set up to deliver, which was a pleasant surprise and was immediately sorted into the 'brag' folder of my email client.

The visit also gave me chance to start thinking about what to do with the Romans in Wales session, several features of which I'm unhappy with (the anachronistic reference to the Welsh Iron Age in particular). I tried a couple of modifications out to varying success (year 9s really didn't respond to the Doctor Who Silurian=Silures mnemonic that I geekly loved!) and have a couple more ideas to try. I'm tempted to edit out completely the narrative aspects, which tend to be ill delivered by our volunteers, and focus instead on Caerwent and Caerleon as administrative and military capitals respectively and how this interacted with the landscape/ethnicity and material culture of the Silurian region.

I might see if some of these ideas float when we have Fitzalan High School's visit to the department next month, capping this year's engagement activities for SHARE with Schools.


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