School children work as archaeologists

Primary History article

By Margaret Bunyard, published 19th July 2009

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

Adults find local history fascinating: the minutiae of life in the past and the way a familiar place has become what it is today capture our imagination. But children may be rather less eager to explore their locality. Local history lacks the drama, the wars, and the kings and queens of the national and international stage. Pupils might be quite interested to be told that Victorian children went to their school - but what would be really exciting for them would be to actually dig up a marble or a slate pencil that one of those children lost. And that's where archaeology comes in. All pupils (and most teachers for that matter) are going to be excited by the feel of trowel on mud, or the prospect of discovering and holding something lost or abandoned long ago.

With this in mind, we arranged two school excavations in Wiltshire last summer, one at Amesbury Archer Primary School at Boscombe Down and the other at St Osmund's Roman Catholic Primary School in Salisbury...

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