Archaeology: A view from the classroom

Primary History article

By Cathy McIlroy, published 19th July 2009

Please note: this article pre-dates the current National Curriculum and some content and references are outdated.

Perhaps it is the earthiness of the ground beneath our feet which arouses pupils' curiosity. Or maybe, the idea of the unexpected with the hope of finding something precious or unusual, that is so engaging about archaeology.

Whatever it is, I need not have worried whether the Year 2 pupils in Key Stage 1 would be interested in an investigation to find out their understanding of archaeology. It was Friday afternoon and they were keen to tell me, well with a few clues and a bit of help from each other...

We began by reading and unpicking the word; it provides challenge in reading strategies and investigating useful clues. The pupils made good attempts at sounding it out, and then we looked at its parts: archae = old/ about the past + ology = knowledge about. I was grateful to the classics teacher who had visited a previous Year 4 class when they studied the Ancient Greeks and explained this to us...

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