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New archive-inspired education activities at Woodhorn

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments
Grace Dunne

Grace Dunne, Working Lives Education Assistant

Thanks to funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the work of the Working Lives project team, a number of brand new workshops have been developed at Woodhorn, Ashington, for younger people.

Each year thousands of young people are introduced to Woodhorn though its extensive education programme. Schools from all over the north east visit the museum and archive to discover the heritage of the area and more in an exciting and stimulating way.

Staff have delved into the archives for inspiration using the vast collection of papers, documents and photographs as a basis for the new activities. As you might expect, two of the workshops looks at mining related themes; one gives the children the chance to play detective and learn more about one of Northumberland’s mining disasters whilst the other engages them in debate and discovery concerning the issues surrounding the miners’ strike.

Let’s Go Fishing is sure to be a popular workshop too. Using a whole range of maps, photographs, newspapers and more, the youngsters will learn about life, and death, in a Northumberland fishing community.

Grace Dunne, the Working Lives Project Education Assistant said: “These archive workshops give school children the chance to learn about, and hopefully be inspired by, the stories of ordinary working people in Northumberland. Pupils work with real archival documents, and so far they have been fascinated by the photographs and documents I’ve shown them.”

As well as the fishing and mining themes, for this term only while A Cut Above: Delve Into The Delaval Archives exhibition runs, there is the opportunity to look at industry in Seaton Sluice with the Delavals. Other workshops available include shopping and entertainment.

For schools looking for inspiration in the classroom, three new handling boxes have also been developed by archive staff. Looking at toys, the seaside, and my family, the trunks contain a delightful mixture of goodies to stimulate the children including books, photographs, costumes, toys and other artefacts. These are available to borrow for up to two weeks.

Full details of the new workshops and handling boxes can be found on the education section of the Woodhorn website:

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