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Academy develops history teaching tool

Mildenhall College Academy film brings museum history into the classroom

Posted by Stephanie Broad | November 24, 2015 | Teaching

Academy Transformation Trust’s Mildenhall College Academy has been involved in a unique national project to develop an online teaching tool.

The academy’s humanities department, working with University College London (UCL), has designed an online module to support history teachers to plan unique lessons based around historical artifacts.

It’s part of the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, which aims to provide the opportunity for a minimum of two students and one teacher from every state funded secondary school in England to visit battlefields on the Western Front between 2014 and 2019 as part of the Government's plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

To coincide with this, a series of 'Optional CPD' films are being made available for teachers to support them in bringing to life the events of the First World War for their pupils.

Mildenhall College Academy worked in partnership with the Learning Team at the Imperial War Museum, London to develop the first module in the series. The lesson is designed to provide teachers with innovative ways to bring the museum into the classroom. 

Mildenhall history teacher, Ed Lowis, designed the module entitled 'Using artifacts: the Princess Mary Gift Box' which was filmed at the academy last October. Princess Mary gift boxes were small care packages sent to First World War soldiers during Christmas to boost their morale. During the video lesson, Mr Lowis showed pupils an example box and asked them to think about what they would include and what soldiers would have wanted or needed during that time and the logistics involved in getting the boxes to the troops.

Richard Kerridge, Mildenhall’s Humanities Faculty Leader, explains, “It was a very interesting process which took almost a year in total.  It was such an amazing experience to have a film crew in one of our classrooms filming the lesson.

“We have a thriving and active history club at the academy where we do creative and interactive activities and this project gave us the opportunity to show other teachers how this approach could be used to get both teachers and pupils to think differently about their lessons.

“We were pleased to be able to take part in this unique learning experience and we are thrilled to be able to share it with teachers on such a large scale.”    

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