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Heritage Schools Case Study: Enriching The List, Enriching Learning

Summary: KS1 pupils learn about the heritage on their doorstep by finding out about listed buildings in the local area and the National Heritage List for England, known as The List.

Where: Oldham, Greater Manchester

Who: St Thomas Werneth C of E Primary School, Gallery Oldham, and Oldham Local Studies and Archives

Intended outcomes

  • To engage pupils in the heritage on their doorstep and the story of the local area
  • For pupils to understand what it means if a building is listed
  • For pupils to observe and describe architectural features of buildings
  • For pupils to produce their own interpretation of listed buildings through artwork and photos
  • For pupils to make a real contribution to an historical record by ‘Enriching The List’


A Year 2 teacher from St Thomas Primary School decided to plan a local heritage project on the listed buildings in the local area after attending a Heritage Schools training session on ‘Enriching The List’. However, guidance for teachers explaining how to do this can be found on the Historic England website.

In a classroom activity the teacher introduced the pupils to the concept of listed buildings and they compared older buildings with newer building, discussing the style and features of their architecture. They also discussed what makes some buildings special or significant, why they should be protected and why some buildings might the on the National Heritage List for England.

Gallery Oldham’s education team and Oldham Local Studies and Archives were keen to collaborate and develop an activity they could repeat with other school groups. They devised a heritage trail for the pupils, providing information and images to tell the story of Oldham Town Hall, a Grade II listed building.

A local artist who works with the school accompanied the pupils on the trail and helped them sketch images of the town hall and take photographs of its features using iPads.

The pupils worked with the artist back in the classroom using a variety of media to create artistic representations of the town hall e.g. in paint, charcoal and clay. They also added effects to the iPad images to change their colour and style.

The teacher scanned images of the pupils’ artwork, and he uploaded these and the iPad images to  Oldham Town Hall's  entry on  The List   with a text description of the activity – enriching it for the world to see!

What we did

  • Planned the project with St Thomas Werneth School, Gallery Oldham and an artist who specialises in working with primary pupils
  • Introduced the pupils to the concept of listed buildings in the classroom, using images of local listed buildings and discussing why they were special
  • Pupils went on a local heritage trail with the education officer from Gallery Oldham, who explained the story of Oldham Town Hall - a Grade II listed building. (Teachers could devise a trail themselves by researching The List)
  • Pupils sketched pictures and took photographs of the town hall on iPads with an artist, then worked with the artist to create their own representations of the town hall and added effects to the images on the iPads
  • Signed up for a Heritage Passport on the Historic England website, to upload images of the pupils’ artwork and iPad images to entry for Oldham Town Hall on The List

Challenges

  • Year 2 pupils grasping the historical concepts of the style and use of old and new buildings
  • Year 2 pupils understanding what The List is and why buildings are listed
  • Year 2 pupils understanding and using the vocabulary to engage with project
  • Health and safety issues related to pupils visiting a busy urban area and working outdoors
  • Pupils’ learning new techniques in art and skills to manipulate and images on the iPads

Successes

  • Pupils enjoyed learning about buildings they recognised but had not paid attention to before
  • Archive images and history/stories about the town hall helped the pupils understand the changes through time and develop a sense of the past
  • Pupils’ observation of the building’s architectural features was clearly shown in their artwork
  • Pupils were delighted to see their artwork was on a website that anyone in the world could see
  • Despite their age the pupils had grasped quite advanced concepts by the end of the project

Resources and weblinks

Next steps/extension activities

  • To share the video link with other schools
  • To search The List and enrich other local list entries with pupils
  • To develop local heritage trails of listed building around the school
  • To share links to the entries on The List, enriched by pupils, with parents and the community

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