Children cluster around a teacher with clipboards.

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County Durham schoolchildren using maps, census records and old photographs to uncover the history of their hometown © Historic England


Power and Protest in South Shields

Through our Heritage Schools programme, local school children have been learning about places in South Shields that have played an important role in making history. We have provided training and support for local teachers to help them feel more confident in using local heritage to support their teaching.

In February we hosted a tour of local places in South Shields that had been used for public protest with local historian Janis Teale. Teachers also attended two training events: one focusing on the Jarrow Crusade (delivered by Catrin Galt from The Word) and the other focusing on the riots at Mill Dam. After the events, teachers said they felt more confident about using local heritage to explore social issues.

Pupils from Seaview Primary and Dunn Street Primary also took part in an informative workshop at the Customs House in South Shields led by Elizabeth Kane. Children explored what is meant by the terms power and protest and learnt about local heroes who have helped to change society for the better. Pupils also looked at artworks used to promote messages of peace and freedom then used oil pastels to create their own protest slogans and signs. Through the workshops, pupils learnt about the importance of respecting people from different backgrounds and being kind.

Protest banner with the words 'Respect Everyone'
Children from Dunn Street Primary School proudly holding one of the protest banners they made as part of their workshop at The Customs House in South Shields

County Durham school children uncover the history of Bishop Auckland

More than 100 County Durham schoolchildren have been using maps, census records and old photographs to uncover the history of their home town.

School children and their teachers pose for a photo on a street in Bishop Auckland
Pupils from schools in Bishop Auckland spent three months trawling the archives to learn what life was like in Bishop Auckland up to 100 years ago © Historic England

Pupils from Cockton Hill Junior School, Toft Hill Primary, Escomb Primary, St Anne’s Primary and St John’s RC School and Sixth Form Centre spent three months trawling the archives to learn what life was like in Bishop Auckland up to 100 years ago.

Supported by Auckland Castle Trust and Historic England as part of the Heritage Schools scheme, each group focussed on separate areas of the town’s heritage, with the results shared in a special celebration at Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

The work on show during the event included a film by St John’s School and Sixth Form Centre, who worked with local filmmaker Keith Alexander and the Four Clocks Centre to produce a short video following in the footsteps of a young apprentice from the 19th century. This included interviewing relatives of the apprentice, who worked at local engineering firm Lingford and Gardiner’s in 1866.

Watch the film

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