Railways, Changing Landscapes and Refugees – workshops for school children

We’ve had a busy start to the year with delivering lots of our school workshops to children all over the county.

In January, we hosted a group of students from Norwich School lower 6th history group, for some Archive Research training, during which they looked at documents relating to the First World War, and learnt how to use the record office. Some of these students have been back to the record office to carry out research of their own.


Norwich School pupil looking at original documents

We also visited Diss Junior School to deliver a local history workshop to two classes of year 3s, and St William’s Primary School in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, to deliver a workshop on Railways to two classes of year 4s. The children learnt when the railways arrived in Cromer and Sheringham, and using census returns, saw how occupations of the towns folk changed as a result.


Pupils at St William’s Primary School, working on an exercise for the Railways workshop

March saw us visiting Preston Primary School in Tasburgh for our Refugee workshop. We delivered two workshops to classes of years 3-5, which involved the children looking at a timeline of refugees from 1500-present, hearing the real-life story of Lewis Ecker, a Jewish immigrant to Norwich in the late 19th century, and deciding what items they would choose to pack in a suitcase if they had to flee their home.

We’ll be repeating the refugee workshop at a number of schools for Refugee Week which runs from 18-24 June.


Pupils at Preston Primary School, Tasburgh, deciding what to pack in their suitcase

We also visited Toftwood Junior School and Little Plumstead Primary school for workshops on Changing Landscapes, using local maps to see how land use has changed over time. A trip to Redcastle Family School in Thetford was made, to deliver another Railway workshop to year 6 class.

Little Plum

Little Pumstead tithe map. Norfolk Record Office, DN/TA 314

In April, we went just up the road from our base at The Archive Centre, next to County Hall, to Lakenham Primary School, and then along the A47 to Necton, on both occasions for more Refugee workshops. One of the comments made by a child from Necton about the workshop was:

I have found out how hard it is because I have never had to leave my home and I’m not a refugee so I didn’t realise what people have to go through.

If you are interested in booking one of our school workshops, please get in touch!

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