Analysing documents as part of the Extended Project Qualification

In May 2019 we ran a session for pupils from Notre Dame High School as part of their Extended Project Qualification.

Part of the provision schools are required to provide for pupils taking an EPQ are 30 hours teaching, focusing on research, project management and other relevant skills. Which is where we come in. Many of the sessions we offer for both adults and pupils include using research skills.

The session at Notre Dame, was tailor made in consultation with the led teacher. During our correspondence it was suggested that we focus on OPVL analysis, looking at the Origin of source, Purpose for its creation, its Value for the historian and its Limitation based on the accuracy and reliability of the document. Staff initially talked thought these main areas and how they could be applied in researching archive material. Next the pupils were asked to put these skills to the test with a practical session in which they were asked to apply each of the areas to facsimiles of original documents. These documents were carefully chosen to be challenging and to encourage the pupils to work hard when analysing the usefulness of the material in carrying out research.

Petition to Sir John Fenn, sheriff of Norfolk, 1791. NRO, COL 8/104/74

Finally, there was time for the pupils to think about how this could be applied to their own research.

If your pupils have the option of taking an EPQ and you would like our input or for us to run a session, please do contact us.

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