Living History in the Black Country (Year 5)
At New Invention Junior School (Walsall), we undertook an extended project with a Year 5 class. The theme was the Women Chainmakers’ Strike that occurred in Cradley Heath in 1910.
This was a Mantle of the Expert project. Pupils worked as an expert 'team,' in this case a PR Agency (which they called 'Faith PR'), tasked with designing a museum website on aspects of local history. Students took part in a special day to mark the anniversary of the chainmakers' strike at the Black Country Living Museum. Some of them were filmed, and appeared on an episode of the BBC2 documentary series, The Great British Story. The project was also a winning entry in the Express and Star ‘Living History’ Awards. The following report appeared in the newspaper:
Schoolchildren who brought learning to life have been recognised in the Express & Star’s first ever Living History Awards. The three schools chosen as the overall winners were Quarry Bank Primary, in Dudley; New Invention Junior, in Willenhall, and Wodensfield Primary, in Wolverhampton. Pupils and teachers from the three schools attended a special awards presentation on Thursday.
New Invention Junior’s winning entry was their Faith PR local history website. New Invention teacher Rebecca Scordis said: 'The children wanted to educate the public on the importance of local history. Parents have all been on there and have commented on how much they love it.'
Images show Patience Round, who at the age of seventy-nine was the oldest chainmaker to take part in the 1910 strike. She lived to the age of 103.