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Understanding the Local Area Students’ Work

Starting the unit

The children were shown four photographs of Barrow Bridge and asked to describe what they saw.

We also drew spider diagrams to record what the students already knew about the local area and what they would like to find out.


Visiting expert

A local historian came to talk to the class about Barrow Bridge and some of the important people in the history of the area.

The children took notes during the talk to record what they heard.

Barrow Bridge fieldtrip

A significant part of the unit was the fieldtrip where we focussed on the journey from school to Barrow Bridge and what we saw when we got there.

For part of the trip the students were accompanied by a local historian who was able to explain certain features and give them a deeper insight into the history of the area.

They also took part in several activities during the trip:

Back in the classroom

After the trip the students drew maps of their journey from the classroom to Barrow Bridge.

They also created a 3D model of the area as part of their art work.

Using a new programme, Comic Life Deluxe, we wrote a comic strip history of Barrow Bridge. After making a comic strip you can save it and upload it to a VLE.

Barrow Bridge in the future

In another classroom-based activity we asked students to imagine what they thought Barrow Bridge would be like in the future.

Thinking about futures incorporates elements of citizenship and helps students to realise that they really do play a part in the process of ‘change’. It is also a way of thinking positively: individuals can affect things at different scales.

We found this last stage of the project the hardest, because we asked students to consider the complex story of how and why things had changed around them.

Using Jeannie Baker’s profound book Belonging, the children produced a ‘before’, ‘during’ (the industrial mill period), ‘now’ and ‘future’ picture of the area and described the differences. This revealed that they had grasped many of the reasons for change and could explain in simple terms the dramatic change of harnessing the natural environment and the reasons for its natural post-industrial state

Reference: Baker, J. (2004) Belonging, London: Walker Books. ISBN: 978-0744592276

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