Many people with a keen interest in the history of their home county attribute this to an inspirational teacher or a project they did when they were at primary school. Well planned resources and activities make learning fun, as well as imparting knowledge about local communities and local industries.
Building on a successful pilot project with Glenhills Primary School in 2012, the Charnwood Roots project will develop resources for schools and make these freely available to teachers through a combination of downloadable activity plans and boxes of materials which can be borrowed, including laminated copies of historic maps and documents, and objects.
One of Leicestershire’s most distinctive features is its geology. The slate and stone from the county’s quarries helped to build roads and railways, and can be seen in local vernacular architecture as well as in the Charnwood slate gravestones found in most of the county’s churchyards. The first set of resources to be developed contain a series of cross-curricula activities through which the children can learn about the properties of different building materials, the history of the slate quarry at Swithland and the many current and historic uses of slate. Activities included drawing houses and roofing them with different materials, making a ‘slate’ sundial, creative writing, matching pictures of vernacular architecture to the correct locality on a county map and obtaining infor mation from copies of historic documents.