The Tamar Time Travellers Day

Posted by on Nov 29, 2013 in News | No Comments

Imagine a window that you could look through, and see right down the years into the past.  How about climbing through that window and walking out into the past yourself?  How about taking a walk along a street or a road that you found there?

Well that’s exactly what 25 Year 4s and 5s from partner primary schools did at saltash.net this week!  And after exploring their “time walk” and sending a postcard from the past back to the present, they invited their parents in to see what they’d been getting up to.  And then the parents climbed through the window too!  It was lucky we got them all back into the present again, where they belong!

The windows our intrepid Tamar Time Travellers looked through were sources of historical evidence, which the students used to help them work out what their time walk might be like.  And these weren’t just any sources of evidence – these budding historians were using the types of historical sources that GCSE students might be more familiar with.  Based on their analysis of their findings, students used powerful, touch-screen netbooks to resource their own fantastic audio-visual movies showing what they might see along their time walk.

Further using their research findings they created the people you might meet along the way.  In a wonderful contrast to the high technology of the movie-making, puppets were made from a bewildering array of tissue paper, coloured pipe cleaners, lollipop sticks, googly eyes, cardboard and glue.

In a final exciting twist along the learning journey, the students were able to populate their movies of the past with their wonderful puppets.  And so time walks back through the medieval village of Trematon, Tudor Plymouth, Victorian Plymouth, Morwellham Quay and a nineteenth-century Cornish fishing village were born.  Most exciting of all was the innovative (and possibly infamous!) saltash.net History Cube.  Climbing inside the Cube is like climbing inside the movie itself!  So parents and students alike were able to join the puppets as they strolled along their different time walks.

Yet another facet to the day was how warmly and collaboratively the students from different primary schools all worked together.  Many of our Time Travellers left saltash.net having made new friends.

“Absolutely amazing!” said Molly.  “I had the best day EVER!” said Casey.  Other comments from the students enthused about the new technology they had had a chance to use, their pride in the movies they made, and how much fun the puppet-making had been.  It was even noted how kind the teachers were.  The final word on the day has to come from Josh, who said his day time-travelling had been “cool” because “I learnt loads, like how to make puppets and how to use Movie Maker and I made new friends.  And of course, did some History!”

The Tamar Time Travellers day looks set to become a feature of the History Department’s calendar at saltash.net.  Katie Anderson, Head of the History Department, explained how rewarding it is to extend high-level history to younger students who are gifted, talented or interested in History.  “Encouraging passion for History and fostering our enthusiastic historians of the future is really important,” she said, “and one of the reasons we all entered teaching, here in the History Department at saltash.net.”    Emma Metters, a History teacher at saltash.net as well as Assistant Head of Year 6/7 and Transition, commented on how well the day fitted in to saltash.net’s work in partnership with local primary schools, and was delighted how much the excited Year 4s and 5s gained from their insight into secondary school-level History.  The overwhelming theme of the comments from students as the left was echoed by those of Piper, Louise and Mya, who all said “Thank you for having me.  I’d like to come here again.  Please can you invite me next time?”

Wow!  What a day.  And next year, the History teachers are thinking to themselves, “Let’s do the time walk again…!