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Pilot scheme set to bring history to life for pupils

Schoolchildren across Northumberland could soon see history being brought to life digitally thanks to a new pilot scheme.

Northumberland Archives has been awarded a grant of £5,000 from the Archives Testbed Fund, delivered by The National Archives.

The grant will allow the team to develop a digital learning platform where teachers, schools and lifelong learners will be able to access online archives, lesson plans and project ideas.

The project is aimed at pupils in Key Stage 2/3 and, through discussion with teachers and schools in the area, it will initially focus on archives from three themes:
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Medicine and Health
  • World War One

Archives and resources would then be available for schools to use via classroom smart boards and other digital devices. Users would also be able to upload their own resources, including examples of students' work and lessons plans as inspiration for others.

Northumberland Archives, along with the county council’s Digital Inclusion Team, will now be working with nine schools to help develop, create and test the new site before being made more widely available.

Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for archive services at the county council: “This is a very exciting project for us and once again demonstrates how Northumberland is leading the way in innovative projects to benefit children and learners.

“This project will allow us to bring archives to schools and lifelong learners in a much more accessible and engaging way, as well as encouraging schools to share their own learning and content to help others. Working closely with schools and teachers on the development will ensure that we create a website which offers learners everything they need.

“The new website will help to create an interactive cross-curriculum resource and as far as we are aware this method of delivering archive resources for educational purposes is not being done anywhere else in the UK.”

It is hoped the pilot scheme will start later this year and the project team will work with the identified schools over three half terms before launching a final version of the website, which would be incorporated into Northumberland Archives current website. 
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